Hello! We are Aaron and Candice Schaefer! We are delighted to announce that we have been matched with a joyful, handsome, energetic 2 year old boy, Barrett!!
Adoption is something we have always desired, separately and together. We discussed it on our first date and it is something we have dreamed about doing for many years. When we were first married in 2012, we did not know if we would be able to have children biologically and in 2015 we had a miscarriage which later led to a diagnosis unfavorable of being able to conceive and carry a child to full-term without serious medical intervention. We knew then our family would be built unconventionally through adoption. Even through grief, we're thrilled to start our journey.
In April of 2017 we found Mwana Villages, a refuge in The Republic of Congo. We were extremely impressed and moved by their work and found that they are not your typical orphanage! After finding Mwana, we spent a year doing as much research as possible into international adoption. We found the good, the bad, and the downright terrifying. From this research, we knew if we were going to adopt internationally, we needed to find an orphanage that only used adoption as a very last resort and valued reconciliation of families whenever possible. We found that Mwana Villages is doing the very hard work of reconciliation and when adoption is necessary, they go about it in the most ethical way possible - they do it right. Mwana cares for those in their refuge with dignity, respect, and they meet their physical as well as spiritual needs. The more we learned about Mwana and the Republic of Congo, the more we were drawn to partner with them. In Spring of 2018 we prayerfully asked Mwana if they would consider us as an adoptive family and after many interviews and a lot of prayer, they chose us.
A few months later, we had the privilege of visiting Mwana in October of 2018. On that trip we fell in love with Mwana, the place and the people who make up the refuge and by the end of the trip we fell in love with Congo - the country, the people, their stories. We love where our boy comes from and plan to tell him of it often and hopefully take him to see Congo many times in his life.
Financially, we had saved up about $16,000 of our own money that we have used to bring us this far in the process and did a t-shirt fundraiser that raised an incredible $1,800. The total cost of adopting from Congo, including 2 trips to the Congo, is around $43,000. Our church in Raleigh, Imago Dei Church, has a heart for orphan care and adoptive families and has generously offered a matching grant of $7,500 through LifeSong for Orphans (opportunity to raise $15,000)! Any funds raised will go to pay for costs associated with our adoption, we will not be asking for any of this money to refund what we have already paid out of pocket.
We would be delighted if you would prayerfully consider partnering with us financially to bring Barrett home. We know the Lord will provide what we need and if he lays it on your heart to help us, we would be humbled and extremely grateful!
We would love to put together a book of all the people who helped bring our family together, if you donate please share a picture of you or your family with us so Barrett can see all the people who helped bring him home!
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 “Schaefer 8423”, 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.