Thanks to all of you who have bought a hat for your child or grandchild, or have bought a hat directly for an orphan in our LWB collection! We will be sending out some "1 for an orphan" hats soon.
We have been told by both LWB and Bethel, that their children wear hats far into Spring, outdoors and indoors due to lack of heating. They also said that it's important for these children to look cute and feel special, so you are giving them this gift also.
Here are some Sprout Tops hats we are sending to Love Without Boundaries,
and here are some Sprout Tops hats we are sending to Bethel.
Thank you for blessing these children's lives!
Thank you Williams family for answering our questions about adoption.
How and why did you decide to adopt?
I was at a Men's meeting at my brother's church and was introduced to a guy who had adopted a girl from China. Frances and I had always planned on adopting after we had "our own", but God had other ideas. After 16 years of infertility, we got pregnant but lost our twins. There had been many obstacles in the way of adopting, but we eventually started pursuing it at the same time as IVF and decided we would adopt no matter how the IVF turned out. There should have been a year to 18 months between an IVF child and an adoption, but circumstances changed and we ended up having two children within 3 months who were only 6 months apart in age...so we kind of had twins anyway!
Why did you choose to adopt from China?
We really didn't have a lot of options - most countries require both parents to be US citizens - Frances is still only British. I'd heard horror stories from other countries, and then we met that guy in church with his cute Chinese daughter and so it seemed the logical choice. At the same time I also thought the fact that there was no chance of reuniting with a birth family would be easier for everyone overall...10 years later I know better! It also seemed to avoid the horror stories of people adopting only to have the birth parents change their minds and reversing the adoption.
What has been the hardest part about adopting?
The expense for one, all the paper chasing is a real hassle, and for me personally it was becoming a "conspicuous family". I've always preferred being anonymous and not standing out in a crowd. Once we had a Chinese daughter, we pretty much stand out wherever we go...of course God doubled that with us having a child with Down Syndrome as well. So now we really stand out, and will a lot more soon! I'm used to it now, but sometimes it's aggravating because we never go anywhere without standing out and getting stares.
What has been the most rewarding part about adopting?
Well the most obvious answer of course is our beautiful daughter Abigail. But it's also how much we grow personally on the journey. Ultimately it's about changing a child's world and destiny. Hopefully God willing, it's for the better, but that's not entirely in our control, but at least we give them a chance at a better destiny.
Tell us about the two children you are adopting.
We are adopting a 6 year old girl with Poland Syndrome, a syndrome caused by an accident of fetal circulation where she is left with no chest muscle, or breast on one side and finger differences on one hand. She also has a facial palsy so she can't smile normally, and there is a chance she's had a stroke. She is definitely developmentally delayed and possibly intellectually challenged.
We are also adopting an 11 year old boy who is listed as having "dyskenesia of lower limbs" which just means his legs are weak so he walks with a limp and has balance issues? In both cases the medical charts are sketchy so who really knows?
We have videos and pictures of both, which are both reassuring, and also alarming at points too.
What advice would you give someone thinking about adoption?
I would say adoption is not for everyone, not for the faint hearted, especially when talking about adopting an older child. You are also talking about taking on a child's life, a most precious gift that cannot be squandered. The decisions you make WILL change your life, the childs life, and by extension everyone else's life that knows you. This is a very serious decision when you already have other children because it changes everything. Nothing will ever be the same again. Not everyone is cut out to make that transition, so you must be very careful thinking through the impact on everyone. Friends and family will not always be helpful, and I’ve known people who have literally been rejected by their extended families. Some of our family was not very involved before, and have shown no interest in our latest adoption. That's something you have to consider - eventually your adopted children will grow up old enough to understand that they may well be rejected by your extended family. There are so many issues to think about and prepare for. So you MUST read as much as possible, dont stick your head in the sand, but research as much as you possibly can before you commit to anything, or start spending the thousands it will cost. Get involved with Yahoo and Facebook groups, and get to know people who have adopted before. Listen to their stories, good and bad. READ, READ, READ, pray, pray and pray - and discuss. And don't proceed unless you as a couple are totally committed and in agreement. Expect doubt...but know if God wants you to do this He will work it all out. Don't do it unless you are certain and then once you commit, stay committed no matter what.
One thing to remember, it's no different to having a biological child. Most people would never dream of not dealing with whatever a biological child has or develops. Adoption is pretty much the same except the child comes with baggage, sometimes very negative baggage.
What advice would you give someone who can't adopt, but would like to help orphans?
Get involved by praying for orphans, and advocating, and advertising the need. Support those who are adopting by offering help in any way you can, helping to fundraise, donating items, or making things to sell if you are craft gifted. Give of your time volunteering whether for a charity like Love Without Boundaries or helping an adoptive family. Donating money is a very practical way to help, as adopting is very expensive and most people don’t have the resources to adopt without help.
How can we help you? Pray for us, pray that God supplies all of our needs, and prepares us and our children for the children we are adding, and also that God prepares their hearts to live with us.
We also need financial help. On our blog there are 2 methods to donate to us. We have a 'you caring' website where people can donate directly to us. Alternatively, there is an address to send donations directly to our agency, and these donations can be tax deductible. There is also currently a fundraiser being done for us through facebook friends.
How and why did you decide to adopt?
We have been looking for a way to make a difference in the world. Because we have friends and family who have adopted, it seemed a natural place for us to start.
Why did you choose to adopt from South Africa?
I lived in South Africa and have always loved the people and culture there. We had talked about living there for a period of time with our children, long before the idea of adoption entered our minds, so it was very natural to begin the adoption process with South Africa when the news release stated that US families would now be able to adopt.
What has been the hardest part about the process so far?
As tough as the paperwork and the many obstacles that come with international adoption has been, waiting is the toughest.
What has been the most rewarding thing about the process so far?
Imagining and day-dreaming about Naso fitting into our family and him changing us.
What are some things you are worried about?
We worry because we know that he will grieve - for his mother he knew, for the friends he made during his time in the group foster home, and for the impact that the first 6-7 years of his rough little life has had on him. Will we be what he needs?
What are you excited about?
We are excited to make him a part of our family and see how much we will learn and grow and love as we make this transition.
What advice would you give someone thinking about adoption?
Follow your heart. Because this idea "snuck up" on us, we did not have the thousands it takes to adopt internationally. But because we have followed our heart, miracles have come and we take great comfort that we are following the path we feel compelled to take.
What advice would you give someone who can't adopt but would like to help orphans? Even if adoption is not in the future for your family, there are so many ways you can help orphans. I'm amazed at all those who advocate for these children all over the world. If your heart is in the U.S., then focus there. I have a strong belief that just beginning to think about doing good will turn into researching how, which will turn into discovery, which will turn into action. Never think you are too small to make a difference.
How can we help you?
We are raising money for the last of Naso's medical expenses and some remaining travel expenses at GoFundMe.
You can follow the rest of the Campbell's Adoption journey here. They are just waiting for their court date right now, and will be traveling very soon!
Thank you Campbell family for sharing your story!
This guy loves his monster hat !
His mom told me that his 24 yr old sister and 16 yr old cousin wanted to steal it from him!They said it's the most comfortable hat ever! Needless to say...he won the fight :)
Thank you for sharing your photo, Kyle!