“An invisible red thread connects those who are destined to meet regardless of time, place or circumstance. The thread may stretch or tangle, but it will never break.” -Chinese proverb
A proverb says that invisible, red threads connect newborn babies to all the people who will be important in their lives. The threads shorten as these people, bound from birth, come together. While the Chinese proverb uses the red thread to describe destiny, I choose to believe it is the handiwork of God Himself.
After spending time in China during college, my heart left entralled and in love with the country. I so deeply wanted to move overseas and work on the mission field the rest of my life. During my preparation to do just that, God literally put a roadblock in front of me. He placed my future husband at the coffeeshop table directly next to mine. (Love you honey!) I wrestled with God for months as I sought His will for my future. In the end, I believe the Lord called me to marriage and family and ministry here in the United States. Still, the longing in my heart for China was there. Before we were married my husband and I both dreamed of adopting a child from China one day. But the years have gone by… it’s never been the right time. We’ve had five children and life is full and busy. Motherhood is the most incredible ministry I could imagine. With the birth of our last child we began praying for what God would have our family look like… has God given us all the children He desires, does He want us to begin adoption, what about foster care here in the US, how can we play a role in serving the orphans of the world? Our heart became increasingly burdened for foster and orphan care.
A sweet friend (she’s my cousin too) of mine hosted an orphan from the Ukraine over the winter break and I was intrigued… I had no idea that was even an option! As we searched, googled, and looked through different agencies all of the China programs were currently closed. My heart was pulled in a million different directions. We did not have peace moving forward to host and decided to wait until or if the China program would reopen.
One morning I sat down to my computer to open not only one, but two, emails from host organizations that the Chinese program was opening that very day and we would be able to host this summer if we would like to. I think I startled everyone in the house when I jumped up, filled with excitement as I ran to tell my husband. With a resounding YES from God, we knew He was weaving that red thread back around. We immediately viewed the bios of the children available for hosting and decided that an incredible 8 year old boy, with some special needs, would fit in to our family just perfectly this summer! Here is our sweet boy, Duo, who they say loves to sing, is quite the comedian, enjoys simple math problems, and can identify several fruits. Goodness he is precious!!!
So you know a bit about our historical love for China, have seen a photo of the cutest little guy ever, and now I’ll share the nitty gritty details of this whole hosting process.
Duo will be with a part of our family the entire month of July 2014, approximately 5 weeks.
We chose to go through New Horizons for Children, the largest faith-based hosting program, because of their heart to bring the Gospel to these vulnerable children through the relationships of Christian host families. New Horizons for Children is NOT an adoption organization, it simply exists to connect the most broken, lost, hopeless children to healthy, loving families that will share the love of Jesus with them. While this sweet boy is available for adoption (and most likely will never be adopted on the conventional route due to his age and special needs) we are not going in to this summer with the full intention of adoption. We pray that he will find his forever family, whether that be us or another family that falls in love with him while he visits America. Praying for the Lord to make His will regarding the future clear, we are opening our hearts and home this summer simply to share the Gospel, give him the love of a family, and advocate for his needs. While adoption is never spoken about with the child (adoption is not the intention of the program), about 80% of the children who are hosted are eventually adopted by their host families or by a family the host has found or had contact with.
Children who age out of the orphanage are some of the most vulnerable in the world. At age 16, with little life skills, education, support, they often become a statistic. 60% of the girls are lured in to prostitution or sex trafficking rings, 70% of boys will be on the streets or in jail, and 15% will commit suicide within the first two years of being on their own. People… this is not okay. We as Christians must stand up and bridge this gap. We are commanded to care for the orphans and the widowed. While we all might not be called to adopt, be able to open our home to hosting, or go overseas to spread the Gospel worldwide… we all can participate in the protection of these children. We are asking the body of Christ to surround this child with an outpouring of love. Please pray for him now and through the summer hosting journey. Consider sharing the burden of the financial fees we are taking on as a family.
A breakdown of the expenses:
Background checks $50
Parent Training Sessions $200
International plane tickets/visa/travel/medical insurance for Duo $3250
-home study for us is included in price
-he will receive full medical care (vision, dental, and physical exams)
-we will work with a medical specialist regarding his special needs (I’d love to share privately more about his needs if you are interested)
Beyond the above mandatory fees, there will be other costs. Most orphans arrive with little to no clothing or belongings. We will need to provide him with clothing and some belongings, as he is able to take one suitcase back to China with him. Also, there is the cost of food and activities while he is here. We have been told to expect a total of $4500 in expenses.
- $1850 due by April 1st
- $1400 due by June 1st
- Remaining due July 1st
This is overwhelming for us as we already have five children to provide for. However, we fully trust God to provide and pray that He will use you to as a part of Duo’s journey. If you would join us in providing for this orphan, please feel free to donate directly to New Horizons for Children (tax-deductable) or through our personal fundraising site (sorry, this is not tax-deductable).
DONATE VIA ONLINE GIVING SITE
We will be fundraising for the next two months… raffles, garage sales, auctions. If you can help in any possible way regarding ideas or items to raffle, that would be wonderful.
Please pray for Duo and for our family. For Duo, as he is orphaned, without the love of a family. For his heart to be open to Jesus and our family. For his special needs and the provision of an excellent medical team. For our children, as they have been working to learn simple words in Chinese and have prayed for him daily. However, we know that there will be a transition and hurdles on both sides. Pray for our children as they prepare to minister and fall in love with their host brother.
We cannot begin to thank you for your love and support. What a gift to see the body of Christ rise up and defend the orphan together.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families..”
“Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.”