I have admired Michael Rottina and have watched how he flies back and forth between his home and China to do everything he possibly can to help orphans. Michael is the founder of findMe International . Michael says, "The Me in findMe refers primarily to Jesus. It can also mean helping adoptees find themselves and adoptive families finding "me", the orphan."
I am so grateful he took some time out of his busy life to answer some questions.
How did you get started helping orphans?
In 2001 something was seriously stirring in me about adopting. It had been something thought of for a long time. I was sad to think of another child growing up without a family. Without parents, brothers or sisters.
In 2004, we travelled to Hubei, China to adopt our wonderful daughter. She is a great blessing of Joy to have as my daughter.
Why did you start findMe International?
Along the way we have advocated for orphans, yet findMe intl has been established to connect Chinese adoptees with the people of China. A friend and I have had the great experience of searching for and finding my daughter’s foster mother. We (my daughter included) would love to help others do the same. In addition we are working on some things that will turn homeland tours into something we like to call homepeople tours. The emphasis is in building relationships with the people of China, particularly those from the adoptees past and orphans, so that the adoptee can experience the culture from within, and create lifelong relationships.
What in your life prepared you for this?
So many things have prepared me. Most important is Jesus' Spirit in me.
What is your favorite thing about it?
Doing something that makes the kids smile. To see a solemn face go to a smile, especially with the older kids, satisfies my soul and puts a smile on my face as well.
What is one of the hardest things about it?
One of the hardest things is when Cameron aged out 3 days after I got there this past June. So many people knew about him. It was very hard, since so many of us thought for sure he would have a family someday soon.
What are your favorite experiences?
An incredible experience was having the opportunity to allow a boy who is matched to a family, pick another orphan who he wants to be his brother and go to America. The following day we took the two boys, with Cameron out shopping, to dinner and Dairy Queen. It was two days I will never forget.
Another experience was the one that started findMe intl. It was when I saw on Facebook that someone was going to adopt Lucy Kim. She was the first that we had advocated for (when I had no idea of the advocating world) and were shocked with pure joy to realize that we found her a family in less than one month.
Emily was the 2nd girl Michael helped to find a family, and since these two girls, many children are finding their families. Emily is coming home to her family soon!
What would you tell someone who wants to help?
I would like to encourage those who want to help to signup for our e-mail list. We will be having regular updates on ways each one of us can help. Like supporting our visits to the orphanage so that we can create opportunities like tutoring for kids who have aged out but are still in the system (ages 14-18), helping to build better/updated "files" for the kids, regularly visiting them and taking some out for the day. Do you know many orphans are lucky if they get out of the orphanage 1-2 times a year? We have helped many get out and have some fun. Cameron has been able to get out 3 times since April this year, with the help of those like you and me. Also, there are some other wonderful missions that we are working on and will let you know about.
Our e-mail list is the place to find the latest as well as the basic missions that findMe intl is working on to help the kids. If you enjoy helping children who cannot better the situation they have found themselves in, sign up for findMe intl e-mails here.
Thank you Michael Rottina for all you are doing to make children's lives better!