The Heath Family is Adopting!

A few weeks ago while tucking my 3 1/2 year old in for the night she reached up to stroke my cheek and whispered "Mommy, we should get in the car RIGHT NOW and go get A____ because she doesn't have a mommy and daddy. You could be her mommy. Daddy could be her daddy. Kitty could be her sister and I could be her friend. We need to go RIGHT NOW." Silently I finished tucking her sheets; I could not speak past the lump in my throat.

For months we had been including a petition for orphans around the world in our daily family devotions as well as praying for many orphans by name. I returned to blogging to advocate for the plight of orphans with special needs around the world as well as help fundraise for specific grants on Reece's Rainbow. My husband and I had agreed to sacrifice family time in order for me to return to work part time to financially prepare to adopt a child.

As the days and months went by our goal seemed to shimmer closer one day only to be bumped back again the next as a new concern would arise. Should we try to get another car first? Maybe we should pay off all our student loans? And then the terrifying "what ifs" would sneak into my heart. What if we weren't cut out for this? What if our biological children resented this decision for the rest of their lives? What if there was more medical involvement than we anticipated? What if the emotional damage tore our peaceful little family apart? What about all the unknowns?!

Adoption is a big unknown and inside the messy weave of that story there is a lot of fear and failure.

But I know it is worth it.

I know because my life is proof of a life redeemed by adoption into God's own family. I know that God's love is bountiful, gracious, and sustaining. We are able to love because He first loved us and we will answer this call with the knowledge that after this fear-filled world falls away we will rejoice in a perfect eternal life. My heart has always known this, but in the planning process my logical head had almost succeeded in stifling that faith. I would prefer to be in control all the time. I would like to be completely prepared, fund our adoptions all by myself, and not rely on others for help ever. In short, I would like to be my own god, aligning the world to satisfy my pride. I had lost sight of the our hope to bring a child into our Christian household in order that she may become a member of the body of Christ. All I could think about was the details, the plans, the worry.

It was a blessing for our three year old Della to speak those words in my ear, her thoughts clarified what was most important. A_____ needs a family RIGHT NOW before she is transferred out of her current placement. I have been told that it is estimated that over 90% of children with special needs transferred to adult mental institutions (which is her next destination if not adopted soon) die within the first year from abuse and neglect. For months I had been advocating for her, doing fundraisers to increase her Reece's Rainbow grant, and always praying that God would open doors for her family to rush to her. Now we are stepping out in faith to run across the globe, scoop her into our arms, and bring her home.

We cannot do this alone. As much as my pride hates to say it, we need help in the form of prayers, encouragement, and funds.

The cost of adopting a child with special needs from her country is approximately $25,000 to $27,000. No, we do not have that sum laying around burning a hole in our pocket. In the coming months I will be picking up more hours at work, throwing fundraisers, applying for grants, and working with Reece's Rainbow to help cover the larger expenses such as facilitation fees and travel expenses.

The initial support we are requesting through GoFundMe is to cover a fraction of the total cost and will help cover the upfront fees for the home study, legal documents, and USCIS fees. It is a mixed blessing that this Eastern European country has a very fast adoption process, a blessing because families are able to bring their children home sooner, but a challenge because the funds must be raised quickly compared to the more lengthy adoptions in other countries.

At this time we cannot disclose the name of the child we are hoping to adopt or her country. If/when we are able to announce this information we will update here as well as share on our public blog:

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Hannah Payton Heath 
Hilbert, WI
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