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.

 

 

 

 

 

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Are You Called to Adopt Internationally?

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We’ve all seen them. The pictures that  grab your heart and won’t let go. The faces of children who long to be loved as they deserve. How many of us have been moved by these pictures enough to adopt one of these precious children? We can continue to post these pictures in the hope to inspire and bring awareness to the orphan epidemic, but what is the use of awareness if action is not taken? If you feel called to adopt internationally, we want you to seriously pray about beginning this journey.

We are going to be honest with you. International adoption is not for the weary-hearted. Adopting internationally is full of highs and lows and at times the process can seem daunting, but the reward of bringing your child home far outweighs any trial. God’s Word constantly presents how precious children are to the Lord, and that we are mandated to look after orphans.

“Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being.”

-James 1:27

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“If only 7 percent of the 2 billion Christians in the world would care for a single orphan in distress, there would effectively be no more orphans. If everybody would be willing to simply do something to care for one of these precious treasures, I think we would be amazed by just how much we could change the world.”

-Steven Curtis Chapman

To Learn more about our International Programs, click on the country of interest below:

Bulgaria
China
Latvia
Lithuania
Peru
Ukraine

 We are always available to discuss any questions you may have for the international adoption program. Call us today to begin your adoption journey.

229-228-6339 OR 1-800-868-6339

Unspeakable Joy: Abby’s Adoption Story

Few things in the world are more beautiful than family.  Family is God’s divine plan for his people, and each day, all over the world, He is using adoption to build families. We are blessed to be a part of this, and we love sharing our stories with you. Below, you will find an interview with one of our adoptive couples, Christy and Danny, who recently brought home their precious daughter Abby from Lithuania. Reading their story truly brings unspeakable joy; so, find a comfy place to sit, grab a tissue, and prepare to be encouraged and inspired!

Watch their adoption video here: http://vimeo.com/58140400.

Find out more about Lithuania adoption here: http://www.opendooradoption.org/Content/Default/7/11/0/countries/lithuania-adoption.html

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1.     How did you find out about Abby? Had you been looking to adopt or was this a complete surprise?

We saw Abby’s photo on Reece’s Rainbow (www.reecesrainbow.org), an adoption grant ministry for children with Down syndrome and other special needs. Our biological daughter, Bailey, is two and also has Down syndrome. Not long after she was born, we were introduced to Reece’s Rainbow and started following the adoption journeys of several families working through the adoption process to bring home children with Down syndrome. In many countries in Eastern Europe, children with special needs are abandoned by their birth families, or given up because the family cannot care for them.

We couldn’t stand the thought a sweet child like Bailey in an orphanage without parents and a family to love and protect her. We couldn’t think of that and not do anything to help.

When Bailey turned one we started talking more seriously about pursuing adoption, but the time never seemed right due to job changes, etc. When we saw Abby’s photo on Reece’s Rainbow last April, we knew that we were looking into the eyes of our daughter, and would do anything in our power to get to her as quickly as possible. The time was right and God said very loudly and very clearly that we should do this.

2.    When you saw her picture, what were some of the things going through your mind?
We both immediately knew we were looking at our daughter. I still, to this day, cannot put my finger on what it was, other than she and Bailey do have some similar physical characteristics. But more than this instant connection with one little photo, we knew God was tapping us on the shoulder (or shoving, as the case may be!) and telling us it was go time!

3.    Adoption is not an easy undertaking. What advice would you give a couple who is beginning the process and might feel overwhelmed?
Take it one step at a time. Yes, when you look at the whole process it looks huge and scary and overwhelming. And yes, very expensive. But take it one step at a time, one payment at a time, pray a lot, keep your faith, and God will see you through it.

And when that feels like it’s not enough, think of that child, half way across the world, and you are their one hope. You are the people that will bring them out of loneliness and merely existing into life and love and family. That will keep you going and make those little road bumps – that will absolutely happen – seem inconsequential.

4.    How did your faith affect this journey? What are some things the Lord taught you?
Faith was a huge part of this journey. From the beginning when we stopped to listen when God told us to pursue Abby’s adoption, to later in the process when we were discouraged or tired or wondering how we were going to pay for that next set of fees, God was there. God took a little family of four, and surrounded us with support, love, and people who held us up when we could not do it on our own, and brought us to where we are now – a family of five with our beautiful new daughter Abby, safe and sound at home where she belongs.

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Daddy’s Girls

God taught us that He will provide when we need it. Oh, the stories we can tell you of the ways that God provided for us – financially and otherwise – at the exact times we needed it. Honestly, we could write a book about this one. It was actually faith building to not have everything we needed sitting in the bank, and to see how God provided it in the most creative ways.

While I would consider our adoption process to have gone well and without too many wrinkles, to say it was a faith journey is an understatement. But God took all of the little details, and made them work just so, and now we have our beautiful daughter home where she is loved and cared for and doing so well, even after just 2 months of being home.

5.    Abby has Down syndrome. Tell me a little bit about this, and why you feel it is important to adopt children with special needs.
Yes, Abby has Down syndrome (Ds). Down syndrome occurs when an individual has a full or partial extra copy of chromosome 21. This additional genetic material alters the course of development and causes the characteristics associated with Down syndrome.

When Bailey was born 2 ½ years ago, she brought with her that extra chromosome and a joy and beauty that has literally transformed our lives. When I was still pregnant with Bailey, and knew that she had Down syndrome, a mother of a child with Ds told me that she wished everyone could experience the joy of raising a child with Ds. I didn’t understand it at the time, but I sure do now. There is something extraordinarily beautiful in the way that Bailey lives with joy, happiness, and determination, despite the challenges she has already faced in her short life. Sure she has tantrums and screams and cries (she’s a 2 year old, for goodness sake!) but she has this smile – one you’re more likely than not to see at any given time – that literally lights up the room. When she smiles and giggles she does it with her whole body and soul. It is a blessing and a joy to parent her.

And when we were told about Reece’s Rainbow, and saw the photos of the children who, simply because of their extra chromosome, were given up by their families, it was heart breaking. Many tears were shed while viewing photos of these sweet children abandoned, and waiting, just waiting for someone to tell them that they matter enough to help. We imagined our precious and perfectly-made Bailey rejected because of the way she was created by our God. It was just too much for us to know about these children who desperately need homes and families and not do anything about it.

It is important to adopt these children because they have been born into societies that do not accept them. These sweet babies are given up because the societies they live in say they are not worth helping. The citizens of these countries are not stepping in to adopt children with special needs. The children are waiting and waiting and waiting and we are their only hope and chance for life outside of the orphanage. We are their only hope for love. For family.

“I promise you, with a few years of special needs parenting under my belt, the joy you receive from parenting a child with Ds is 100 fold what you give as a parent. If our girls had a joy-meter, it would be off the charts. We are blessed. Absolutely blessed to parent our girls.”

6.    You have other children. How did you explain adoption to them?

Bailey was too young to understand while we were going through the adoption process. I’m pretty sure she was more interested in playing with her toys or eating a snack to hear about a new sister!

Our son, Taylor, is six, and has a very kind heart. We had been talking about orphans and adoption for a year or so before we officially started the process, and he started asking us to adopt 150 kids, and telling us that they could sleep on bunk beds in his room. Not exactly realistic, but by the time we actually did start our process, he never thought twice about us adopting, it was just something we talked about and he was excited to meet his sister Abby.

7.    How do you think Christians should respond to the orphan epidemic?

Oh wow. Big question and I have big thoughts about this. Of course, I think we should all be out there helping the orphans. If you can’t adopt, help someone who is. If you can adopt, do! How’s that? 🙂

But to be serious, this is a hard issue for me to address, because it took something very personal and meaningful in our life (Bailey being born with Ds) for us to realize that we should do this, and that it doesn’t take a super hero family to adopt. It takes a family that has love and a home and a willingness to welcome a child. Period.

“It doesn’t take a super hero family to adopt. It takes a family that has love and a home and a willingness to welcome a child. Period.”

I wish that all Christians could have the type of ah-ha moment that we had with Bailey’s arrival that made us realize that no matter the cost, we need to rescue a child from a life of sadness and loneliness. We are not a super hero family, we have done nothing to praise, we are simply people that God put a heavy burden on our hearts and we knew we had to act.

I think that all Christians should respond to the orphan epidemic by seeing it as a command from God, that we care for the orphans. I believe we should all use our gifts and life circumstances in the ways we can to help and bless orphans. Not everyone is able to adopt but we can all help families who are adopting financially, spiritually, physically. As a church we can make supporting adoption so second nature that adoptive families know they are surrounded by support by their church families.

“I think that all Christians should respond to the orphan epidemic by seeing it as a command from God, that we care for the orphans.”

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Sweet Sisters!

8.    You went to Lithuania to adopt Abby. How were your trips?

Our trips were good. Danny and I took one trip in mid-December, 2012. We spent 8 days in the orphanage visiting with Abby, and then had our adoption court hearing, and then came home. I was home for 11 days and then flew back to Lithuania with my mother and niece for Abby’s pickup trip while Danny stayed home with the kids. That ended up being a horribly tough week as Bailey got sick and was admitted to the children’s hospital for 5 days with breathing issues. Meanwhile in Lithuania, we had custody of Abby and were in the hotel in Vilnius when she developed croup. And then the next night developed pneumonia. The poor girl was miserable and didn’t want to be comforted – she was so used to having to comfort herself that she wouldn’t let me hold her. She wanted to lie on the floor and suck her fingers because that was the only way she knew to comfort herself. It was one of the hardest weeks of our lives. But thankfully everyone recovered in time for us to fly home and be together as a family of 5 on schedule on January 12!

9.    Abby is home now! Tell me something funny she’s done. 

Abby is picking up English SO quickly! After being home about 2 months she speaks over 40 English words, and uses around 35 sign language signs. She is such a smart girl. Her favorite words are poo-poo, NO!!!, and ow. At least 10 times a day she will walk up to me, pat her diaper and say poo-poo! And I’ll ask her if she needs to go potty, to which she will look at me like why in the world are you asking me that question, say NO!!! and walk away. Funny girl!

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Sheer joy!

 10.    In a nutshell, what does adoption mean to you?

Adoption means life for these children. Adoption means a child that was perfectly made by God is given love and a family and a home. Adoption means ordinary people making room in their hearts and homes for a child who desperately needs them. Adoption means redemption. Adoption means love. Adoption means the gospel. Adoption means our daughter is finally home where she was always meant to be.

“Adoption means our daughter is finally home where she was always meant to be.”

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Finally home 🙂

Welcome to Our Blog!

Hello everyone!

 

Open Door has started a blog! We are excited to involve you into the happenings of our agency. God is truly doing so much–we are so thankful that each day the lonely are placed in families all over the world.

The miracle of adoption is something we are privileged to partake in, and we look forward to the year 2013 so that we might see many more forever families completed.  Our hope is that you will be encouraged by our posts, and that you will become part of our blog community!

Merry Christmas!

With a full heart,

Sarah Taylor, for Open Door

PS: I had to share this picture of a sweet family who just adopted through our China Program! Image