Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year, New Announcement

We decided long before we left for China that we wanted to continue to obey God and look after orphans however He called us to. After going to China, we certainly felt our hearts tied to the needs of the orphan children there. However, the door for China is currently closed for us due to the fact that our homestudy was done by a non-Hague approved agency. We just slipped by this rule with Aria since the rule started in October of 2011. Our homestudy agency is currently working towards becoming a Hague-approved agency, but that won't be done till 2013. We checked around for any other local agencies that are Hague-approved and found one, but we have various red flags with that one. We know the door to China is closed for now, but also know that if God so leads us, that door will be open to us in 2013 or 2014.

Our choice was to either wait for the door to China to open, or to obey the urgent pressing on our hearts for the fatherless now. Having our eyes opened to what we have in the last year, the choice wasn't hard...

Kristin continued to check various avenues to see what was possible for our family with a non-Hague approved homestudy agency. She found several agencies, contacted them, and looked through different countries and the rules associated with each. In the end, our hearts were led to a place closer to home - Haiti. Haiti has literally a million children in need of loving homes.

Some stunning facts about Haiti (from Visualize Haiti by Alecia Settle)... Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. People are literally starving to death. Every hour, one child in Haiti dies of starvation. The living conditions are unfathomable to us. The water supply is filthy and unsafe to drink. Roughly one-third of Haitian children are chronically malnourished. Less than 10% of the Haitian population has access to electricity. There is no government infrastructure and very little hope. There are one million orphans in Haiti, but only 200 to 300 are adopted each year by Americans.

The agency we have chosen to work with specifically deals with a Christian-run orphanage. At this orphanage, children are taught to have faith in Jesus Christ. The children in this orphanage are rescued from life-threatening situations. Our estimated time before we would bring a child/children home would be about 2 years.

We walk forward, confident not in ourselves but in the God that has commanded us. We certainly have some potential fears, some thoughts of "we must be crazy", and hundreds of questions about what the future will bring. But we know this... God has taken us this far. He will not abandon us. He will go ahead of us, and we will walk forward with Him as our Banner.