TO ANSWER A COMMON QUESTION: WHY ADVOCATE TO BRING A CHILD INTO YOUR HOME, TO MATCH HIM WITH A FAMILY? HERE’S OUR STORY: The day was April 13, 2013. Stefan and I flew into Beijing the day before, and this was the trip to bring Max into our family. We were there to visit the orphanage our son Max grew up in. At the time, Max was 23 months old. He had 2 surgeries while there, and his orphanage was exemplary. The nanny/child ratio there was 1:2, which is unheard of in China. He was in a high-need medical facility, and only the most fragile children were admitted. We arrived on that day, anxious to see where Max lived. Max was not there, since he was transferred back to his state run orphanage, which is protocol for Chinese children, before they are adopted. But Stefan and I wanted to experience his surroundings and personally thank his nannies who took care of him. We got our tour of the facility, and we did thank his nannies, the founder of the facility, and his nurses. After that, we got to play with the children who resided there.
That’s when my life changed forever. We were surrounded by cute, smart, medically fragile children, who were happy, playful, and full of spunk. They were like countless other children who we knew back in the US. BUT there was something missing for them. They had no family. They had no parents who would go to the end of the earth to take care of them. They deserved a family. They had none. Most children did not have a family working to bring them home. Most were available for adoption. But there were simply no families to come forward for them. If left in China, they would ‘age out’ at 14 years old. They would live on the streets. With no blood lines, and no social structure, they lived in a culture that has no value for a person without blood lines. My heart hurts thinking of all the children left on the streets, to join gangs, to be sold for sex, to be left to survive in any way they can, with no hope.
On that day, when we waved good bye to the orphanage founder, and drove off, back to our hotel, to then fly to Max’s home province, we knew we would never be the same. Our view of our world had changed. We felt empowered to make a difference. The orphan problem is a world problem, and we couldn’t solve it all. But we can make a small change, whatever that may be. Our hearts are led to advocating for orphans. There are many families who we know who would make great adoptive parents. That’s how we were led to take a leap of faith, and advocate for an orphan, and hopefully, help facilitate in him finding his forever family. Stefan and I can not adopt them all. And believe me, some of those faces I met on April 13th still haunt me in the middle of the night. But we can broaden our circle of advocacy, and create a community who supports orphan care. We are walking this road, not really knowing who will step forward. But in our hearts, we feel that someone will. And then the circle of orphan care immediately gets larger. More people will be aware of the plight of orphans. More people will then advocate. And that’s why we are doing it. To broaden our circles of advocacy. We hope you will help in getting the word out for this one person, Jacob. And for those of you who never thought you may need to adopt a 12 year old boy, please follow your heart, where ever that leads. One of my favorite quotes is, “We can not change the world. But we can change the world of one person.”
We will be posting on Facebook daily. If you would like to casually meet Jacob, please PM Stefan or me, or email us: firstname.lastname@example.org,email@example.com. We have cleared our calendar, with our priority in broadening our advocacy circle, to find this one boy, a family. For those of you who are not FB friends, you can follow Jacob’s journey at www.wahe.us.
We fully funded Jacob’s Hosting $4300 of expenses ($$3300 + $1000 in expense to fly into LGA). We held fundraisers, and were amazed at the amount support we received by those in our community. Many people were like, “You are really brave to do this, and we love what you’re doing….how can we help?”
Thanks for following Jacob’s Journey, we can’t wait to see him come home forever!