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Adoption is Beautiful, at Times Brutal, and Life-Changing in Every Way.

By Rebecca Barlow

We are Rebecca and Ted Barlow, a nurse midwife and an IT guy living and working in Haiti.

Adoption has been woven into our family from our early days of dating. Ted is adopted, so when we started talking family it always included the idea of adopting along with having biological children. What we didn’t know is that we would have infertility issues, and conceive one biological child who was a “miracle” himself. We felt this was guidance towards adoption, as it was already in our hearts.  In the late 90’s, we were attending a church that began an adoption ministry in Russia, in the early days of adoption there. We ended up bringing 4 daughters home from Russia over 2 years. It was beautiful, at times brutal and life-changing in every way. Our 4 girls are now young adults and seeing how important having a “forever family” has been for them prompted us several years ago to consider adopting again.

In 2010, we were leaders of orphan care at a large mega church in Texas and working with the adoption ministry as well, when a devastating earthquake hit Port Au Prince, Haiti. We knew little about it, but were immediately drawn into trying to help. Our family was touched by the need and by the enormous increase in orphans after the earthquake. Also, our experiences with adoption had taught us a lot about the effects of institutionalization and we had become strong advocates for either stabilization/reunification of families or adoption.  This led us to accept a ministry position living and working in Haiti where we focused on keeping kids that had been taken in by family members or friends after the earthquake versus placing them for adoption or institutional care. We stabilized these families through local churches and international partners. It was very effective!

At the same time, we met a little girl in an orphanage in 2011 whose biological mother had died in the earthquake, and who had was rapidly deteriorating due to chronic health issues. The orphanage she was in was unregistered and unstable and she was not getting her medications properly.  She needed better care. With the help of social services, we received  custody of her 3 years ago and we are now in the adoption process.

If the process of adoption isn’t challenging enough, it has been even more challenging to manage it from Haiti! So much of our paperwork has had to be gathered and authenticated in the US.

Our work here is on a volunteer basis at present. Current projects include an IT outsourcing business to address poverty and the economy in Haiti and developing a freestanding birth center providing maternity care here.   I (Rebecca) have been flying back

and forth during this time of transition to work as an RN and keep us afloat. Our little Syndie, who has blossomed in the 3 years since we have had her is very ready to be able to visit her family in the U.S. once her adoption is completed.

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You can read more about the Barlow’s adoption on their blog or by visiting their facebook page.

These adoption stories are funded by YOU.  All grants provided by the ONE17 Foundation are made possible through the generosity of our donors.  To become a one-time or recurring monthly donor, click here. Donations are tax deductible.  Thank you for creating a ripple.

Don’t Give Up on Your Miracle, By Mandy Cormier

This little girl, Adriana, is my miracle. During the adoption process, there was a time when I almost let others convince me to give up on her. Her case was actually a “hopeless case” headed for the Supreme Court and I was told to grieve and move on because there was no way it would go in my favor and it could be 3-4 years before I found out anything. Fast forward a bit, I had an updated home study, paperwork, etc. ready to mail off to begin pursuing twin girls that my agency felt were a perfect fit for me.  I was excited because I always dreamed of having twin girls. The agency didn’t even know that, so I thought it was God’s way of comforting me through the loss of Adriana, which was really hard to accept.

It was a Friday. I held the big sealed envelope that was ready to be shipped to begin the process of adopting the twins. I knew that as soon as I dropped that envelope in the mail, I was canceling every possible chance of being Adriana’s mom. That Friday afternoon, I could NOT make myself drop that envelop into the mail.

Fast forward to the very next week. I got a phone call that everything had turned around in Adriana’s case (the case that was supposedly hopeless and impossible) and that there was now a good chance things would go in my favor. Had I dropped that envelope in the mail the week before, I would have been turning in all of the paperwork that basically cancelled everything for Adriana.

Not long after things turned around (the case didn’t have to go to Supreme Court to add at least another year or 3 to the wait), I met this beautiful angel and became her MOM! We are the perfect match. I am so thankful that I didn’t give up on my miracle even though I was so close to letting others convince me to do so. I knew in my heart that she was my daughter the second I saw her picture and read seven sentences about her.

This little girl is proof of why you shouldn’t give up on YOUR miracle either.

Mandy was the recipient of the very first ONE17 Adoption Grant.  You can read more about her adoption of Adriana on her blog (this blog follows her journey from the time she announced she was adopting through her first few days with Adriana)  You can also see the happiest little girl around in this sweet videoshe shared with us last fall. 

These adoption stories are funded by YOU.  All grants provided by the ONE17 Foundation are made possible through the generosity of our donors.  To become a one-time or recurring monthly donor, click here. Donations are tax deductible.  Thank you for creating a ripple.

Congratulations Lindsey and Ross Games!

“We had to make an extremely difficult decision to continue pursuing our adoption from the states, separating us from our daughter.” by Lindsey Games

My husband and I decided that adoption was plan A for our family. We’ve both wanted to adopt since childhood. Ross has family who have and are adopted, and he grew up understanding the redemption that adoption can bring. I remember learning about orphans as a little girl, and God has never let it leave my heart.

We met in Uganda in 2012 on a mission trip, serving a home for children with special needs.  Our hearts broke as we met these “unseen” children longing for them all to be in a family of their own. During this trip, a little girl named Gift captured both of our hearts in separate moments. Before we were ever a couple, God whispered to Ross and I both that this girl would be our daughter. We didn’t know it at the time, but this was the moment our family met for the very first time. Throughout our marriage, we prayed for an opportunity to adopt Gift.

Fast forward a few years, Ross and I found ourselves serving as directors of this same children’s home in Uganda. Without hesitation, we knew God was also answering our heart’s deepest prayer. We began the fostering process of Gift with the hopes to adopt. However, a few months into fostering, God abruptly shut the door on our time in Uganda. Earlier this year we had to make an extremely difficult decision to continue pursuing our adoption from the states, separating us from our daughter. It has been so challenging, but we have seen God’s hand abundantly over our situation.

We sold everything we owned prior to moving to Uganda, but thanks to God’s great provision we are settling back in the states and just waiting for our family to be whole again. Currently, we have submitted our Dossier, and we are waiting to hear from our Ugandan lawyer and agency when we are to travel for court.

You can read more about the Games and follow along on their journey on Lindsey’s Facebook page, their instagram account (or follow #thegamesadopt)  You can also help fund their adoption of Gift further by visiting and donating at www.youcaring.com/thegamesadopt

 

November is National Adoption Month!

November, 1, 2017.

Originally started by President Ronald Reagan in 1984 as National Adoption Week and then expanded to a full month by President Bill Clinton in 1995, National Adoption Month was a campaign to raise awareness of the hundreds of thousands of foster children awaiting adoption in the U.S.  Today, while that is still a primary focus of the month, the scope has expanded over the years to include raising awareness of any adoption-related topic including domestic and international adoption, foster care, foster-to-adopt, the worldwide orphan crisis, best practices in orphan care, trauma, open adoption, orphan prevention and family reunification and much, much more.

Since we here at ONE17 firmly believe the best way to bring awareness and Create a Ripple Effect of Care is through story, we are excited to spend National Adoption Month sharing stories with you, right here on the ONE17 website.

Stop by tomorrow to read the story of one of the two October grant recipients. Then come back regularly throughout the month of November to read the second family’s story and posts by guest authors and bloggers on topics from all sides of adoption.

Have a story you ‘d like to share? (These stories should be personal experience and not be geared toward advice or opinion.) Email us at one17foundation@gmail.com and we just might share your story!