Anna and I (Andre) are EXCITED to become parents. We have chosen to adopt internationally as a way to start our family, and it’s been an incredible journey. God has shown us so much of Himself through this process, and the excitement is rising as we near the end of the beginning of this journey of bringing a child home!
We have had a strong desire to adopt ever since we married in April 2015. We both have had experiences working with individuals with special needs, and have both been exposed to adoption through the churches we have attended. Early on in our marriage, I mentioned the idea of starting our family by adopting, and was a little surprised (and a whole lot excited!) when Anna was 100% on board. We talked about it on-and-off, and in March of 2017 started our journey by meeting up with a local adoption agency.
It’s been difficult from time to time. The amount of paperwork required is staggering, and there is always another routine-but-important task that pops up. We completed our home study near the end of last year, got state and federal approval earlier this year, submitted our dossier to Colombia in August, and received permission from the Colombian Family Welfare Institute in October.
Around July, when we were completing our dossier, we started looking at the waiting-child list. It was heart-breaking. There are so many kiddos waiting for a home, and we had to choose just one. Although I know each of those children is known fully by God, and not a hair falls from their head without his knowledge, I felt a strong sense of despair, realizing my own limitations. The need is great, and I urge every family to consider being parents to a child who is looking for a forever home.
As we were prayerfully considering the children on the list, our adoption agency added a new girl. We decided she was the one we wanted to pursue, so near the end of July we submitted a letter stating our intention to adopt her. Only a few weeks after our Colombian approval to adopt came through in October, we were officially matched with her, which is the final approval required from the Colombian welfare institute!
Maria was born with a tumor near her left eye, and they performed surgery shortly after she was born to remove it. However, it grew back, and around her first birthday they performed another surgery. This time, they removed the left eye as well. From the photos and videos we have seen, she is a lively little girl, and loves to play. She interacts well with her caregivers, and she enjoys their attention. We hope to see more of her in the weeks ahead!
The adoption journey is not cheap. While there are resources out there to help fund this process, it is still a very expensive undertaking. The average international adoption from the U.S. costs around $40,000. We could certainly use some help!
We have not applied for any grants and/or loans, and we trust that God will provide us with the resources to complete the journey. We would love for you to take part in the process!
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Geertsema 8139”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.