BENEFITING: MAYA ORGANIZATION
ORGANIZER: MAYA ORGANIZATION
EVENT DATE: May 05, 2013
MAYA ORGANIZATION wrote -The Maya Organization will MATCH donations to bring BRONTE HOME from China at the end of March!
When I was nineteen, I worked in a children’s home in Alaska. It was called Intermission Crisis Nursery, and I was the lead caregiver for the three to eleven p.m. shift. The majority of children in crisis were brought to us during that shift. Many were foster children who were between foster homes, but most of the children were brought to us by the police because they had suffered various forms of abuse and neglect. My eyes were opened to the reality that so many children were drifting in the world without a family to love and guide them.
One evening, I was putting a sweet eight-year old boy to bed. He hugged me tightly around my neck and begged me to be his mother. It broke my heart as I explained to him that I was still a teenager and would not be allowed to be his mother. I assured him that if I had been old enough, I would have loved to adopt him and been so happy and proud to have him as a son. We talked for a while, and as I left him I prayed silently that he would find a loving family. I do not know what happened to him, as he was placed in foster care a few days later. After this, I knew that I wanted to help orphaned children in some significant way. Moreover, I decided that someday I would adopt.
In 2005, while living in New York, I decided that the time had come to adopt a child. I researched every possible adoption option for a single woman, and I decided to adopt from China. I knew several people who had adopted from China whose experiences had been positive. Shortly after the submission of my paperwork, I was given a log in date of September 2006. I have waited since then.
In 2007, when it became clear that my referral could be several years away, I decided that I would find a way to help other orphans in some capacity. I found New Horizons for Children online, and after much research, became greatly interested in hosting an older child. I hoped I could help them experience the love of a family. The first child that I saw on the photo listing was a little nine-year-old girl named Irina who was hosted at eight and gave her host family a terrible time. Despite the write-up on the listing, I was drawn to her and could not get her off my mind. A year passed, and during this time I developed a phone friendship with Le Ann Dakake, who is the director of the New Horizons hosting program. She invited me to travel with her to Russia and Latvia to interact with the children while they waited to be interviewed. I was also asked to give input regarding which children might do well with an American family for hosting, as well as detect problems, such as attachment disorder, which I had experienced in the children’s home in Alaska. Set to leave in February 2008, I arranged to take a six-week vacation that summer so that I could finally host a child who I might potentially meet in my travels with LeAnn . Little Irina was fully in my thoughts, but I wanted to stay open to any child who touched my heart.
We left for Latvia first, and then Russia. I met over 300 orphans, and there were so many that I would have loved to bring home. There was a precious four-year-old girl that Leanne said I could host, but I needed to see Irina before I made any decision. On the day we were to leave Russia, we went to orphanage number eight where Irina lived. She was now ten years old. When I saw her I just knew I had to host her. She was timid and quiet, but there was so much light and life in her eyes. Irina spent the summer with me and she was certainly a challenge. She had quite a stubborn streak, but she had a sweet, kind heart as well. I had to be firm and consistent at first, but she responded well, and we ultimately had a wonderful summer together.
When I had to take her to the airport and say goodbye, it felt as if a part of my heart was flying away. At that time, with my pending adoption from China, I did not have the financial resources to adopt a second child. That same year at Christmastime, Irina was hosted by another family in Connecticut. She had a difficult time, and the host mother and I spoke often throughout the visit. I helped the mother with tips that I knew had worked when Irina was at my house, and at the same time I felt like I had abandoned my child and I had a great sense of guilt. When Irina went back to Russia, the host mother informed me that she and her husband would not be adopting Irina. I knew then that God intended for Irina to be my daughter. I thanked God that He had been patient with me and I promised God that I would trust Him from then on to make things work when he puts something in my heart that He wants me to do. The host mother donated a significant amount of money toward the adoption expenses and I used my China adoption money and my credit cards to make the rest of the adoption happen. Irina (now Elizabeth) landed in America in April, 2010.
Elizabeth has been my daughter for almost three years now, and I will be forever grateful to God for relentlessly tugging at my heart and patiently waiting for me to hear his voice.
Elizabeth is fourteen and is in the ninth grade. She is doing beautifully. She can still be a challenge sometimes, but a fun challenge and is becoming a wonderful young lady. We are now waiting together for Elizabeth’s little sister.
I received a referral for little Bronte on Oct. 26th 2012. I have been applying for grants and have received enough aid to get through to the point where I am now, but I have no money for travel or for the in-China expenses, such as the $5,500.00 required orphanage donation. I do not have room on my credit cards, since I am still paying for the expenses of my adoption from Russia.
I am fortunate to have a job as a nanny for two wonderful special-needs twin boys. Their mother completely supports my adoption and allows me to have my children with me at all times. I can have a full-time job and be a stay-at-home Mom. I do not make very much money, but I can raise my children and not miss all the precious moments of their growing up years, so it is worth any financial sacrifice.
I cannot complete this adoption without financial help. Thank you so much for reading my story and I hope you will consider helping my family.
If you have any questions please contact the adoption agency I’m am working with. Faith International Adoptions ask for Kelsey Melvin (253) 383-1928.