“When will my family come?” 6-year-old Joseph asked the volunteer at the children’s home. This question rose to Joseph’s lips after he watched a groupmate leave for the US with her forever family. When the volunteer, our friend and colleague, mentioned this to us, God spoke to our hearts. For years we had watched our daughter Joy change as she moved from an orphanage to our family. That transformation touched every part of her life – from her physical condition, to her education, to her social interactions, to her relationship with God. So we had begun wondering if the Lord might have one more child he wanted to transform through our family, another child through whom he would continue to transform us.
Our minds were working and our hearts were changing. Joseph has spina bifida, as does Joy. But unlike Joy, he is wheelchair-bound. We wondered whether we could handle the extra challenges to lifestyle and house setup that this would bring. But the more we prayed and considered the possibility of adopting him, the more we saw how God has set us up for this. We have a good handle on the daily routines needed to help someone with spina bifida; our house is two miles from clinics that people travel internationally to access, and we have good relationships with many of those providers; we’re part of an encouraging faith community; and we have an eternal hope that one day God will bring full life and full healing to those who know him. Joseph himself seemed eager for relationship and a family. We realized we wanted to share with him the love and hope we have received.
We did wonder whether it was crazy to pursue adopting an 8-year-old child with significant disabilities when we are entering the age where some people seek early retirement. After thinking it over we decided that it definitely was crazy. But we also realized that by the world’s standards Jesus is even crazier than that. So feeling that we were in good company, we dove in.
Despite the complications of the pandemic and the many hurdles of international adoption, the doors have kept opening up. The ultimate confirmation was when we revealed to Joseph that we wanted to adopt him. He was sitting on Ron’s lap and we were speaking Kyrgyz with him. His eyes opened wide, and a big smile spread across his face. He gave us a gripping hug. He understood more than we expected, and he is as ready as possible for this big change. The rest will have to unfold as he walks through it. We’re in much the same position ourselves. But we know we are not alone. We know God is walking with us in this change, and we know we have a larger community around us.
One of the challenges is the cost of all of this. (Talk about crazy!) The cost reaches over $57,000; we are still shocked by that figure. But we have committed ourselves to this path and are trusting that God will provide what is needed. That expectation has led us to put in a huge effort in pursuing 5 different grant application processes, which are still unfolding. But even with such help, we will need the support of the community around us beyond what those grants might supply. So we are reaching out to ask others to consider joining us and helping to fund Joseph’s adoption. We have been awarded $10,000 in matching grants from Fellowship Community Church and the Tim Tebow Foundation Adoption Funds, administered by Lifesong for Orphans. That means all the donations until the we reach $10,000 are doubled!!
So please consider the possibility of joining us in this crazy adventure which we know will bring transformation to Joseph, to our family, and to the community around us. Any donation through Lifesong for Orphans is tax deductible, and they pass on 100% of the funds they receive along with the matching grant funds to our adoption costs. If you give, it is critical that you include our family number 10099 to ensure the funds are properly directed.
Thank you for considering joining us in this practical way. We have an underlying peace that we aren’t walking down this road alone. Not only financially, but physically, relationally, mentally, and spiritually we need those God has put around us and we know he will continue to use us in your lives too. We also trust he will soon also begin to work in the community through Joseph in the unique ways that God has made this boy. For sure, in our lives, this process has already begun.
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 “Manila 10099”, 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