We Have an Urgent Need

Dear Friends,

I come to you today with an urgent need. Today, I come to you on behalf of three very special children, who at this very moment, are on the other side of the world–waiting.  How does one go about waiting for a family? I wait for my mom to finish trying on clothes so we can go to lunch. I  wait for a friend in the coffee shop. But I’ve never had to wait to be loved. These siblings, a girl, 8 years old, and two boys, 7 and 11, are waiting for love. That is something  most of you reading this blog post will never have to do, but we CAN stand in the gap for those who are waiting.

In Proverbs 31:8-9, The Lord speaks to this very issue, saying:

Speak out on behalf of the voiceless, and for the rights of all who are vulnerable.Speak out in order to judge with righteousness and to defend the needy and the poor.”

 

So here  I am, thankful that 23 years ago, someone spoke up for me, and as a measure of my thankfulness, I’m speaking up for these kiddos.

From the information Open Door has received, these children are said to be very healthy and obedient. The eldest boy loves soccer and is in 4th grade. The middle child, the girl, is a sweet 8 year old who is described as  a very good student and friend. The youngest boy is a smart child who is said to be well adjusted.

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At this time we are not permitted to  release pictures of the children over social media, but if you express interest, I can give you a picture, and my oh my, they are beautiful. You can also find out where they are from and more information about them.

You may not feel called to adopt. We can discuss that later 😉 (hahaha) but you are called to SPEAK UP. So share this post. Social Media is powerful.

You may not think you are ready to take on three children from an unknown place, but someone out there is–I promise you that. SPEAK UP. Share this. Be a vehicle.

But maybe, maybe you do feel called to adopt. You’ve been praying about the timing, the country, and the number of children. Maybe you’ve been asking God for a sign that lets you know it’s time to move forward.  Maybe this is it!  Maybe you’ve had adoptions fall through and you made a deal with God: “You’re going to have to literally drop them in our lap if you  want us to go through with adoption  again.” Maybe this is the drop.

I have this crazy belief that all children deserve the love of a father and mother, and I will stop at nothing to speak  up for those that are pent up in  dusty orphanages, dependent on overworked, underpaid caregivers to meet their deepest desire for love and connection. I want  these children to be given every opportunity to grow and thrive and come to know the love of a Father so great He has this girl across the world sitting at a desk writing a blog post about children she will probably never meet because she is so  compelled by His love that she must find these children a family.

 

So, your job is to share this. Your job is to pray.  And for one of you families out there, your job is to bring these kids home.

Sincerely,

Sarah

For More Information, Call Olga Klatt at 727-674-1470 or email her at olga@opendooradoption.org.

 

 

 

 

 

All Moms Matter | Sincerely, Sarah.

sincerely sarah

 

 

Mom.

No matter how many times she’s embarrassed you, annoyed you, grounded you or disagreed with you, she’s the first person you want when you’re sad, hurting or proud. She’s your biggest cheerleader, and the one who will love you long after every one else has lost faith in you.

 

Whether your mama brought you into this world, into this country or just recently into her home, she undoubtedly holds a special place in your heart.

 

Since Mother’s Day was Sunday, we thought this would be a good time to honor our adoptive moms and our birth moms, so ahem. Here goes:

 

 To our birthmothers:

Thank you for exemplifying what’s best about mothers: selflessness. You carried us for nine long months, often in difficult circumstances, surrounded by people who weren’t supportive of you. You missed out on baby showers and nursery decorations, and tried not to think about all the moments you’d one day miss. You chose life for us, you chose family for us. You put us before you. I cannot fathom this love. Happy Mother’s Day to the mom we will rarely think about but without whom we would not be here. You gave us everything.

 

To our adoptive mothers:

Thank you for choosing us! You loved someone else’s child and allowed us to call you mommy. You took responsibility for us, you embraced us, and you raised us. We may not look like you or even have the same color skin, but you have lovingly taught us that family is more than blood. You have prayed for us, walked us through the loss and abandonment that coincide with adoption, and you have supported us every step of the way. You have put up with us, trained us and snuggled us when all hope was lost. Because you stepped out in faith, we have a family. You wanted us. You’re the one we run to, the one we call not our “adopted mom,” but simply “Mom.” We are yours and you are ours and we honor you, on this day and always.

 

Mama’s of every kind—we love you!!

 

Share and tag your mom!

Take a Chance on Mexico | Sincerely, Sarah.

sincerely sarah

 

Whenever a well-meaning individual calls the agency hoping to adopt an infant without any sort of health/psychological issue from another country, I desperately wish they understood how difficult finding this child would be.

International adoption is risky. It means you choose the unlovable, the child who has not been chosen for good reason, whether it’s because of their age, health, or emotional well-being. It means you see hope where no one else has seen hope. You see possibility where everyone else sees impossibility. It’s beautiful, really. We’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of impossible cases become possible when a family responds to God’s heart for orphans with a “Yes.” It may be a timid, quaky, yes, but it’s all God needs to launch you into the biggest adventure you’ve ever been on.

Think you might be ready to go on that adventure? Well, then let me introduce you to Open Door’s newest international adoption program. Let’s take a little journey down to the great nation of Mexico.

MEXICO

Mexico is a huge country with a population of a whopping 111 million people. It is made up of 31 states and the majority of its citizens speak Spanish. Approximately 60% of Mexicans are below the poverty level. That’s over half of the population. They are known for their abundant natural resources, their beautiful beaches, and I want you to know them for their children.

 There are over 1.5 million children in Mexico who do not have the love of a family. Whether their parents are deceased or simply unable to care for them, these precious children find themselves hopeless and wondering if they will ever have a way out of their seemingly hopeless circumstances. We hear things like this and our hearts are saddened, but we feel powerless to intervene. Well, I am here to empower you. You can make a difference in the life of one of these children. You can give them more than food or clothing or medical care. You can give them yourselves. I promise, you will never regret loving a child who is in desperate need to receive love.

Right now, the adoption offices in Mexico have given us information on two beautiful children who are completely available for adoption. If you’re interested, call us for more information. Share this post with your friends. Pray about how to get involved. Think about taking a chance. I will forever be grateful someone took that chance on me.

Sincerely,

Sarah

His Perfect Timing | Sincerely, Sarah.

sincerely sarah

Once upon a time…..

A sweet southern couple named Ken and Stacy had the desire to have children. In their own efforts, they were unsuccessful, and the beautiful wife Stacy began to feel hopeless, as she felt her dreams of being a mommy slip further and further away.

One January day, Ken and Stacy were at church and it happened to be Sanctity of Life Sunday. God gripped Stacy’s heart and she knew deep within her they were supposed to adopt. Ken had already been feeling this way, so he was in agreement with his wife to proceed.

They set out on the adventure to bring a baby into their family, but they met opposition very quickly when the agency they chose closed shortly after Ken and Stacy began the adoption process. Disheartened but not defeated, they sought the Lord for what was next, and He led them right down the street to an agency very close to their home. Suddenly, things were looking up! Maybe their dreams were within reach.

While they traversed through the adoption process, over mountains of paperwork and through forests of policies and procedures, they encountered many unforeseen circumstances. Even though their adoption dreams were coming true, they were experiencing unimaginable loss in their family. Throughout the year they lost three people whom they deeply loved. Stacy strongly believes that God timed their adoption perfectly to show them that He is a Redeemer and a Healer and only He can make something beautiful come out of something difficult and painful.

Ken and Stacy were blessed to be able to meet and grow to love the woman who helped their dreams come true by bringing baby Ward into the world, and in the first moments of Ward’s life, two women came together and shared their dreams and hopes for their son. Someday, Stacy wants Ward to know that he was so loved by his birthmother that she chose adoption for him, and he was so loved by Ken and Stacy they chose him to be their son. But most importantly, she wants him to know the love of Christ, who led them to adopt, led them to Open Door, and guided his birthmother to choose just the right family for him. “He is ours for a reason,” Stacy says, as she looks lovingly at her son, exactly one year after that Sanctity of Life Sunday.

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And they lived happily ever after (Ken, Stacy, Ward, and baby number 2, due in August.) God has a sense of humor! 🙂

baby ward

Home | Sincerely, Sarah.

sincerely sarah

If anybody understands God’s ardor for his children, it’s someone who has rescued an orphan from despair, for that is what God has done for us. God has adopted you. God sought you, found you, signed the papers and took you home.

– Max Lucado

              Home is safe, home is familiar, home is where we bring our family and where we celebrate birthdays and mourn loss and where we rest. Home is what children who have been orphaned lack. So we go through mountains of paperwork and fund-raise to cover adoption fees through spaghetti dinners, car washes, t-shirts and bracelets. We encounter foreign and domestic governments and we pack up and travel halfway around the world to bring children home. We choose to respond to God’s heart and His earnest desire that every child have a home, a mom, a dad, a hope. Every relationship we see was originally created to be a reflection of Christ and his church: a father and his child, a husband and wife, a brother and sister, two friends. It’s all supposed to be a reflection of the unconditional love Jesus has for us. And so it is with adoption. We bring children home, just as God is always drawing us home, to His heart, to His intent for His children.

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              Last week I had the privilege to be at a homecoming for one of our adoptive families. Dozens of family and friends were gathered at the airport, and there was a palpable excitement in the air. After a year-long adoption process, 16 year old Jon was finally coming home to his family. The plane landed. The group rose and gathered their colorful “Welcome Home!” signs. Of course, Jon and his mom were the very last ones to come through the big glass doors, so everyone spent about ten minutes standing anxiously, expectantly until finally they burst through the door and into their family’s arms. After years of living in an orphanage, Jon has a home and his family has finally filled that empty spot at the table and in their hearts.

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         Now, he will always have someone. And they will always have him. He takes their name. They welcome him for life. Is anything more beautiful? 

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             After the hugs and tears had *somewhat* subsided, we gathered around and prayed and thanked God for this beautiful thing called family. Then we gathered our things and went home.

4 Myths About Adoption + Birthmothers | Sincerely, Sarah.

sincerely sarah

As the Correspondence Coordinator at Open Door, I have the privilege of processing the correspondence that goes between adoptive families and birthparents. One of the beautiful things about semi-open adoptions is the fact that the birthmother can receive an annual update and pictures of the child she placed until the child is twenty-one years old. In the past three years I have read hundreds of letters written by adoptive moms, chronicling everything from their child’s favorite foods to their growing understanding of their adoption. Being this sort of “middleman” has taught me a lot about adoption, specifically birthmothers, and I would like to debunk four myths you may have heard or come to believe about them.

  1. MythA birthmother places a child for adoption because she doesn’t love them. This could not be further from the truth. In most cases, this is the hardest decision she will ever have to make and she makes it not because she doesn’t love her baby, but because she does. She is willing to risk a lifetime of separation from her child to ensure that they have all the opportunities she is unable to give them. Imagine this kind of love. It is indescribable.
  2.  MythOnce the placement happens, the birthmother moves on and puts the experience behind her. No, no no. she will never forget this. She will think about it often, she will wonder what her child is doing, if they think about her, if they are safe. She will anxiously await the day her update arrives and she will look at the pictures again and again and search for herself in the face of the child she gave away. Twenty years from now, on her child’s birthday, she will remember the day she gave birth and brought this child into the world. She will no more put this behind her than any other mother would the birth of their child.
  3.  Myth“Communicating with my child’s birthmother will make her want to get my child back.” In most cases, the opposite is true. Communicating with your child’s birthmother actually reinforces to her that she made the right choice.  Seeing pictures of your little girl happy, loved and settled will give a birthmother such peace. In the sparkle of your child’s eyes, she will see validation for the painful sacrifice she made in placing him or her for adoption. The movies about adoptions gone awry are for the most part, just that- movies. Most of our birthmothers know deep in their heart they made the best decision for the child, and the annual update just solidifies that.
  4. MythThe adoptive parents aren’t the child’s “real” parents. I had to add this one because I just feel so strongly about it. While a birthmother’s love is deep and steadfast in its own way, when a child is placed into their forever family, God creates something beautiful. He makes up for the different DNA and eye color and maybe skin color, and He bonds people together in a deep, lasting way. They will forever be that child’s parents, they will take him to soccer practice, they will stay up all night while she cries, they will watch him take his first steps and they will nervously teach her how to drive. The birthmother chose life for her baby, and the family chose to do life with their child forever. Two different loves.

Finally, I would like to thank my birthmother, wherever you are. You gave me the greatest gift. Because of your obedience, God’s plan has been carried out in my life and I have a family I was born to be a part of. And of course, thanks Mom and Dad, for putting up with me all these years. I bet you didn’t know what you were getting into when you left that orphanage. 🙂

 

U.S. Foster System | Sincerely, Sarah.

sincerely sarah

Think back to when you graduated high school. The world was your oyster, and your future stretched out before you like a canvas. Maybe you went to college, maybe you decided to take over the family business, or perhaps you took a year and traveled the world. Whatever you decided, you probably had two key people behind you, cheering you on and offering you advice, support, and most importantly, unconditional love. In 2012, 23,439 children aged out of the US foster system and met the world unarmed, unprepared, and alone.

These children have all the same dreams and hopes you had, but without the presence of a family, the odds of them ever achieving these goals are startlingly low. Instead, they are twice as likely as Iraqi war veterans to suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and by the time they reach the age of twenty-five, 81% of male foster care alumni will be arrested. Twenty-two percent of these children will find themselves homeless for more than a day, and only 54% of them will receive their high school diploma.

Although the foster care system seeks to protect children from danger, abuse, and poverty, the sheer stress a child endures in moving from home to home is incredibly overwhelming. The average time a child spends in foster care is approximately two years, and in that period of time, it is likely they will spend time in up to ten different homes. It is close to impossible for a child to be secure in who they are when they are constantly being transferred to a new environment where the rules and expectations are different each time. It is so easy to look at someone who didn’t graduate high school and may be homeless or unemployed and judge them, but without the support and love of your family, where would you be?

 We don’t like these statistics. We want to do something. We want to be the voice for children who have dreams, but no one to stand behind them and help them succeed. So how does an adoption agency, and more importantly, how do you get involved in these children’s’ lives? First, pray for these children. They are right in your own backyard, and they need advocates. Second, stay tuned with Open Door. We have a passion for these children, and for the ones who do not have the hope of reunification with their families, we want to help place these children in loving, Christian homes.

Children are our future, so let’s do our part to give them a good one.

http://www.wednesdayschildga.com/Default.aspx

 http://www.cnn.com/2014/04/16/opinion/soronen-foster-children/

 http://www.stirjournal.com/2014/05/12/u-s-foster-care-a-flawed-solution-that-leads-to-more-long-term-problems/