There is an ancient Chinese proverb that says,
“An invisible red thread connects those destined to meet, regardless of time, place, or circumstances. The thread may stretch or tangle, but never break.”
Katie introduced me to this phrase several years ago, when her and hubby Josh embarked on a journey to adopt a sweet little boy from China. Adding to their family of 3 already, this was an amazing story of feeling the prompting of the Lord in their hearts and being obedient.
We watched for months as their forever family was being built- through challenges and joys, struggles and milestones. A journey that spread from February until December of 2010. Adoption is clearly not for the faint of heart!
Asher is such a perfect addition to their family! His sweet smile radiates joy and the love that his older siblings have for him, is a beautiful testimony to how the Lord has woven this boy into the fabric of their lives and mostly, their hearts.
Several months ago, as Katie and I were chatting online, she mentioned that when they left China, they knew it would not be their last time there. With an anxiousness in my heart as I waited for the rest of her message to chime in, I knew. I knew that Katie and Josh had felt the prompting of the Lord again. Moving their hearts back to China, back to an orphanage, back to a place where so many sweet little ones need forever families. Indeed, my assumption was correct. Baby # 5 is being prayed for, paperwork is being submitted and their family is sure to grow by two tiny little feet. Feet that will be born on foreign soil, but brought here to walk out the days of his/her life. Feet that will run in the grass with 4 siblings and get tickled by a mom and dad whose love knows no bounds.
I couldn’t be more excited for this family!
Enter our story- my story really.
Months and months prior to Katie’s revelation, I had been watching a live stream of a collegiate conference my husband had helped to plan. Here, a representative, Chris Wheeler, from ShowHope shared about being an active part of the world of adoption. God’s Word clearly speaks to the plight of these little ones:
“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
He challenged college students to not be bound by their age, but to stand up and make a difference. Maybe this season in their lives isn’t meant for adopting, but that doesn’t excuse them (read me), as believers from taking God’s heart on this matter seriously.
I sat late that evening, alone, with my four precious blessings tightly tucked in bed and wept. How many children would give anything to find themselves in a snuggly bed, with blankets and teddy bears and parents to watch over them. My heart broke.
Just as it has always done when I imagine a child without a home. In those moments, I asked the Lord to really show me how to help. To use talents, gifts and passions from Him to provide in unique ways for those who have found themselves in the season of adoption.
After some prayer, research, brainstorming and conversations, He has given me two unique ways to reach out, to be active in giving towards something that brings joy to His heart.
Today, I bring you the story of how our family is going to walk the journey of adoption along side of our sweet friends Katie and Josh, in a unique way. A way, that I believe will help our children to understand that age doesn’t matter, when God puts something on your heart. A way for our family to come together as a team to help bring a child closer to meeting their forever family.
I introduce you to:
Last year my boys read books over the course of the summer through a Focus on the Family (FOF) Initiative entitled, Raise the Roof on Reading. Individuals pledged money per page that they read, in age appropriate books, and at the end of the summer, sent in their donations, which we forwarded to FOF. The money was collected by students across the country and helped to build an orphanage in Rwanda! AMAZING experience for our children to see the impact that they can make when they put their minds to something. To this day, they still talk about sending that envelope in the mail, knowing that they were helping boys and girls they would never meet.
My mommy heart was full.
This year, the summer challenge for FOF was different, but really, I think it has been a beautiful blessing in disguise! Now, we get to take that same concept and make it personal. This summer our boys are going to read for Katie and Josh’s family. We’re “Reading for the Red Thread.”
Instead of sending off the donations from individuals like you, who can support them over the course of the summer, we’re going to send the donations to a family we know!
What’s the best part?
The day that this family brings home their baby! Our children will get to see in a very tangible way how their efforts helped to rescue a sweet baby. They are thrilled that this time around, they’ll be able to touch, hug and kiss on the little one that will benefit from their reading!
I know you have a million questions racing through your head… so I’m going to try to answer them all right here.
1) How do I know that this is a real family?
Katie and my husband, Rahul, were in the same youth group back in the day in Miami. When we got married, I inherited a friendship with her and I am so very glad that I did! We are like minded, have a passion for our families and the Lord. We enjoy chatting together between our rare opportunities to actually visit in person (remember, we both currently have 4 kids) and we do best when we’ve started the day off with coffee- strong coffee, again 4 kids!
Here are a few pictures she sent me to prove their existence!
Gracie, Annie (yes, she has an amazing name!), Ben and Asher
2) How can sponsoring summer reading really make a difference in this family’s life?
Did you know that an international adoption in China costs approximately $25,000 – $30,000!!! Did you read that? Did you gasp? $25,000 – $30,000- to bring home a baby who needs parents?!!! WOW! That’s a rather huge chunk of change for anyone, but for those called to adopt, for those trusting in the Lord to meet all their needs, they cling tightly to the promise in Luke that nothing is impossible with God! By sponsoring my boys’ reading over the summer, your pledges will, combined with others make a difference. Cover an expense. Send a file. Get them on a plane. Allow them to bring home their child, who they love deeply already, but do not yet know. We need sponsors to commit to donating at least 1 penny for every page read over the summer- our goal is at least 1,000 pages for each of the boys (1,000 pages @ 1 penny = just $10.00 and only chapter book pages count).
3) I’m in, how do I commit to sponsoring now?
Just fill out this simple form below. It will help us keep track of who is joining us on the journey! At the end of the summer (August 30), we’ll tally the pages read, email out our sponsors and request for the money to be sent to our address, so that we can send it all together, rather than having Katie trying to keep up with random checks in the midst of all the other adoption paperwork.
4) I can’t sponsor, but I want to help! What do I do?
Can you share this blog post with all your family and friends? Facebook friends, friends at the office, friends at your church, your neighbors? Spreading the word helps us do 2 things- it brings an awareness to the need for and beauty of adoption and will help us, hopefully, raise more sponsors. Commit to pray for this family, who still has a rather large amount of money to raise. Pray that the Lord would provide in miraculous ways!
Thank you so much! I’m eager to see how God moves and appreciate you joining us as we Read 4 the Red Thread!