What Was Missing From My Life Was A Family

Marisa Porter Edmond, Oklahoma

The summer of 2022 changed our life forever when we were privileged to be part of a hosting program. We hosted a 14 year old girl named *Li from an orphanage in South America at our home for six weeks. I’ll never forget my family laying on a blanket under the Oklahoma fireworks and the google translate message I received later that night. “That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Thank you very much for showing me.”

Anneka and Li were instant sisters! And though I told Anneka nothing about her story or adoption status, a few days before Li had to board the plane, she overheard that Li didn’t have a family of her own. “Mommy, every night since that night, I prayed that we could be Li’s forever family,” she told me weeks later.

Some nights before she left, she would be sad, and I asked her why, and she said, “because it’s one day closer to leaving.” And she wouldn’t be able to stop crying and I would hug her and tell her we felt the same.

The summer zoomed by and too soon this teen, who had become a member of our family, was boarding a plane for her country while we all said an emotional and difficult goodbye. The question that we had been asking God since we first saw her picture and bio, “could we be her forever family,” was answered.

Especially since Li left us a letter telling us, “what was missing from my life was a family,” and “I love you like family.”

I miss the way she would give me pep talks if I was depressed about something. I miss the way she would delight over food, especially her food — [her country] food! And the music from Encanto, especially “We don’t talk about Bruno.” And oh her love for Sebastian Yatra — whom I’m now in love with as well.

I miss seeing Anneka and Li snuggled up on the couch, or begging to have a sleepover together, or giggling over language games Li would make up. I miss how happy they both were when they were together.

I miss the way she’d roll her eyes at me when I asked if she took her medicine. But then, after being here a few weeks, saying to me, “I like the way you are with me.” Please help us bring our kiddo home! Seeing someone go back to an orphanage after they have already become part of your family is heartbreaking. We survive on hope, but we need the support of a village to make this dream come true.

Li will age out of the system when she is 16, and she’s already 15, so time is running out! The adoption process takes a lot of time. It could take up to 1-2 years (but we don’t have that long).

Some sad orphan facts: once they age out of the system, much to soon for our L., the statistics for thriving are not good. Suicide rates are high. Survival rates are low. Mental health is poor. Higher education or careers are low. Most orphans end up out in the streets. Please help us be one small change in this equation.

Adoption is expensive, costing around $30,000 and up for all the paperwork, social worker’s time and expertise, and all the things the agencies do to both protect the kids and advocate for them and the family’s applying for adoption. Then there are the travel expenses to L’s country and the fact that we will need to be there for 4-6 weeks.

The summer of 2022 changed our life forever when we undertook to host a 14 year old girl named *Li from an orphanage in South America at our home for six weeks. I’ll never forget my family laying on a blanket under the Oklahoma fireworks and the google translate message I received later that night. “That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Thank you very much for showing me.”

Anneka and Li were instant sisters! And though I told Anneka nothing about her story or adoption status, a few days before Li had to board the plane, she overheard that Li didn’t have a family of her own. “Mommy, every night since that night, I prayed that we could be Li’s forever family,” she told me weeks later.

Some nights before she left, she would be sad, and I asked her why, and she said, “because it’s one day closer to leaving.” And she wouldn’t be able to stop crying and I would hug her and tell her we felt the same.

The summer zoomed by and too soon this teen, who had become a member of our family, was boarding a plane for her country while we all said an emotional and difficult goodbye. The question that we had been asking God since we first saw her picture and bio, “could we be her forever family,” was answered.

Especially since Li left us a letter telling us, “what was missing from my life was a family,” and “I love you like family.”

I miss the way she would give me pep talks if I was depressed about something. I miss the way she would delight over food, especially her food — [her country] food! And the music from Encanto, especially “We don’t talk about Bruno.” And oh her love for Sebastian Yatra — whom I’m now in love with as well.

I miss seeing Anneka and Li snuggled up on the couch, or begging to have a sleepover together, or giggling over language games Li would make up. I miss how happy they both were when they were together.

I miss the way she’d roll her eyes at me when I asked if she took her medicine. But then, after being here a few weeks, saying to me, “I like the way you are with me.” Please help us bring our kiddo home! Seeing someone go back to an orphanage after they have already become part of your family is heartbreaking. We survive on hope, but we need the support of a village to make this dream come true.

Li will age out of the system when she is 16, and she’s already 15, so time is running out! The adoption process takes a lot of time. It could take up to 1-2 years (but we don’t have that long).

Some sad orphan facts: once they age out of the system, much to soon for our L., the statistics for thriving are not good. Suicide rates are high. Survival rates are low. Mental health is poor. Higher education or careers are low. Most orphans end up out in the streets. Please help us be one small change in this equation.

Adoption is expensive, costing around $30,000 and up for all the paperwork, social worker’s time and expertise, and all the things the agencies do to both protect the kids and advocate for them and the family’s applying for adoption. Then there are the travel expenses to L’s country and the fact that we will need to be there for 4-6 weeks.

Please help us reach this amazing matching grant and bring our Li home!

Thank you for your love and support!


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 “Porter 10232”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, 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.
  • *3.5% fee for donations given with an American Express card
Read more
Raised to date by 7 people
 of  $44,000
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My Story

The summer of 2022 changed our life forever when we were privileged to be part of a hosting program. We hosted a 14 year old girl named *Li from an orphanage in South America at our home for six weeks. I’ll never forget my family laying on a blanket under the Oklahoma fireworks and the google translate message I received later that night. “That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Thank you very much for showing me.”

Anneka and Li were instant sisters! And though I told Anneka nothing about her story or adoption status, a few days before Li had to board the plane, she overheard that Li didn’t have a family of her own. “Mommy, every night since that night, I prayed that we could be Li’s forever family,” she told me weeks later.

Some nights before she left, she would be sad, and I asked her why, and she said, “because it’s one day closer to leaving.” And she wouldn’t be able to stop crying and I would hug her and tell her we felt the same.

The summer zoomed by and too soon this teen, who had become a member of our family, was boarding a plane for her country while we all said an emotional and difficult goodbye. The question that we had been asking God since we first saw her picture and bio, “could we be her forever family,” was answered.

Especially since Li left us a letter telling us, “what was missing from my life was a family,” and “I love you like family.”

I miss the way she would give me pep talks if I was depressed about something. I miss the way she would delight over food, especially her food — [her country] food! And the music from Encanto, especially “We don’t talk about Bruno.” And oh her love for Sebastian Yatra — whom I’m now in love with as well.

I miss seeing Anneka and Li snuggled up on the couch, or begging to have a sleepover together, or giggling over language games Li would make up. I miss how happy they both were when they were together.

I miss the way she’d roll her eyes at me when I asked if she took her medicine. But then, after being here a few weeks, saying to me, “I like the way you are with me.” Please help us bring our kiddo home! Seeing someone go back to an orphanage after they have already become part of your family is heartbreaking. We survive on hope, but we need the support of a village to make this dream come true.

Li will age out of the system when she is 16, and she’s already 15, so time is running out! The adoption process takes a lot of time. It could take up to 1-2 years (but we don’t have that long).

Some sad orphan facts: once they age out of the system, much to soon for our L., the statistics for thriving are not good. Suicide rates are high. Survival rates are low. Mental health is poor. Higher education or careers are low. Most orphans end up out in the streets. Please help us be one small change in this equation.

Adoption is expensive, costing around $30,000 and up for all the paperwork, social worker’s time and expertise, and all the things the agencies do to both protect the kids and advocate for them and the family’s applying for adoption. Then there are the travel expenses to L’s country and the fact that we will need to be there for 4-6 weeks.

The summer of 2022 changed our life forever when we undertook to host a 14 year old girl named *Li from an orphanage in South America at our home for six weeks. I’ll never forget my family laying on a blanket under the Oklahoma fireworks and the google translate message I received later that night. “That was the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. Thank you very much for showing me.”

Anneka and Li were instant sisters! And though I told Anneka nothing about her story or adoption status, a few days before Li had to board the plane, she overheard that Li didn’t have a family of her own. “Mommy, every night since that night, I prayed that we could be Li’s forever family,” she told me weeks later.

Some nights before she left, she would be sad, and I asked her why, and she said, “because it’s one day closer to leaving.” And she wouldn’t be able to stop crying and I would hug her and tell her we felt the same.

The summer zoomed by and too soon this teen, who had become a member of our family, was boarding a plane for her country while we all said an emotional and difficult goodbye. The question that we had been asking God since we first saw her picture and bio, “could we be her forever family,” was answered.

Especially since Li left us a letter telling us, “what was missing from my life was a family,” and “I love you like family.”

I miss the way she would give me pep talks if I was depressed about something. I miss the way she would delight over food, especially her food — [her country] food! And the music from Encanto, especially “We don’t talk about Bruno.” And oh her love for Sebastian Yatra — whom I’m now in love with as well.

I miss seeing Anneka and Li snuggled up on the couch, or begging to have a sleepover together, or giggling over language games Li would make up. I miss how happy they both were when they were together.

I miss the way she’d roll her eyes at me when I asked if she took her medicine. But then, after being here a few weeks, saying to me, “I like the way you are with me.” Please help us bring our kiddo home! Seeing someone go back to an orphanage after they have already become part of your family is heartbreaking. We survive on hope, but we need the support of a village to make this dream come true.

Li will age out of the system when she is 16, and she’s already 15, so time is running out! The adoption process takes a lot of time. It could take up to 1-2 years (but we don’t have that long).

Some sad orphan facts: once they age out of the system, much to soon for our L., the statistics for thriving are not good. Suicide rates are high. Survival rates are low. Mental health is poor. Higher education or careers are low. Most orphans end up out in the streets. Please help us be one small change in this equation.

Adoption is expensive, costing around $30,000 and up for all the paperwork, social worker’s time and expertise, and all the things the agencies do to both protect the kids and advocate for them and the family’s applying for adoption. Then there are the travel expenses to L’s country and the fact that we will need to be there for 4-6 weeks.

Please help us reach this amazing matching grant and bring our Li home!

Thank you for your love and support!


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 “Porter 10232”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 9, 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.
  • *3.5% fee for donations given with an American Express card
Read more

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