Our sister and brother-in-law were blessed to adopt their little boy, Aidan, from Ethiopia in 2011. Since then he has been the light of their- and our whole family's- world. Just look at this face!
God worked a miracle in Liam and Melanie's lives with Aidan's adoption. He brought them through six years of infertility and miscarriages, heartache and longing, frustration and despair to finally realize His ultimate plan for their lives... adoption.
When God closed one door in their lives, He opened another one in a big way, but they had to let go of their own plans to find something greater. You see, when God opened their hearts to adoption, He didn't just open it a crack. No, He slammed it wide open and more so, He didn't just open their hearts to Aidan, but to all orphans around the world. The more that they began to learn about orphan care, the more that they wanted to help make a difference. The more that they became aware of the suffering of these little ones- children just like yours and mine- the more that they became convicted that this was what God's plan was for their lives. It wasn't Plan A or even Plan B or C, but it was God's plan.
So, that's what Melanie was thinking about on the afternoon when she came across the picture of a little Congolese boy with sad, heartbreaking eyes. Eyes so much like Aidan's but also so very different, because where Aidan's pictures show a happy, vivacious toddler, this child's eyes only showed loss and pain. Both little boys are just 2-years-old and already they had been through the grief and separation of losing their birth families. Yet, where Aidan now knows the love of a forever family, Kapend is still waiting in an orphanage for his chance to feel that same love.
Over the course of several days, days in which she would find herself drawn yet again to his picture, Melanie began to think that maybe she and Liam were meant to be Kapend's parents. She prayed that God would somehow show her if this little boy was meant to be part of their family. She wanted to be sure that she was following God's will for their lives and not her own.
After sharing her thoughts with Liam, they agonized over the choice of whether they should apply to the agency and begin the long process of another adoption with no guarantee that they would be chosen for Kapend or even any idea where the money to start the process would come from. For Melanie, though, she became haunted by those sad eyes and decided to email the agency for more information. This correspondence continued for a couple of weeks until she learned that Kapend had been matched with a family. As disappointed as she was, she also felt joy knowing that he would soon know the happiness of having a family of his own. Over the next few days, she tried to put the little boy with the sad eyes out of her mind.
Then yesterday came an email that she wasn't prepared for. The agency wanted to notify her that Kapend was still available for adoption and asked if she was interested. Was she interested?!? Yes! But in the moment that she committed mentally to opening her heart that yes, this could possibly be her child, she was also filled with all of the doubts from before. How on earth would they afford another adoption? And then, after getting their hopes up, what if they weren't selected for Kapend? She raced home to tell Liam the news, expecting her sensible, down-to-earth husband to give her a reality check, but instead he told her that they should move forward and reminded her that if it is meant to be then God would provide the way.
Here is where you can help.
We know that the amount of money that they have to raise to make another adoption possible is ridiculously overwhelming. We also know that they have incredible friends and family and a God that works all things for His glory. So, as daunting as this prospect is, it's not impossible.
$30,000. Yes, that's daunting. But there's other aspects of adoption that are also overwhelming- like, 147 million. That's the estimated orphan population around the world. And while one adoption will hardly make a dent in this number, it will make a huge difference in the life of a child, Kapend, because every child deserves a family.
$30,000. When you factor in the homestudy and agency costs, the program fees, the travel expenses, the background checks and fingerprinting, the dossier fees, as well as a hundred other expenses, that's how much it cost to adopt Aidan. Liam had just been deployed to Afghanistan the year before so it allowed them to save a BUNCH of money. In addition, Liam's dad and our parents were also extremely generous and helped with the travel expenses for the two trips that they were required to make to Ethiopia. So between their savings, their parents' generosity, and God's provisions, they were able to afford Aidan's adoption without having to fundraise. And what better place could they have invested that money than in the life of a child- their little boy?
Fast forward two years and the savings is depleted; Melanie's still teaching, and while she loves her job, the cost of this adoption is nearly what she makes in a year. More importantly, they have a child waiting for them. A child that desperately needs a family. And every day that goes by is one more day that he waits.
So, here's the general breakdown of expenses and where it will go.
Application to Adoption Agency: $250
Homestudy Fees: $1,700
Agency Fees: $9,000
Dossier (paperwork needed for the Democratic Republic of Congo) and program fees: $10,000
Travel to bring Kapend home: $3,000-$4,000
Miscellaneous (immigration paperwork, vaccinations, etc.): $4,000
Before they can be selected for Kapend, they need to have their homestudy and dossier complete. If they are chosen for Kapend, then the adoption and agency fees are due immediately. This doesn't guarantee that they will be chosen. Kapend may be matched with another family before they can raise enough money. They know, however, that if Kapend is not to be theirs then God has chosen another child that is and they have put their faith in His ultimate wisdom.
Basically just to get this adoption started, though, they need around $15,000. Ugh!
Melanie and Liam wish that they could do this on their own. They wish that they didn't need to reach out to others to help finance this purpose, but they do, because they need our help...desperately. They hate asking for money. But, this child's life is worth more than their pride. So, we're all asking for your help. We know that times are tough for everyone right now and that you're trying to provide for your own families. Believe us, we understand.
But here's the thing...we're all called to help orphans (Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to comfort orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. James 1:27; I will not leave you as orphans, I will come for you. John 14:18). As the hands and feet of Christ, we're called to show His love by helping those that are in desperate need. Maybe your not called to adopt, and that's alright, but you can help in another way. Give to their adoption fund and please ask your friends and family to help. Share their story! We'll take money, prayers, and definitely ideas to raise more funds! We need all the help we can get.
Over the next several months, Liam and Melanie will be hosting fundraisers, having garage sales, auctioning off items, filling out grant paperwork- just about anything that they can think of to raise money for Kapend's adoption. If you feel led to donate, we would love for you to join them in this journey- you can start by clicking on the "donate" button at the bottom of this page. Whether you can give or not, please pray for their family and this little boy that they have grown to love.
Thank you and God bless,
Nichole Gray and Lindsey Nations
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