Are You Called to Adopt Internationally?

a girl

 

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

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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.

His Love Knows No Bounds | From Latvia to the U.S.

We recently had the opportunity to interview the lovely Anda Maria Spencer. She’s a newlywed to Jeremiah Spencer, the worship leader for Encounter at FBC Thomasville. Anda was adopted at the age of fifteen, along with two of her younger brothers (Arvis & Jakeb), from Latvia by her adoptive family in Live Oak, Florida. We loved reading through Anda’s answers to these questions, as her love for Jesus Christ is undeniable.

Arvis, Yakups, Andra L-3
Anda, Arvis, and Jakeb

 

1. What is your name?
Anda Maria Spencer

2. Where were you born?
Latvia

3. When were you adopted and brought to the United States?
Our adoption process was finalized on August 8th, 2007.

4. What was your first reaction when you found out you were being adopted?
I did not want to come. I have always and will always love my birth country. But now I see how God had it all planned out.

5. How old were you when you were adopted?
I was 15.

6. Can you tell us a little about your childhood in Latvia?
Both of my parents were alcoholics. Therefore, I was placed in and out of family several times until I ended up at the orphanage where New Horizon’s for children interviewed my brothers and I and a family in Live Oak, FL adopted us.

7. Can you tell us a little about how God has used your adoption to positively impact you?Without adoption I really don’t see myself realizing and truly believing in Jesus’ sacrifice for my sins. I am not trying to limit God in saying that HE could have not saved me in Latvia, but I truly believe that His plan for me was to come and live in U.S.A., grow closer to Him and then share His love with others around the world. I have been able to do that through many mission trips I have participated in.

8. Tell us a little bit about yourself now. (Career, activities, family, etc.)
I know that God wanted me here in US because now I am able to show love towards many children in Latvia. Last year I started a camp for underprovided children. Children from poor families whose parents cannot afford to send them to a camp. This camp is free for all the children. Generous American donors give all the money for the camp’s expenses.

9. What do you hope your adoption story shows people?
When given a second chance, it has to be taken. Don’t waste your chances and then blame the past on your current failures. First of all, believe, truly believe that God can take care of everything and then run after your dreams. Don’t stay in your comfort zone for too long. It was not comfortable learning a new language, getting new friends, learning to love a new family, going to school, or anything else that was new to me. It was all very scary, but I believe it was all what God wanted me to do.

 

 

Anda, Arvis, & Jakeb 2014

 

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Jakeb

 

Anda2
Arvis
Anda4
Anda

 

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Family 🙂

 

 Want to share your Open Door adoption story with us? Email anna@opendooradoption.org

“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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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. 🙂