Sunday, April 7, 2013
As I write this, he is living out his days in an orphanage in Vietnam. His story is one that would break your heart. No one knows his birth date and although we are saying he is around five, chances are he is even older than that. He is described as “developmentally delayed” and is said to be functioning at about a two-year-old level. He is considered “non-verbal” and possibly autistic. Although he has been considered by many families, he has been passed over each time due to his special needs. It has been said that he is “unadoptable” and would be better off spending the rest of his life in an institution…
He was created in the image of God. He is fearfully and wonderfully made. He is perfect in every way. He is not a mistake. He is a precious child of God. He is a treasure of immeasurable worth. He is a gift and a blessing from the Lord. He is loved. He is wanted. He is mine.
I wish I could show you his beautiful face but I’m not allowed to post his picture publicly (yet!). I can tell you that his name will be Samuel Yigael which means “God has heard” and “God will redeem”. God has indeed heard all the prayers that have been prayed for this little boy, both mine and others (more on that another time) and He is already writing him a beautiful story of redemption, just as He promised He would.
That brings me to my invitation to you – would consider being a part of Samuel’s story. I am expecting to travel by the end of the summer and am still in need of approximately $15,000 to bring Samuel home. I know that many of you reading this know all too well that if it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an army to ransom a child through international adoption. I also know that many of you are well acquainted with the blessing that comes from helping to bring a child home to their forever family.
For all of my American friends, I have a grant fund set up through Reece’s Rainbow where you can make tax-deductible donations. You can do so online HERE (approx. 3% will be deducted for PayPal fees) or by sending a cheque to Reece's Rainbow, PO Box 4024, Gaithersburg, MD 20885 (make cheques payable to Reece’s Rainbow but be sure to indicate that it is for the “Gariepy Family”). As for my fellow Canadians, you are also welcome to donate online through Reece’s Rainbow but you will have to do so in American dollars. Otherwise, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will let you know how you can send a cheque directly to me (no tax-receipt available).
I know that many of you discovered my Family Sponsorship Page with Reece’s Rainbow last week and I have so appreciated all of your prayers, support and enthusiasm. I can’t wait to introduce you to my son!!!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
For over two years Heath’s picture has sat at the top of my blog. For over two years this little boy has waited for a family who would have the courage to say “yes” and rescue him from life in a mental institution, a life that was really no life at all. Well, last week this precious lost boy was found. After too many years of waiting, he finally has a family that loves him and is working hard to bring him home.
Now what? Whose picture should replace Heath’s at the top of my blog? Things have changed a lot over the past two years. There is no longer one child with a truly heartbreaking story. No longer one child that seems to be more desperately in need of a family than all the others. Every day my heart is broken as I read about another child who has been transferred to a mental institution, another child literally wasting away, confined to a crib day after day, another child who is about to age out and lose all hope of finding a family of their own. How could I pick just one? In the end, the answer was simple. Out of all the precious children on Reece’sRainbow, there is one who I have held in my arms… Two years ago when Health’s face first appeared on my blog, most of “my angels” weren’t even listed on Reece’s Rainbow. Today, all of my angels who are available for adoption are either home with their families or have families who are working hard to get them there. All except Igor. Igor, my heart. I will never stop yelling and praying for a family for this little boy. If I qualified, I would be on the next plane to bring him home myself but I can’t. So his sweet face will sit at the top of my blog and I will continue to pray that God who makes possible the impossible, God who brought forth a family for Yulia, Tori, Brady and Heath, would raise up the perfect family for this perfect little boy. Would you join me in that prayer???
Monday, April 1, 2013
So, picking up from where I left off (if you have not yet read part one, please do so here)… I called my social worker back the next morning to schedule our next appointment and couldn’t help but ask what had changed. She didn’t really have an answer and I just took that as further confirmation that God was indeed at work. Over the next week I spent a lot of time in prayer, surrendering everything to God and again, asking that He would move in such a way that He would get all the glory. Over the course of the week I became excited about what God was going to do and by the time our next visit came, rather than being filled with fear and dread which would have been the natural response, I was literally bursting with confidence and expectation. My social worker continued to voice her concerns and then we got to the topic of my being single. We had already discussed this at my first visit and she stated that she regularly approves single mothers and that she has no problem with this. Her concern was that she felt that, given my age, I had “given up” too early. I had already explained during my first visit that I would love to get married one day but that if it never happened, I was ok with that too. Again, her concern seemed to be that I was skipping a step and she suggested that maybe I should take some more time to meet someone, get married and then adopt. I felt like I needed to address the elephant in the room and, with a quick prayer that God would give me the right words, I tried to explain the role that my faith plays in my life. She already knew I was a Christian however I acknowledged out loud that because this is something we do not share, there was a certain disconnect and I understood that it would be pretty much impossible for me to explain, in a way that she could fully understand, something that she has never experienced for herself. She allowed me to keep going and I explained how my life is centered around following God. I talked about the time when I was praying about whether God was calling me to be a full-time missionary in Ukraine and explained that, if God had said yes, I wouldn’t wait to meet someone, get married, etc. before going, I would just do what God asked me to do and trust that if He wants me to get married than I would meet that person while living in Ukraine. I went on to explain that right now, God is calling me to adopt and so that’s what I’m doing. If He wants me to get married than my adopting is not going to hinder that, but I’m not going to wait to get married before doing what God is asking me to do. That’s when it happened. That’s when she spoke the words that made the hairs on my arm stand straight up. After careful consideration she said, “So, it’s like you already have a partner”. Yes! I had to bite my tongue in order to keep from shouting it out loud! Never before had I seen someone so quickly grasp what it means to be in a relationship with God. And I didn’t have to tell her, she came to that conclusion herself. And not only was she ok with it, it actually eased her concerns. Only God could have done that…
After that, I knew that everything was going to be ok. Not only that, but I also knew that God was in this. You see, God told me when I was in Ukraine that He was bringing me home so that I could adopt children of my own. I have seen Him provide the perfect job and the perfect apartment but since I officially began this adoption process, I haven’t had any real confirmation from God. God’s Word is clear, we are commanded to care for the orphan, and I don’t believe we need a personalized invitation from God to step out in obedience to His command. Still, adoption is not easy and it helps to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that you are doing what God has asked you to do. Well, in that moment, I got the confirmation I was craving – God is in this.
My next visit went pretty smoothly as we discussed my values regarding parenting, etc. At the end, we came back to my social worker’s original concerns and she told me that she was no longer concerned about those things. Her exact words: “I have realized that you are not alone”. It took everything I had not to fall on my knees right then and there. The words may have come out of my social worker’s mouth but they were God’s words, spoken straight to my heart: “You are not alone. I am with you.” If He could cause my unbelieving social worker to see this, then surely it is true. I am not alone. My God is with me.
So, there you have it. Last Monday I picked up the final, signed and approved copy, not a single word of concern or negativity in all ten pages. It was a story only God could have written and I’m so glad He wrote it just the way He did – I wouldn’t change a single word. And so I pray that God would continue to write our (mine and my child’s) story and that no matter what it takes, that He would continue to get all the glory.
“...Father, glorify your name!” (John 12:28)