National Adoption Month: Supporting Lena's Adoption Journey to Baby #2
As some of you know, November is National Adoption Month! We are celebrating adoption this month by supporting another family that's growing (again) by adoption. Our Etsy shop will be open until midnight on Wednesday November 9th. Check out our Etsy shop by clicking here. Half of the proceeds from our shop will go to our friend Lena, who is currently in the process of adopting from Bulgaria for a second time! We absolutely love Lena's heart for the Lord & Down syndrome adoption. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help her bring another little ray of sunshine into her beautiful family! You can read all about her journey with adoption below.
The other half of the proceeds from our Etsy shop will go towards our remaining adoption fees from Noah's adoption (we currently have $2,000 left in adoption fees). Click here to check out out Etsy shop & support adoption!
Thanks for taking the time to read my story.
I'm Lena, a Jesus loving, tea drinking, single mama, who is deeply passionate about adoption and orphan care. I adopted my daughter Emmy from Bulgaria 11 months ago and she is the greatest gift from God.
I always knew I wanted to adopt, I was raised knowing they're are children in this world who need families, my parents fostered and I witnessed many amazing children around us join their forever families. I remember being 8 years old sitting in a blanket fort with my best friend, planning our futures. I was going to be a spice girl, wear a wedding dress that rivaled Princess Diana's and I was going to adopt, because there are way to many kids who need families.
Granted my adoption story looks way different then I ever could have planned. Ten years ago I started saying saying I would have a child with Down syndrome one day. It wasn't something I cognitively thought about, it was just a fact. A few years ago while shopping with my mother, I once again stated to her "You know I'm going to have a child with Down syndrome one day." She responded "Yes I know, but how are you going to make that happen?" Well friends, that's when my world changed. God used that simple exchange to open my eyes and change my heart forever. I spent hours researching Down syndrome adoption. The things I learned broke my heart. Children all around the world are being placed in orphanages simply because they are born with disabilities. They live their lives in orphanages and mental institutions where they are often abused and neglected. Living their lives in cribs with no chance of a future.
Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act. Proverbs 24:12
I never planned to be a single mom, but when God calls your heart to care for the orphan, how do you say no? There is no excuse big enough to not follow his call. So at 23 years old, with no husband and minimum savings I called an adoption agency and started the journey to my daughter.
My daughter Emmy is a sweet, sassy, hilarious and loving 2 year old, she was born blessed with Down syndrome. She spent the first 16 months of her life in a Bulgarian orphanage and we became a family in Dec 2015 when I carried her out of the colorful orphanage gates forever. The changes in her these past 11 months are just astonishing. When I picked her up she was an emotionless, scared, shell of a child. In 11 months she has learned to trust, to attach and bond, to smile and laugh, even to cry. She loves her mama and lives everyday the fullest. She radiates Joy. She is a beautiful reflection of Gods love and his redemption.
Our story doesn't end there though. I knew I could never forgot what I saw in Emmy's orphanage, I could never forget the needs of the children left behind. I vowed to advocate, to share our story, to share these children and help find them families. God had bigger plans though. A few months after Emmy came home, God made it clear in my heart that there was another child waiting to join our family. Starting the adoption process for a second time, only 5 months after finalizing Emmy's, was definitely not in my plans. The last time I had this feeling, God blessed me with Emmy, so I knew I had to trust in him and take that leap of faith again.
So back to Bulgaria we go, we will travel early 2017 to meet Emmy's new brother or sister who not only shares the same beautiful heritage but an awesome extra chromosome as well! Through the grace of God our adoption is almost paid for, we are asking for your support in raising the last $3,500 of Baby #2's adoption fees. You can follow along on our Journey at www.heartofgraceadoption.com
We are so inspired by Lena's bold faith, brave heart & beautiful family! What an incredibly testimony of the Lord's love & calling.
Lena's second adoption will cost $40,000 in total. She has $3,500 left to raise. If you'd like to support Lena's growing family & help her bring in the remaining funds for Baby #2, you can donate straight to her adoption fund through her GoFundMe Account by clicking here, shop Lena's Etsy shop by clicking here or shop our Etsy shop by clicking here - 50% of proceeds from our shop will be donated to Lena.
Our shop is open NOW & will be open for the next 2 days only, so if you're interested in placing an order be sure to do it ASAP!
We are honored to support Lena's journey of welcoming another child into her family & can't wait to see how her journey continues to unfold!
As always, thanks for stopping by our blog & supporting adoption!