One thing I have absolutely loved about blogging and journeying the roads which have led us to our adopted children is the amazing people I have met along the way. I have been so blessed to meet some incredible people over the past five years. Some have come and gone, but many, many have become dear friends to me--women I cherish with all my heart.
Some of those friends I have met in the most unlikely of places.
When I got my travel date for my first trip to Bulgaria, I heard that another adoptive mama would join me during my second week there--the week that I would spend with my Hasya.
I had no idea who the mom was, but I was familiar with the little girl whom she was adopting--I had seen her on a waiting-child website and was captivated by her sweet, sweet smile.
Little did I know what God would do!
After one week alone in Sofia, I was so very ready for some company. From the moment I met Susan, I knew that God had just sent somebody very special into my life. The Father had sent me more than just a friend--He had blessed me with a kindred heart--a friend for life!
I will never forget the day Susan and I walked into our girls' orphanage. Being her first adoption, she had no idea what to expect. The moment etched in my memory forever is when I walked in and saw Susan with her sweet Annabelle sitting on her lap. A proud, tearful mama bear protectively holding her little treasure...never wanting to let her go! Having just said goodbye to Kael, and knowing how tough it is to leave a child behind (Bulgaria requires two trips), I knew that this would be one of the hardest things God had ever called Susan to do.
And it was!
Sweet Annabelle has many needs. She lives on the same floor as our Hasya--a floor known to many around the world now as a place where children have suffered for many years at the hands of those who were meant to care for them. It's a place that is changing (slowly!), but sadly, so much irreversible damage has been done to the lovies who have endured unimaginable conditions there.
Annabelle is one of them.
Diagnosed with a very rare condition called Marshall Syndrome, Annabelle spent many years of her life the same way all the children on that floor do...confined to a crib!
Barely enough food to survive.
No arms to hold her.
No fresh air or sunlight.
But this little girl never gave up! She's a fighter!
Somehow, contrary to what every opinion and diagnosis said, Annabelle learned to walk on her own when she was eight years old! As the changes have slowly taken place in that orphanage, she got a baba (a "grandmother" who helps her) and has recently been allowed to walk around the unit she lives in. On those two painfully skinny little legs which look like they can barely hold her up, and with a huge smile on her face, Annabelle is truly a walking miracle!
Sadly though, Annabelle has many medical needs which have not been met. Susan and I ached for her as we felt the protrusion on her back from advanced scoliosis. She's a teeny, tiny little love--at almost twelve years of age, she's the size of a five year old.
Everything is about to change for this precious treasure!
She has hope!
She has a family waiting for her that is longing to smother her with love and affection and to give her the medical attention she so desperately needs. Susan and her family are not new to special needs. They have a fifteen-year-old daughter at home who was born with profound CP. Amanda's struggles are so similar to Annabelle's--they even look similar (I love how God does that!). I just know that this little darling is going to fit into her new family like a glove.
She has waited nearly twelve years for someone to come for her!
This amazing family has stepped out in faith and trusted the LORD for every single dollar they need in order to bring Annabelle home. Their fundraising has been HARD--but they never once gave up--trusting that their God is able!
Now they need just $4500 to be fully funded. I have watched their fundraiser on their blog over the past few days and have ached that more people are not supporting a family who are trying to adopt a little girl who, to most people in the world, would be considered a burden and a hardship--a little girl who will absolutely need to live with her parents for the rest of their lives!
Many would say no. But not this family!
They may have taken everything from her, but they never crushed her sweet, sweet spirit.
And so I'm coming to you today, asking you to please prayerfully consider sowing seed into this precious families fund so that Annabelle can come home as soon as possible! They never asked me to do this (and I know they would never ask anyone for anything!)...
But God did!
I know that through us, His glorious body who longs to help in any way we can, He is going to help the Boothe's cross the finish line very soon.
I believe that every now and then every adoptive family could use a helping hand--someone to come alongside them saying, "You go and get your child and we'll carry the financial burden!"
Would you please consider sowing into their adoption? They currently have an iPad (or Galaxy Note) and a few gift cards up for grabs.
Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for standing with me and believing that God will come through for this family who is so sold out for Jesus and willing to say yes...even when they know all too well that the road ahead will have many trials.
Also, would you please consider sharing their need with others? Let's see this family cross the finish line super quickly! Thanks!
I appreciate you all very much! Thank you for being such a blessing to this family.
You can follow Annabelle's journey home RIGHT HERE!