by Julia Nalle
Several years ago I was given a huge gift.
Not a gift I was to keep but one I was to give away.
A donor offered me a $10,000 matching grant and told me I could choose the child or family.
I was given the matching grant at the end of March.
I was absolutely overwhelmed with the offer and was terrified at the same time. How in the world was I going to pick a child or family and how in the world was I going to get $10,000 matched????
This was at a time when matching grants were rare.
I had no idea what to do with it. Rob and I went around and around praying and considering. Weeks went by. Then a month. Then two. I went back to the donor and begged off. I wanted them to do the picking. Find someone else. I could NOT raise $10,000.00. My life was crazy. I had too much on my plate. I couldn't choose. Etc. Etc. They pushed the money back into my lap. Pray some more. God will lead.
So we prayed. We considered. We had no idea.
Until I heard the story of a little girl named Taylor who wanted a family.
And a family who wanted her.
They were in desperate need as their dossier was already in country and they needed over $20,000 in less than 2 weeks.
I sent the link and the story to Rob. I went out for the afternoon to do some shopping and while I was gone I felt that familiar pounding. This family. This is the one. When I came home Rob came up to me and said we should use the matching grant for this family. I love my husband and I love his heart.
We didn't know the family.
They weren't even on our radar.
But it was clear to both of us almost immediately that the matching grant was for this family.
We had 10 days to raise the money.
I was terrified. I contacted the family and they were so blown away they thought it was a scam. It took a lot of convincing to prove to them that it was truly for real.
We laid out the matching grant and the need and within 2 days the money was raised.
It was the first time in my life that I had ever been part of anything that crazy and amazing.
And what made it sweeter was that in the end there was enough raised so that not just one child... but two were adopted..
When the family was in country they saw this sweet little treasure and just had to go back and get him too.
Though I had e-mail and Facebook contact with the family - it was not until this past December when I was across the ocean that I met in person the Mama of those two babes.
Nicole was in country to adopt an older boy who begged for a family.
I was helping Carla bring her three treasures home.
I was so excited for Nicole over her adoption. I met her boy, David, and I loved him. They had tried months before to adopt three older boys but in the end all three stayed. This trip was a total leap of faith. She was so excited to be adopting David and I had no doubt at all that he wanted her to be his Mama.
But after Nicole flew back home - his family who had abandoned him since he was six - moved into the picture. He had to make a choice and he chose his family. There are parts of this story that are not mine to share except to say that Nicole was absolutely heartbroken.
She's a stubborn woman though. I found that out about her when I met her in person. Stubborn and determined. And she's a bit crazy.
She's willing to give chances to older boys when everyone else would run out of the room as fast as their legs would carry them.
She doesn't fall apart when one says no. She's willing to fight for another. And then another.
I love her.
We are kindred, crazy spirits. My time with her in December running around the city was a time of laughter and joy. She's passionate and driven and despite losing one boy after another... she's not quitting.
How do I know???
Because she happens to be adopting two boys who were on my desktop for weeks as I prayed over them.
Murray and Anthony.
I love these two boys.
And I am believing and hoping and praying that they recognize what they are being offered and grab hold of it with all of their being.
Nicole and Joe Dewberry have been bashed by many over these boys. I get it. Each time a boy says no it is a loss of funds. A waste. Some would have them stop. Give up.
Yes. It is a loss of funds and a number of boys did say no. But what you can't measure on this side of heaven is that they were given a choice. Those boys can never say that they weren't offered a family. They can never say that they were not loved. They can never say they are not loved.
Emir ran away. The Rowes spent thousands to cross the ocean only for him to run away. A waste? Maybe. Maybe not. This side of heaven we may never know the seeds planted in his heart. And that's the hard mystery. Does it matter? Was it a waste? I don't believe so. Each boy, for the rest of their lives, carries forever the memory of the extended hand of love. Someone crossed the ocean for them. That can't be erased from their minds and their hearts. They carry forever the whispered prayers of the parents they rejected. Each boy will go through his life with a prayer covering that was not there. That covering cost thousands, yes. But not wasted. Not wasted. Love is patient. Love waits. Love is.
Murray and Anthony both have the power and the ability to say no too. Adoption is a risk.
Do the Dewberry's walk away because other boys have turned away?
I would not be so brave.
I stand up and applaud their courage. They are walking through fire right now. Nicole leaves in 17 days. They need to raise $7,545.83.
I'll be honest. I'm sad beyond words that David is not one of the boys she is bringing home. I was as much in shock as Nicole when he changed his mind. I couldn't think about it for a long time without wanting to punch someone. My heart deeply hurts for him. But I am beyond overjoyed that Murray and Anthony will be part of their family. Anthony is in a terrible place. He is abused on a regular basis and desperately needs out. Murray is a bright boy who wants a family more than anything in his life. Neither boy has a future in that country. To know that they will be part of the Dewberry family makes me leap for joy. As soon as I heard the news I laughed out loud. I have not one bit of doubt that this is a good and right decision. Not one. Neither does Rob. Like I said. I love his heart.
True. One or both of the boys may say no but they are worth the attempt.
THEY ARE ABSOLUTELY WORTH THE ATTEMPT!!!
I don't have a $10,000 matching grant although Nicole does have a $500.00 matching grant.
I don't have prizes.
I just have a story and a family I have come to love over the last few years.
It is a risk.
Adoption is a risk.
I promise. It won't be a waste!!!