Monday, September 23, 2013
We moved our family here to China more than 9 years ago, in August 2004, to work with orphans. It was in June of 2008, during the Olympics, that we moved from Dalian to New Day to spend more time fulfilling the purpose to which we knew we were called. After a year here, we began the Forever Home--a home for older special needs orphans.
People often told us of the blessing we were to these girls, but in all honesty, we felt more blessed by them! They have been such a joy to love and work with and we have been blessed beyond all measure at seeing the progress these girls have made. Our daughters have been such an intricate part of blessing these girls and have lovingly taken them in and made them feel such a part of our family. We are so proud of the love they have poured out onto and sacrificed for these precious orphans! They have continued to give of themselves when, many times, the circumstances have not always been easy. We couldn't be prouder of them and I know how much they have truly been blessed by these wonderful Forever Home girls!
In all, we have been able to live with and touch the lives of 16 children, 6 of which were adopted and now have forever families of their very own. It was a time of great sadness when the first set of 4 of our girls were recalled to their orphanage due to a recent fire in another province, which then brought about changes in orphanages' policies. We had hoped that it would only be temporary and that perhaps after things settled down, we might even get our girls back. However, that did not happen and worse yet, another of our girls was recalled to her orphanage in April. It was heartbreaking for us when this happened and our biggest concern was for our girls and how it would affect them.
Still yet, we held out hope that perhaps things would settle down and change. However, that has not happened and we have had to face the reality that our work here as a Forever Home to these children was coming to an end. I have to admit, it was very difficult to see those hopes and dreams slowly fade away of us helping more and more orphans here know the love of a family. Just the thought of not being able to help more girls brought tears and great sadness.
In the midst of all this, we do know one thing, that He has a greater plan. Our time here has come to and end but the question was what was next for us?! While we could have stayed here and done other things offered to us, we knew in our hearts that it just wasn't right for us. It wasn't our passion and we had to go with what our hearts were telling us.
Though it has taken months of soul searching and research, we have felt the calling to continue with what we know He has called us to do, but in a new place. On October 22nd, we will be flying to the states for a 3 month visit to see our family and friends and do some fund-raising for our new adventure. Then in January, the exact date yet to be determined, we will fly to INDIA to begin working with older special needs orphans there. We've even already been assigned a specific group of 8 girls!
We will be working for an organization called Sarah's Covenant Homes http://www.schindia.com/ or http://sarahscovenanthomes.blogspot.com/ if you'd like to check it out. India has over 25 1/2 million orphans under the age of 17! Obviously there is a great need. We are very excited about the new adventure He has for our family there!
As awesome as that new adventure is, there is a sad part to all of this and that is leaving China. We have lived here for 9 years now and leaving is not easy, though we have no doubt that it is exactly the new path He has for our lives. We will miss so many things about China! But, by far, the hardest part of all this is having to leave behind our current precious foster girls, Camilla and Zoe. They have both been with us for almost a year. We love them so dearly and parting with them is not easy :(( However, we know that they will be well taken care of and are thrilled that New Day already has a perfect plan in place for our two special little ones. We are so thankful for His provision for them!
We will continue to post pictures of Camilla and Zoe until our departure so that future parents may have those precious early pictures of their girls! As adoptive parents ourselves, we know what a blessing that is!
In the meantime, we continue to pack and prepare for our departure. It's amazing how much a family can collect in 9 years!
We've also begun a new blog for our adventure in India if you'd like to continue following our family. It is unconditionallovefororphans.blogspot.com
We wanted to thank each one of you for your many prayers, financial help, love and encouragement during our time and work here in China. We pray that you will continue to love and support our new work with the orphans of India and look forward to your continued emails, chats, and messages!