It happened one year ago today.
My (deceivingly bold) big, black boot logo kicked my people-pleasing, social media-fearing, confrontation-avoiding booty out of its easy and comfortable place behind closed doors and into the (this-kind-of-vulnerability-makes-me-want-to-eat-copious-quantities-of-chocolate-and-burn-every-Brene-Brown-book-in-my-library) public world.
When I started the blog last April (with Supersoldier’s massive amounts of long-distance cheerleading, counsel and support), I intended to use it primarily to encourage military families to choose joy despite their circumstances and provide plenty of opportunities to laugh as I shared about the joys of boys on the jock-strap-shopping homefront.
Encouraging military spouses had been my passion for all 12 years of married life to that point, and I assumed that that was why God had prompted me to start a blog at all. (Because really, Jesus, I was JUST FINE in my own little I-send-mass-emails-the-size-of-novels-to-all-my-closest-friends-who-won’t-judge-me little world. I didn’t need to open my worst moments to the sometimes critical blogging universe unless it was to make my milspouse sisters and brothers feel better about their lives.)
But as I began to write and share about the joys and challenges of mama and military life, God grew a seed in me that He’d planted the first moment I stared into the eyes of our son in an adoption affairs office in Guangzhou, China, in December of 2013.
The need to share the orphan story.
Not just my son’s.
Not just his friends’.
By the time we met D.J., the very first host child we ever brought into our home, God had made it clear.
This blog was not mine. It was HIS. And as He revealed more of His heart for the 600,000 mostly special needs orphans (like D.J.) still living in orphanages and foster homes in China, I knew that the goal of this blog couldn’t just be encouragement.
It couldn’t just be laughter.
It couldn’t just be to share the tales of our military and adoptive family’s life on the homefront.
It had to be information.
It had to be MOTIVATION.
It had to be to be REAL CHANGE.
It had to be to change the orphan story.
So as we began to share the orphan story, we hosted another superhero. We fell in love and advocated on her behalf. We initiated the adoption process for the little boy we pray will arrive before the boys start school this fall. And we launched Operation Orphan Warrior.
And today, one year later, our prayer is not just that our humble (and sometimes hot mess of a) blog could encourage military families (although we pray that it does).
It’s not that we could be real about the joys and challenges of raising boys (although I promise I will forever have a #funstoryfriday tale for the Facebook page — mostly because if you do not laugh through this light-saber-laced, hygiene-hating life, Padawan, you may just die).
It’s that, through this community of Orphan Warriors who have so faithfully joined and fought for the superheroes we’ve advocated for here on the Facebook page and on the blog, God would USE our little Army to help REWRITE these tragic endings.
To bring hope and life to children who’ve waited years for forever families.
To change the orphan story.
Today, on the one-year anniversary of the day God began something I was too dense to foresee or even recognize, I can’t think of a better way to celebrate all He has done than by PRAISING HIM and thanking YOU, the people He has so powerfully used to share the orphan story.
Because of your love, your shares, your emails and your advocacy, EIGHT (!!!) different orphans-no-more can trace their family origins to this community and this blog!
That’s eight different superheroes who will soon no longer live in orphanages.
EIGHT sweet angels who will have mamas and babas to hold.
EIGHT abandoned hearts that can change their names to “Found.”
Eight precious souls who will finally get to experience LOVE.
That makes eight down … and 599,992 more superheroes to go.
We know God can change the Chinese orphan story. And we know He’s the only one who can.
But do you know who He uses?
Imperfect people and imperfect parents who He calls and equips and empowers to do some hard and holy work.
THANK YOU, Orphan Warriors, for raising your hands, donning your armor and saying, “Here I am, Lord. Send me.”
Thanks to an incredibly generous donation from Sage Harvest Gourmet Jerky, YOU, our treasured warriors, can earn the chance to win a gift basket valued at $80!
All you have to do to enter this free giveaway is:
1. Like the Of Capes and Combat Boots Facebook page. (Because the more warriors who “like” the page, the more people we have to share the posts of the superheroes who still need homes!)
2. “Share” AND “comment” on any of the advocacy posts there on the Facebook page for the three superheroes who were hosted with OUR first host child, D.J. Because of changes in the status of eligibility waivers in China, the families pursuing the adoption of these three superheroes are no longer eligible to bring them home. These sweet superheroes need forever families, and they need them NOW. All of them are fewer than four years away from aging out of the international adoption system in China. Sharing their story could LITERALLY CHANGE IT.
THANK YOU for fighting for these precious superheroes who deserve our love, our voices, our shares, our time.
Our THANKS! Our LOVE! Our GRATITUDE! Our HEARTS! <3
To find out more about any of these three precious superheroes, email Meredith@gwca.org, or go to the Facebook page and read more about them.