Just published in the Holt International Fall 2016 magazine:
Kaylee is our unexpected blessing. After fostering over 50 children through our local county Children & Youth Services, we found ourselves once again providing a forever family for a little one. Having three biological children and adopting once before, we knew what to expect as parents, but we weren’t terribly prepared to be “older parents.” My friends were becoming empty nesters and I found myself in need of some new friends, and other parents who were in the throes of elementary school activities. I was so excited to find a Secret Keeper Crazy Hair performance in my area to help me find these new friends. Kaylee and I attended this event together. The perfect mother/daughter evening out. It was there that we were introduced to Holt International.
(Kaylee getting Kayli Robinson’s autograph.)
Kayli Robinson, who performed with the band 1 Girl Nation, began to tell the story of her adoption and shared about sponsorship opportunities through Holt. My Kaylee was all eyes and ears and said, “We have to do this Mom. We have to help these kids while they wait for their forever families.” I decided that since we attended the event as a mother/daughter team, we should also sponsor as a mother/daughter team and asked her if she would be willing to contribute half of the monthly sponsorship. She was and we hand-picked a child younger than her with the goal of adoption. Geon Wu entered our lives and his picture hung proudly on our fridge.
I was a little skeptical as Kaylee had to make some spending decisions based on her contribution. Her allowance would only go so far, yet each month when asked for her portion, she freely gave. Not only is sponsoring a lesson in giving to others but also a great lesson on responsibility as she gives monthly. In the Bible, James 1:27 says we are to care for orphans and widows and yet we rarely recognize opportunities to do that. In addition to our monthly sponsorships, we have also been able to serve these orphans by promoting sponsorship through Winter Jam and Every Child Is Beautiful tours. Kaylee shines as she recruits others to help her cause –including her brother and her dad.
Although Kaylee is saddened by the stories of these needy children, she is encouraged to learn about how Holt is helping children whose families need additional support and those who need to be placed for adoption. It is difficult to relate to these children’s poverty and physical needs but she can identify with the ones in need of a family. She celebrates when she learns of them being placed with a family that can take care of them and give them a “healthy life.” (Her words.)
As Geon Wu made his way to his forever family, we were assigned another child, and another…and another. It is so rewarding to see the stories progress. As our story as a forever family plays out for Kaylee, she gets to play a part in others’ stories and their journey to their forever families. What a gift. It is an honor to serve God while serving others in this way!