The Zoo Kids

The Zoo Kids
Finally Together

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

some unanswered questions....

I suppose because I wish as a family to be as transparent as possible, I hope to clear up some questions that may have been thought but not verbalized...because I would think them!

Remember when we shared our little secret and I told the story of Liam and how we have advocated for him for two years, loved him, prayed for him, prayed for his family...and then, a friend we only know through Facebook contacted us and said, "I am too old to adopt this little boy but if you are willing, I will pay for your adoption fees."....and that this had been our prayer all along,,,"Lord, provide the money and we will go."  And God has provided...all of our agency fees have been paid!  So this is the question I would ask...."If God has provided the money, why the need for fundraising or tshirt selling??"  This is why....the family that has provided for our adoption answered the call to adopt an older child a couple of months after committing to us. The momma of this family is a nurse and she is the family breadwinner.  They are not independently wealthy, just passionate about orphans! They are still committed, 100 percent but if we can ease their burden through fundraising, what a blessing that would be to them.  There are so many that are not called to adopt but are called to do something...this is a great something!  Through Mei, Zoe, and Eli's adoptions, so many joined our journey to bring them home and what a blessing it has been to see these children grow and flourish through the love of a family. We have been blessed by adoption and so many others have been blessed through providing for orphans in other ways.  I can't even begin to tell you the love that has been poured out on our family or describe the joy in my children's eyes when they get that desired gift on Christmas morning or get to experience a vacation in a beautiful home, or the financial burden lifted off of us when medical costs, schooling costs, testing and tutoring costs are lifted from our shoulders.  We have answered the call to adopt, nuture, raise, parent, and love this children and so many have come along beside us to help us answer that call.  The visual I see in my mind's eye is Tracey and I walking along hand in hand with our kids and an army of orphan loving friends and families lifting us up with the palm of their hands. 

The fundraising we are doing will cover our plane costs, hotel fees, orphanage donation, and in country expenses such as guide services and food costs.  We would love to take at least one child with us if our finances allow as it is a great help to the child being adopted.  Bailey being with us when we adopted Mei and Shelton and Bailey being with us for Zoe and Eli built bridges with our new kids that we could have never built.  Kids just connect with kids...especially kids coming out of orphanage settings where other kids are all they know.  We are hoping to have our t-shirts printed in the next week and we are only $200  ***update...only $100*** away from having them fully paid for.  Our prayer is that through our T-shirts and through a grant given to us from an amazing orphan loving church/non profit organization this past weekend, we will have most of the travel expenses covered.  What we don't raise, the family that has committed to us will Liam will come home either way!!  Thank you to all our friends that have joined in our journey so far!

****update****.....our paperwork will return to our agency from the consulate in Tuesday so our downer should head to China on Thirsday...exactly one month to the day ahead our our deadline!!

We hope to be DTC (dossier to china) by the end of this week or early next week and we are praying to have our LOA (letter of approval) by Christmas.  If things go as quickly as we hope, we could travel by late February or early March.

And for those that are will you handle one more child??  We have no clue...but I do know that God's grace is sufficient and He, who has called us to Liam, will never fail us.  We feel so inadequate so often but God is so good to give us little reminders of his grace and mercy in spite of us.  I went to check on Shelton before bed a couple of  nights ago and she was in bed reading.  I said, "what are you reading?" and she answered, "my Bible, I am reading it start to finish."  I said, "really, do you have to do that for school?"  and she said, "no, I just never have and wanted to do it."...God's grace!

UPDATE.....I wanted to share our T-shirt design with you!   We are so thankful for our friends that came along beside us to help us get our t-shirts printed.   I am super excited to share our design with you!!  You will remember from my previous posts, specifically the one about Me's birthday that kids like Mei, like Liam, are considered unlucky in their culture.  The superstition is that as soon as a child with limb differences is born, someone in the family will surely die.  These children are quickly disposed of to "break the curse."  Every life does matter....I can't even begin to imagine our lives without the joy of Mei!  This was the inspiration behind our t-shirt design...The colors will be will be gray with red rather than red with orange but the design will remain the same.  My brother, Bryan and his girlfriend, Jackie designed the perfect shirt!

Thank you friends for loving us and praying for us.  This is a journey we couldn't take without you!

Friday, October 2, 2015

A Little Update

It's been a little while since we first shared our little secret so I thought I'd take a few minutes to update everyone on our process....and the answer to the first question, yes, we are still in process!!

Our home study was officially approved two weeks ago and our I 800A was sent to the government office last week.  This is where the US says, " yes, you can adopt a child from China!"  This is also the process that has created multiple headaches for us in the past because of one little thing required by the US government called fingerprints...of which, I have none!!  Please pray with us for this portion of the process.  We have until December 19 to get our Dossier to China or we loose Liam's file.  This is completely doable but we have to work in high gear from here on out and the fingerprints have to go through!!  Our prayer is that either the fingerprints will process through or the officer reviewing our case will look back and see that this has been an issue in the past and move us through anyway.

Once the 1800A is complete, our documents will be prepared into the Dossier which will go to the Chinese government.  It is here that they will formally match our file with Liam's and we will then get what is called the LOA or letter of approval.  Our time frame all depends on how quickly each of the government offices processes our paperwork.  My guess would be that we would travel sometime around April of 2016.  The funny thing is, when we told the kids about Liam, Mei said, "momma, getting this little boy would be the best birthday present ever.  I can teach him everything I've learned to do and I can even teach him how to play baseball."  At the time, I really didn't think about it happening around Mei's birthday but if I'm calculating the time frame correctly, we could seriously be  in China around Mei's April birthday!  He may very well get his wish!!

We've had several folks ask how they can be a part of this process with us again.  Many of you will remember when we initially shared our surprise that the biggest reason we knew God was calling us to Liam is that a lady who we know only through the adoption world sent us a message and said, "my husband and I are too old to adopt a child this young but we'd like to pay for your adoption if you are serious about bringing this little boy home."  This was where we had to put action behind our prayers as our prayer for Liam over the last two years had been, "God, If you drop the money at our door, we will go."  This seemed to be a far fetched enough prayer that we'd be kept out of the loop.  God has moved mountain after mountain since we took this step of faith and He will he will continue to move until Liam is handed into our arms.

We are praying now about how we will travel to China, what child or children will travel with us?  Having at least one child to bond with the new adopted child has been a huge success for us.  We would love to take at least one of our kids...but which one?  Our first thought is Caleb because he's been left out of the last two trips and we think it would rock his world.  He's still very playful and would be a great help.  We would love to take Briena as well if money allowed.  She is incredibly mature for her age and would be a great help as well.  Here is where the questions begin....I would love to take Mei.  I am not sure we will ever be able to afford to go back to China and I desperately want to take him back...back to his culture...back to his orphanage... so that they can see what a child like Mei can become.  They are not unlucky....they are not throw away children...they have amazing potential and I want Mei's people to see that!  I want the same for all those who currently work with Liam to see what a child like Liam, like Mei can become. would be incredibly expensive to take all three kids and I also question if Mei is ready.  Is his self esteem ready for that sort of staring, touching, gawking??  I can't even begin to explain the stares over there but it is tough....but then....they would be staring at a little boy who brings joy to everyone he comes in contact with....and the opportunity this might invite for us to share Mei's story and the gospel in that I am torn!!  Please pray with us that God would make it very clear to us who needs to go...if anyone....2016 is also Tracey and mines 20th wedding anniversary year so maybe we go alone and make it our anniversary trip!!!  Who doesn't want go through the roller coaster of adopting a child on their 20th anniversary trip????

So, getting back to how those who have asked about joining us in this step of faith...there is one way, aside from prayer, that would be a huge help to us!!  The family that is helping us adopt also felt God nudging them to adopt an older child after they committed to helping our family.  They are still 100% committed to helping us but I know that their burden would be eased if others wanted to help as well.  A sweet friend set up a gofundme for our family which would be used only for travel expenses, in china expenses such as orphanage fees, and to help us while we are actually adopting as I don't have paid maternity leave since I just work part time.  Our gofundme address is    Any and every contribution is a amount is too little!!  Should God lead you to help us in bringing little Liam hope, we would be incredibly grateful!!  My brother is also in the process of designing a t-shirt for us that we can sell to help raise travel expenses as well.

Honestly, the biggest way you can join this process with us right now is to pray....pray for fingerprints...pray for quick government processing and pray against any red tape that may stand in our way.  God is obviously in this (although Tracey and I question regularly why he would want us to raise ONE more??) and He is going to provide every penny just as he has before.  He is a good good father....and He loves Liam more than we could imagine.  My prayer is that he is rocking  and loving on Liam while we can't and that Liam would feel His presence.  My heart truly breaks for the number of children that live every day without a mom or dad to love them, to wipe their tears or snuggle with them, to encourage them and to keep them safe.  So many children tonight will go to bed with hungry belly's in substandard conditions.  No one will come when they wake with nightmares.  Orphanages are no places for children.  Children need to be in families and our prayer is that many other kids like Mei, like Liam, Like Eli and Zoe will have the opportunity to experience the comfort, security, and love of a family.

I love this quote...and it describes well how I feel about our family..."safe, who said anything about safe?  Course he isn't safe, but he's the king I tell you."  CS Lewis.  He is the king...and he is good.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


As I've had the opportunity to slow down with the family on vacation this week, I've had intentional time to really focus  on and observe the kids.  Several key things have stood out to me with all three of our adopted kids.  The biggest realization is seeing how tightly our kids have been weaved into the fabric of our family.  I remember last year while we were here in Jacksonville on vacation and there were still hard moments...but year later, and I am amazed at the progress our family has made.

I am sure many would wonder, why would we adopt again?  Why, when our hands are full and our budget is tight would we make our hands fuller or our budget tighter?  But this..this is why.  As we were at the beach Friday, I watched two of my girls walking hand in hand...Shelton and Zoe, big sister and little sister.  I watched the little girls jumping waves together, again, holding hands.  Brie trying to stabilize Zoe with her weak Cerebral Palsy legs.  Arm and arm...hand in hand..sisters through and through.  Yesterday, riding in the car, I listened to Caleb and Eli teasing back and forth.  Caleb was teasing Eli about some of his early days home.  They were joking and bantering as brothers if they'd always been together.    Then last night, I watched Mei fall asleep.  He's sleeping on a blow up mattress in our room while we are on vacation.  He gave me a hug and kiss, went and cuddled up in his bed, and was asleep in under five minutes. When Mei came home, he rubbed his little legs and arms up and down, up and down against his sheets while he gently rocked himself back and forth.  He awoke with night terrors more often than not.  His ability to fall asleep now in under five minutes is completely because he is secure, he is loved, he is cherished, and he knows when he wakes up his mom and dad will still be there.

These moments were gentle reminders to me that NO child deserves to go to bed hungry or cold.   No child deserves to have to endure abuse at the hands of someone they should trust.  No child should have to cry themselves to sleep every night because they long for the one thing most children can take for granted, a mom and dad, brothers and sisters.  No child should have to rock themselves back and forth in a crib and self soothe because there is no mom or dad to do the rocking, the holding, the cuddling, the touching.  There are almost one million orphans in China and the number of international adoptions is declining.  Almost all of these orphans are special needs.  Every child deserves the opportunity to have a family, regardless of their special needs, to have their potential developed and their medical needs met.

So why would we do it again?  this is why...Even when this season of back to school shopping with seven kids is overwhelming and vacation means a free stay at someone else's house, and even when Christmas causes minor panic attacks, and even when life is hard and busy and chaotic with seven kids.   We know that God is in the redemption business and he is redeeming the years that the " locusts have destroyed."  And most importantly we know God has called us, our family, to adoption....not because we are special..we are not.  We've had a front row seat to his redemption story in our kids lives and if He desires to use our family one more time to redeem another little life then it is worth all the sacrifice, the expense, the hard moments and the sleepless nights to experience the beautiful moments, kids learning to love, to trust, to know the security of family and the hope of a future.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Our Secret....

In September of 2013, this photo came across my computer.  It was sent to me by several adoptive mommas that knew we had Mei and thought he looked similar.  They asked me to help him find a family.  I would be lying if I didn't say I was broken from the get-go.  I know all to well what this little guys future in China looks like but I also know all too well what his potential is and how he would thrive in a family.  I began advocating for him.  I posted him on several Facebook pages, along with posting him on my own page.  I answered many questions from prospective parents about what life with this little guy would look like.  Many families reviewed his file...a couple even moved forward but then for one reason or another, had to back out.  This happened again and again and again over a two year period.  Tracey and I prayed throughout this two year period for this little guy, for his family to find him, and even prayed that if we were supposed to be his parents, that God would drop $35000 at our doorstep.  We honestly felt our prayers were pretty far fetched which kept us off the hook.  Our desire was not to adopt again.  We were certainly not looking for another child!!

In February of this year, we found out this little guy was again available.  Tracey and I decided we would pull his file and pray about our response, clearly praying that "God, if he's supposed to be ours, drop $35000 on our doorstep!!"  I posted on Facebook about him and said that if we had the money, we'd go get him in a heartbeat.  A couple days later, a Facebook friend, who honestly only knows us through Facebook, sent me a message and said, "Are you serious about adopting that little boy if you had the money?  We are too old to adopt a child that young but we do have the money.  If we funded your adoption, would you go get him?"....I had to step back and have a conversation with God that went something like this..."GOD!!!...are you kidding me right now????"  I told Tracey about the message and he said, "What do you do with that???  We have to move forward.  God gave us exactly what we asked for and we have to be obedient."

So...without further ado...I introduce you to our currently nameless Deavers child....His Chinese name is Lei, pronounced we are thinking Liam...

Here is what we know...God answered a huge prayer and we have to follow and see where it leads.  Adoption is a huge mountain of paperwork that could not even end in receiving this baby but we are taking the steps necessary and we will see what happens.  We know this world, the world of prosthetics and limb differences....we know how to parent a child like Mei...the give and the take and the delicate balance between enabling and encouraging independence.  We know that this is God's heart...we Know his future in China is grim at best.  He is considered unlucky there and would never have the opportunity to be educated or work or have a family.  He would be either doomed to an orphanage or turned over to the streets to beg.  These were the homeless we saw in China.  We know his chances of finding an adoptive family are super low.  Most families honestly want correctable special needs...nothing can be corrected here.  And boys with limb differences just wait longer than girls...don't know why, they just do!

There is a lot we don't know...a lot that honestly causes a bit of anxiety if we don't balance it with what we do know!  Every time we have begun to get anxious, God has provided us exactly what we needed to confirm this step of faith.  Obviously one more child adds more expense yet God has been so faithful to our family.  As Tracey preached yesterday...God is a good good father.  He has always provided before.  We know many will say, "Are you crazy?"  or "How will you care for another child?"  and our answer will be...yes,,,we are crazy!!  and we don't know...and that's what faith means.  Taking a step, not knowing how God will come through...but just knowing He will...and we are ok with that.

We would covet your prayers as we continue this process!  Thank you to our friends, our family, and our village for loving our family so well!  You have been the hands and feet of Jesus to our family and partnered with us to minister to orphans, provide them a family, educate them, and financially provide for them..and for that, we are eternally grateful!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The Deavers Zoo, A Year in Review

I remember beginning 2013 last year and Tracey asking me what my goal was for 2013...we had just arrived back home from China with 2 new kids and the transition time was tough!  My answer was "survive". ...Just survive the days, survive the hard, survive the adjustment and transition period, survive the school breaks where there is no routine...just survive!  I can say that now that 2013 is finished and 2014 is beginning, our new goal is thrive.

2013 was a year of change for our family, we brought two new kids home, started them in new school in January, in March, Tracey began interviewing for a job that was without a doubt God ordained.  By May, we knew we'd be moving across the state to begin a new ministry.  Bailey was about to start his 9th grade year, beginning high school and our new kids that had only been home six months were to be uprooted and moved transitions, new adjustments, new friends.  Our kids all had strong friendships in Cochran they were having to leave behind.  We were leaving a community that had loved on us and carried us through our was a hard move!

We were amazingly blessed with a Disney vacation in June that hit at just the right time.  It fell prior to the chaos of moving but after the kids had been with our family long enough to be well attached and adjusted.  It was a much needed reprieve....a break from the chaos of life.  The resort where we stayed was absolutely beautiful and the kids had a week of carefree living.  They swam and experienced all the magic Disney had to offer.  It was a wonderful memory making time!  Our only regret is that Mei never got to meet Mickey (his favorite) in person and the girls didn't get to meet the princesses...but otherwise, it was wonderful!

July began in a new city, new house, new church family.  The kids began to settle in and make friends through vacation Bible school and youth events.  We prayed and were led to what we felt like were the right schools for our kids and their personalities....and they have all thrived!

I was working full time through the move but God had been leading our family for the past five years to transition out of my job.  There was no way I could juggle all God had called me to and work full time as well.  We knew in July that it was time to let go of the security my job had provided since 2001.  It was HARD.  My job was 1/2 our income and we were letting it go at a time when medical bills from 3 special needs kids were pouring in, we were renting out our house in Cochran but not breaking even, and the cost to rent a home here large enough for our family was quite a bit more than our house payment there.  Our decisions for schooling led to a private school for Bailey which meant private school tuition, and our insurance was covered by my job which meant insurance costs for me and the kids without it.....but we clearly heard God saying, "let it go." we obeyed.   God has provided every step of the way the last several months.  I've been able to focus 100% on Tracey and the kids and that has been amazing.  We've been able to clean and organize, I've been able to help with homework and get the kids to and from doctors appointments without stressing about work or taking time off.  It's been wonderful!

Christmas was amazing and God provided above and beyond what we ever could have imagined.  We were blessed in so many ways!!  It is such a joy to provide for our kids at Christmastime and see their joy as they open their gifts.  It was a beautiful season.

2014 has begun and we truly desire to thrive.  To thrive as a family and grow into a family that genuinely loves and cares for each other.  We are still adjusting in many ways to the adoption of a teen so please pray for us as we grow together as a family.   Please pray for us to thrive as well in our discipleship of our kids at home, that we will be a family that prays together, gets in Gods word together, and grows spiritually together.  Please pray for our kids that they would thrive at school, that Eli would thrive at his English learning, and that God would provide them each with Godly friends to walk alongside them.

Pray for us to thrive financially...this is so hard for me as I see expenses pour in for January that we haven't budgeted....our one income only stretches so far.  God has given me some great verses of encouragement over the last couple of days.  We've been praying through the possibility of me finding a part time job to cover Baileys tuition, our upside down house in Cochran, and our insurance but want to only go in that direction if God is leading...I don't want to take away from his plan for me to be a wife and mom in this season of our lives but whenever i begin to think about our expenses, my mind immediately goes to job hunting!    My verse yesterday came from Isaiah 43:19 " For I am about to do something new.  See, I have already begun!  Do you not see it?  I will make a pathway through the wilderness.  I will create rivers in the dry wasteland."  And then from Proverbs 31:25 " She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future. "  I want to laugh without fear of the future!!  And then  Isaiah 41:10 " Don't be afraid, for I am with you.  Don't be discouraged, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you.  I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

Although 2013 was hard, we grew in amazing ways and there are now 2 less orphans in the world.  We have been so blessed through adoption, even through the hard seasons.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013 year later

Today marks one year with our Zoe Olivia...One year ago she became a Deavers and lost her orphan hard to believe its already been a year but also hard to believe its only been a year.  The picture above is our first photo.  You can see the reserved fear in her eyes.  That has been replaced by pure joy...she is now safe, trusting, attached, a sister, a daughter and a sweet blessing from GOd.

Zoe's name means life and it is so fitting....God knew what he was doing when he led us to name her Zoe.  She is so full of life!  WE've had several doctors look over her medical records and they have all come to the same conclusion..there is NO reason this little girl should still be alive.  Zoe was found abandoned at a train station as a baby.  A Chinese woman found her and cared for her as her own...until she began to get sick and had to be hospitalized.  She was dying in the hospital, no orphanage would take her, and a sweet British missionary team stepped up to the plate.  They took her into their home, gave her around the clock care for a year and 1/2 and nursed our girl back to health.  She got started on her needed, life saving meds and once she was healthy, she was transferred to a foster home where she spent her next 5 years until we came for her last year, today.  As far as Chinese orphans go...she was in the best possible scenario apart from a mom and dad to love her.  She was loved, fed, medicated, educated, taught and trained.  But her longing, her prayer every night was for a mommy and daddy of her own....and God answered the cry of her orphan heart and led us to her.

The picture above is our first day with Zoe in China.  She was full of nervous energy.  This girl has come SO far.  She came with a few English words but she is now fluent in English.  There is very little she doesn't understand.  She is reading on a first grade level and is slightly above that in math.  She has made friends, She loves to play and she is all girl!  Zoe had never been hugged or kissed which is a cultural difference and she now loves a hug and wants to be kissed on the head anytime I leave her or when she goes to bed at night.  She now says, "I love you" freely and without prompt.  She is stubborn but obedient.  She responds to discipline and correction so well.  She loves her sister and baby brother fiercely!  Her favorite memory over the last year she says is going to Disney World and seeing the Disney Princesses and she longs to go to the beach...shes seen the beach in pictures but never actually been....maybe next year!  She also wants to see snow...real snow...not sure that will happen in Lagrange GA!!  She wants to be a doctor when she grows up and she will surely make the best doctor after being the patient for so long.   She is learning about her heavenly father and reads the Bible that her Mimi and Grandaddy gave her often!

WE are so very thankful for everyone that helped us along the way on our journey to Zoe...she would not be here without generous friends and family that helped us get her home and the one family that gave us the confirmation that we were indeed supposed to bring Zoe home!  Thank you for everyone that has loved on her since she's been home, everyone that's helped provide for her needs from medical bills, to hand me downs to vacations to Christmas gifts...we are truly so grateful and you, my friends, are practicing "pure and faultless religion."

James 1:27  " Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world."

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Loving The Fatherless Without Adopting

How do you flesh out God's call to care for orphans and widows?  Adoption is obviously one major way and its near and dear to our hearts but as I said in the last post, not everyone is called to adopt but EVERYONE that claims to be a Christ follower IS called to DO SOMETHING!

Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this:  to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.  James 1:27

I am going to highlight some tangible ways people have loved on our family along with how orphan care has been lived out by friends of some adoptive families we know.  I will also list some organizations that are doing great work caring for orphans...orphan care can go in so many different directions and look different for everyone so this is definitely not a conclusive list!

Let me start by saying, none of our adopted kids would be here if it wasn't for the financial support of friends and family.  adoption is expensive...about $35,000 per child expensive with international adoption.  Most families don't have that kind of money sitting in a bank account.  We had many families come beside us to help fund our adoptions...they bought T-shirts, they organized fund raisers, they shared our blog posts to spread the word, they prayed us through and they gave and they gave and they gave.  Find families in your area that are in the process of bringing kids home, follow their blogs, buy t-shirts or other crafts they may be making to fund their adoptions, attend their bake sales, yard sales, and spaghetti dinners.  We have five families near and dear to our hearts in the adoption process that we would gladly connect you with!

Orphan care doesn't end on gotcha day!  Some of our greatest blessings have been from those that loved on us after we returned home.   You met us at the airport cheering us through, you drove us home, you helped with a major remodel project, you cleaned our house and helped decorate and paint our new kids' rooms, you stocked our pantry and brought us meals, you sent us emails and Facebook messages, and texts of encouragement.  You stood in the gap praying for us when we were sleep deprived and struggling through our new normal.  When families you know are returning home with their new kids, the adjustment process is huge!    Many families newly home do something called cocooning with their new kids.  That involves staying close to home with just the momma and daddy meeting the childs needs for awhile to promote attachment.  Many kids coming from orphanage environments have sensory overload very quickly and even a trip to target can throw them into a tailspin.  This can be a very lonely and isolating time for both the new parents and the biological kids.
Take that momma a peppermint mocha from Starbucks, offer to take the biological kids with your family to Chickfila, the movies, monkey joes, the mall or the water park.  Be a listening ear and love on the family from afar while respecting their boundaries with the newly adopted kids.

 There is so much you can do once the adopted kids are home as the financial impact isn't over after adoption but just beginning!  Many families take out loans or charge their airfare or hotel and in country costs to credit cards that can run in the thousands of dollars.  These need to be paid back once the families return home.  With special needs adoption, medical needs are immediate and costly.  With Mei, we hardly had time to recover from jet lag before we were having to have his feet amputated!  Just to give an idea of what that looks like in our family...God called us to adopt special needs kids after we already had for kids of or own.  Just in the months of August to November,  we've had about $10,000 in medical bills from our adopted kids alone.   We knew the cost of special needs kids would be great but just want to highlight our reality and the reality of every adoptive family with special needs children.  The blessing in bringing home special needs kids is so enormous that I'd pay their medical costs the rest of my life!    In order to make all their appointments happen, a good, reliable vehicle is needed.  We are currently praying for an 8 passenger van, but every family is different, know their needs and help meet them.  Some families need handicapped accessible vehicles.   We've been greatly blessed by medical services offered at a discounted cost.   From our eye Dr to our orthodontist (we aren't paying a dime for Sheltons braces), to our dentist (Traceys dental work was done for free), to our pediatrician to the OBGYN here in town thats offered free appointments.   Give gas cards to adoptive families...gas is a huge expense with all the medical appointments!

One of the biggest things we've heard happen for adoptive families was a blog fried in Missouri that had their mortgage paid in full...that is huge and rare but there are so many other things you can do.  Offer to pay a months rent or mortgage payment at key times in the year, offer painting services, remodeling, plumbing, electrical services at a discount.  Build a wheelchair ramp,

The list could go on and on and on...obviously groceries are never-ending.  In families bringing home babies diapers, wipes, formula are always needed., Families with multiple kids can always use gift cards for restaurants, movies, bowling, or any fun places for family time.

God has placed some amazing, orphan minded, giving people in our circle and here are some Tangible ways we've been helped post adoption:

  • Help with Christmas gifts... we love to bless our kids as much as the next family but with medical costs, that can be tough.  

  • A summer vacation...we were given a week last summer at an amazing resort along with Disney tickets for our entire family.  It was a vacation we would never have afforded and it allowed our entire family to go make precious memories together.  

  • while adopting Zoe and Eli, our medical costs with Mei were so high from surgeries and legs that we were struggling to save for adoption, we received a generous gift to help with those costs

  • hand me simple but huge for our kids!

  • gift cards for groceries and restaurants...our kids love to eat out and go to the movies but for a family of 9, its very expensive!  Chick Fil A is one of their favorites and they all received gift cards one year and loved it!

  • obviously the remodel project mentioned above was amazing!!!!

  • meals, having our pantry stocked

  • babysitting

  • tutoring

  • we had someone make a bunk bed for our boys and someone give us furniture for Mei

  • playdates, loving on our kids...biological and adopted


There are some amazing organizations that do great good in the orphan care world...just to highlight a few:

  • Compassion International...these are not all orphans but are all poor and needy.  let the family come together and choose a child to support monthly.

  • Operation Christmas Child...again this isn't just orphans but poor and needy.  It takes about $20 to pack a shoebox.

  • Our adoption agency Lifeline has several ministries to orphans.  One is called Unadopted and they support unadoptable orphans.  Lifeline also sends medical teams into orphanages so thats another great way to get involved.  

  • Start an orphan care ministry at your church, start a scholarship program for adopting families.  check out Show Hope or

  • With Christmas coming, buy your goods fair trade or buy from someone selling items that benefit orphan care.  
  • If you are local, lagrange people, there is an organization here called Foster to Adopt, Troup County.  Check it out...there are many ways you can get involved.