Love Makes Room:The Baxter's China adoption adventure
Organized by: Rachel Baxter
"Leave Room in your heart for the unimaginable." -Mary Oliver
I would like to tell you a story about how God grew our hearts for the unimaginable. Before Dave and I were married, we both had a heart for adoption and orphan care. We even considered adopting our first child, but God had other plans and gave us Ellie through childbirth. When Ellie was still tiny, we talked about it again and before we could blink we were pregnant; this time with our special buddy Sam. Sam was born with Down Syndrome and thus began an unimaginable adventure that we never planned to take. We had no idea that our hearts were smaller than they should be. We could not have imagined the growth and blessing that would be brought to us through one special boy. We were unaware of the growth that happens through the joys and hardships of raising a child with special needs. We were unacquainted with the incredible strength and beauty of a community of special individuals who make your heart want to grow 100 times over to make room for more of these amazing people in your life. We were blind to the sweet blessings that would come to us if we made room in our hearts, but Sam helped us see.
Then one day our orphan care journey and special needs journey came together through an organization I discovered online that was raising funds to for the adoption of special needs children overseas. Through this organization we discovered the horrible reality the two labels orphan and disabled brought upon you. These children were often abandoned because of their disability, the parents either couldn't accept them or felt inadequate to care for them. Once the state took custody of the children they were at the mercy of whatever funding was available and those with special needs were often at the bottom of the barrel. It is the practice in many countries to institutionalize children as young at five with adults in facilities with not enough food, clothes, proper hygiene, medical care and most importantly no loving caring adult. Even in the best facilities the children are left in institutions for their entire lives because the are not able to live on their own. Their only hope to escape is to be adopted by a family. Once God opened our eyes to children like Sam all over the world being treated with abuse and neglect simply because they had special needs we knew our path had changed. We knew adoption of a child with Down Syndrome was the new call on our life. It was scary and intimidating, Sam was born to us but we would be choosing to bring another special needs child into our family but as I said before Sam had been used by God to grow our hearts in ways we never imagined.
He grew our hearts so much we discovered there was extra room, the perfect amount of room for another child like himself. After much prayer, counsel and a long 10 years of waiting on the right timing God has led us to adopt a little orphaned boy from China with Down Syndrome. We are not matched with a child yet but we have already started our home study and dossier process, hoping our match comes around the time our paper work is ready for China.
We have not come to this place easily, we have wrestled with fears and doubts. We see many potential road blocks including raising $30, 000 that seem impossible but we keep coming back to Matthew 19:26, "with man this is impossible but with God all things are possible." So, now we embark on another unimaginable adventure that will take us across the globe to bring home our son. We are trusting the God of the impossible to go behind us, with us and before us we are asking Him to make more room in our hearts than we ever imagined!
John 14:1-4, 6 has also spoken to us in this process when fear and doubt sneak in: “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a room for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going...I am the way the truth and the life.” When we start to doubt that we have enough room in our family, enough room in our house, enough room in our bank account, enough room in our day and enough room in our hearts for another child we cling to the truth that Jesus made room for us. What confidence and love this reality allows us live with. Jesus made room for us in his house and he will give us what we need to make room for others. When we recognize the extravagant and costly love that took place to prepare our room it enables us to love others with the same extravagance and even at a cost to our selves. Simply said, love makes room.
One of our fundraisers we are hosting is a puzzle piece fundraiser. We have a purchased an 1000 piece puzzle of one of our adoption photos. Every time we raise $30 a new puzzle piece will be added until the puzzle is completely finished. We thought this would be a great way to monitor our progress and for our children to be able to clearly see God's provision for bringing home our son.
Over the next few months there will be lots of ways that you can help contribute toward our adoption. We are hoping to raise up a great team to come around us and care for the orphan by brining one boy into his forever family. We have some fun ideas up our sleeves, we will be applying for grants, hosting an online auction of great donated items, a tee shirt fundraiser and some real and virtual lemonade stands.
What we ultimately need is 1000 people to join us by giving $30! 1000 people for 1 beautiful boy! Would you rally with us and become one of the 1000 people blessed to be a part of changing the life of an orphan forever and changing the lives of every person who gets to know this amazing child.
If you are able to contribute monetarily toward our adoption cost, join us in our Crowd Rise campaign, a safe easy way to donate to us online. We receive 97% of our donations through this site. If you would rather mail a check directly to us email me at Rachelbaxter1979@gmail.com for my mailing address. Above all we ask that you would join is in prayer for our little boy and ask God to bring him home to us soon beacuse we are preparing his room.
We hope you will join us on this adventure and you too will make room in your heart for the unimaginable because Love makes room!