Last night, our dear friends and fellow hosting companions announced that their host child — the tender 11-year-old little boy who spent Christmas Eve at our home and took part in the Chinese New Year’s reception with Joy — has a forever FAMILY!
After an entire lifetime as an orphan, J.J. is now a SON! A BROTHER! A BELOVED CHILD! A TREASURED member of a team who gets the privilege of loving him unconditionally FOR LIFE!
And today, OUR sweet girl is that much closer — as more than 23 families inquire about her, pray for her, consider her, FIGHT for her.
Two fewer orphans in the world — THAT’S something to celebrate!
But friends, these two beautiful children so dear to our hearts who were orphans just 30 days ago didn’t find potential families on their own.
They didn’t find potential families because of US.
They found potential families because of the God who SAW them … and because of the God who used YOU.
The truth is, it takes a VILLAGE to change the orphan story.
It takes host families like J.J.’s who aren’t even old enough to legally adopt but who stepped out in courage anyway. To bring children into homes. To be bold enough to love children who aren’t theirs with every ounce of love they have … and be willing to let them go so that their forevers can begin.
It takes incredible friends like ours who loaned dresses and shoes and winter hats and clothes in colors other than camo. Who, for 30 straight days, called and texted and checked in and prayed their hearts out. Who attended parties for orphans and set up playdates for little girls. Who loved JOY and our FAMILY with every ounce of kindness and compassion and war-room-type fighting they had. And who sent mailed cards and gift cards and every other kind of card they had to SERVE this sweet child they personally couldn’t meet in this season.
It takes extended family. The kind who offered music lessons to orphans and conducted Polar Plunges on New Year’s Day. Who baked cookies and hosted dinners and played grandparents to those who’d never had them. Who Skyped from across the country and loved host grandchildren like their own … and opened hearts to little girls they then bawled farewelling on Atlanta departure day.
It takes teachers and principals and bosses and schools. People who might not be directly serving orphans but serve the families of those who do. Who this month, brought our entire family to humble tears as they reached out and surprised boys who had given up Christmas with unexpected gifts beyond their wildest dreams.
It takes coaches and instructors and mentors and tutors. Yoga instructors who went out of their way to invite orphans to free class, martial arts studios who gave orphans lessons for free. It takes piano teachers and music instructors and guitar teachers who, this month, refused to accept payment for Superhero 1’s lessons … because he wanted to contribute to a month of joy WITH Joy.
It takes talented community members. Photographers who graciously drove seven entire hours to offer their nationally renowned services for free, people with gifts they used to better TELL and SHARE the orphan story.
It takes churches like ours. Communities of God-loving people who rallied and prayed and hosted Chinese New Year’s receptions for orphans and welcomed “the least of these” with open arms.
It takes medical professionals like Dr. Dorsch and Dr. Kavanaugh and Dr. Ridge and all of their amazing teams. People who donated their services, donated their time and used their skills and resources to document an orphan’s health and sight and teeth so that their adoption profiles might include information that could better inform and convince future potential families.
And it takes people like YOU — Joy and J.J. lovers who so FAITHFULLY and PASSIONATELY and REGULARLY shared their posts. Shared their faces. Shared their stories.
In a story that we can’t wait to have J.J.’s new family share soon, J.J. found his forever family through THIS blog community of beautiful orphan lovers!
And of the 23 people who have contacted us about Joy, only TWO have we known personally. Every single other family is a friend of a friend who learned about Joy through a shared post or a shared blog.
WE can’t do that. YOU, sweet friends, YOU have done that.
And this month, watching THIS village of people — this beautiful community of orphan advocates and post sharers and child lovers and Joy fighters — stand up for these superheroes-in-waiting and so courageously TELL the orphan story — it’s brought me to tears on more day than one.
THANK YOU for rallying around these kids.
THANK YOU for taking up their cause.
THANK YOU for sharing the orphan story.
What happens when the whole village rallies?
There are 600,000 orphaned and abandoned superheroes in China.
Minus (we are praying soon!) two.