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The Face of an Angel

It’s an exciting time of year here at Madison Adoption Associates. You see, we are very busy gearing up for our Summer hosting session, and part of that process is ‘meeting’ the children who are eligible to participate. Enter Ciara! When I opened her picture, a smile immediately came across my face because of the big smile on hers. Something about her just struck me. I saw innocence, sweetness, hope, and joy, all wrapped up in the face of an angel!

8-year-old Ciara is available to be hosted by a qualified family in Illinois, New Jersey, or Pennsylvania. The tentative dates are July 22 – August 7, 2019.

What is orphan hosting? A hosting program is a strategy used to identify possible permanent families for waiting children who have been cleared for inter-country adoption and are patiently waiting for their adoptive placement. These children will be able to experience family life and be exposed to a more stimulating environment than in the institutions where they currently live. However, it is not just the children who will benefit, but you and your entire family. The hosting experience will affect you in many ways – dispel any fears about adopting an older child, teach your children a valuable lesson in compassion, expose your friends and family to the orphan crisis, and give you the opportunity to have an integral role in orphan advocacy.

Click Here to learn more about Hosting!

Not in a position to host this summer? You are still in a position to advocate for these precious children! Please share this post with your family and friends…you never know who will be moved to step forward.

Looking for the Love of A Family

My son was born with a hole in his heart.  I was a first time Mom.  Just hearing those words….”Hole” and “Heart” sent me into full-on panic.  I had fears.  I had questions.  I had so many emotions running through me.  But I also had access to doctors, cardiologists, a state-of-the-art hospital, and a rock-solid support system.  Even with all of those supports, it was still one of my hardest moments.  Turns out it was on the minor side, and only required monitoring for several years – eventually resolving on its own.

But every time I read a file of a child with CHD, I am taken back to that moment….New Mom, hearing the words…”Hole”…”Heart,” and my heart aches for the mothers in other parts of the world who had the same fears, questions, and emotions that I did, but with no supports.  With no state-of-the-art facilities to turn to.  With no way to help their baby.  And my heart aches for them.

Meet Hanna and Ashton.  Two amazing ‘heart warriors.’  Two kiddos with imperfect hearts who need access to not only medical care, but to the love and support of a family who will see them through whatever procedures they need.

Hanna
Ashton

Ashton and Hanna are available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  Both qualify for the $1,000 For Ivy grant, as well as other MAA grants.  To learn more about Ashton and Hanna, and our other Heart Warriors, complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form.  You can also ‘meet’ many of our waiting children by visiting our website.

Double Broken-Hearted

Double Broken-Hearted

What exactly does it mean to have a broken heart?  Of course, there is the figurative meaning that feelings of lost love are so strong, it truly feels like your actual physical heart is broken.  And then there is the literal meaning when your heart does not work like it physically should.  But what about when both are present?  What should we call it then?  Double broken hearted?  Enter Grayson.  One of the sweetest boys I have ever encountered in my entire life.

Some might say Grayson has a double broken heart, literally and figuratively.  Literally, because it doesn’t quite work as it should.  Figuratively, because he still waits for a family.  But, after meeting Grayson, I refuse to believe that this boy’s heart is anything but pure, sweet, and amazing just like him.  Despite all he has been through physically and emotionally, he is sweet, empathetic, kind, and caring.  Grayson loves so much more than many people I know with ˜perfect’ hearts.  Not to mention his smile that completely lights up the room.

Today is Grayson’s birthday.  He’s 11.  So to celebrate Grayson today, and his perfectly imperfect heart, please share about him with all you know, in hopes that his next birthday will be celebrated with a full heart surrounded by family and love.  Include a simple heart emoji with your post or forward¦let’s light up social media with hearts for Grayson!


Grayson is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  There is a $4,000 grant (which includes the $1,000 For Ivy grant) available to the family who steps forward for Grayson.  Please email Sarah@madisonadoption.org for more information, or complete our Prospective Adoptive Parent form.  And if you are not in a position to adopt right now, please share!!

For Ivy Honoring a Hero {An MAA Grant for children with complex CHD}

For Ivy  Honoring a Hero {An MAA Grant for children with complex CHD}

We are honored to be able to share Ivy’s story with you.  We would especially like to thank Mary and Bryan S., Ivy’s parents, for not only opening their own hearts to a child with complex CHD, but also for their willingness to share their precious Ivy with us.  Thank you, Mary, for your beautiful words¦


Honoring our Hero,

For those of you who are new to our story, our precious Ivy Joy went home to Jesus on March 20, 2017. Ivy had a complex heart defect with many complications and many miracles to follow. She came home at 21 months, unrepaired and very sick, but more importantly, incredibly wanted and incredibly loved. She would undergo 5 open heart surgeries in 10 months, have set back after set back, and miracle after miracle. She just never stopped fighting and she never stopped smiling. Friends, when our girl could have said, œwhy me?, she said, œHow blessed am I?  Honestly, she never ever complained or felt sorry for herself. She woke up every morning, choosing JOY in spite of her circumstances. She is such a special child and she knew it, boy did she know it!!!! I know our girl is alive in heaven, singing with the angels, dancing with all the other precious children whose mommies and daddies also had to say goodbye for now, all too soon.

When I left for China to bring our precious 5-year-old daughter Charlotte home, my biggest fear was that my plane might crash and Ivy would no longer have me to mix her medicines, remember all the right snacks to take with us for her ongoing cardiology appointments, or care for her the way I do. I prepared the girls Easter baskets before I left, telling our older daughter where they were in case anything happened to me. The last thing on my mind was the thought of me, having to learn live life without Ivy.

On March 20, 2017, just hours after meeting Charlotte in China, our baby girl, the light of our lives, took her last breath at home and took her very first breath in heaven. Our lives were turned upside down in one second and I am here to tell you, we continue choosing joy because she taught us how. So, we continue to strive each day to make her proud of us as we count the days till we see her and hold her again. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. I don’t like it, but she taught me well and Jesus made a way for us to be together again so I have so much to be thankful for. He never promised she’d make it past her first surgery, but she did. I vowed to Him the day she came out of her first open heart surgery on ECMO that if He took her home that night, I’d still praise Him, I’d still thank Him, for the blessing of being her mommy even for just a few months. Well, with miracle after miracle, Ivy did come home. And we snuggled and giggled and grew and laughed and loved and learned so much from her for 5 precious years. Oh how I miss every single thing about her. It is new grief every single day and new mercies get us through every single morning.

I traveled to China on March 18th for a March 20th gotcha day. I was so very blessed to have had a friend traveling with me on this trip. And I will never forget just laying on my bed, screaming out in pain and agony and complete brokenness. She came to me, so completely broken and scared and worried and she said, œhoney, what do you want to do? whatever you want, however you want to go about it, no one will judge you, everyone will understand that there is no wrong or right here.

And without even having to think, with the power of the Holy Spirit and the gift of all the modeling by example Ivy Joy had done for me over the 5 years I was blessed to have her on earth, I answered.

I said, œKim, Charlotte waited 5 years to have a family, she did nothing wrong, and there is no way that Ivy would have any part of me leaving her in China. I am Charlotte’s mom as much as I am Ivy’s. And what I want is to get home to my family as fast as anyone could ever fathom, with Charlotte holding my hand. I want God to move mountains for me to get home tomorrow, so I can grieve with my family and see my baby for the last time, even if it’s just her shell.

And so, with my friend’s non-stop work, and with the efforts and kind hearts of both the Chinese and American consulate, and the constant help and support of Madison Adoption Associates, Charlotte and I made history and finalized her adoption the next morning, and came home. My poor girl was so confused and scared watching this new mommy of hers cry so much. And it got even more frightening when we arrived to a group of 8 more people crying and grieving. But she was grieving too, so we quickly bonded, as we all understood what loss felt like. The beauty of our grief was that we had each other to grieve with and at that moment, it was the only thing that mattered.

February is such an important month in our home! February is Congenital Heart Defect Awareness month and February is the month that we adopted Ivy and she became our beloved daughter! We met on February 13th (œher gothcha) and on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, we signed all the China documents that made it official. How perfect that her family day was on Valentine’s Day!!!

I will end this with a testimony of the gift our daughter was to us. If I had a chance to do life over, with this same scenario and this same outcome, I would have my hands in the air with the biggest YES just to be her mommy for however long God gave me! YES it was worth it, YES it was hard, YES it is hard, and YES life is so much better because she was in it. Easy is just that, easy. Easy would have meant that there was no Ivy Joy. No being Ivy’s family. We know that true joy is chosen. It is searched for and chosen. We give thanks for so much more than just things that can be seen. We have experienced the richness of life, we have seen miracles, and we have watched doctors scratch their heads as Ivy recovered from things that she was not expected.

We have seen heartache that we wish NO ONE would ever have to experience. Every moment, every high and every low, was so worth it!

Reading the file of a child with heart defects is scary stuff, it’s not for the faint at heart, it comes with no promises. But behind that file, is just a little child who needs a family! We had no idea how much we needed Ivy, but it was certainly more than she needed us. Our YES was hard; but with our YES came unspeakable joy!

Don’t let HARD scare you. Hard teaches, hard grows us, hard matures us, and hard causes us to reach out for the only hand that will always be there for us, today, tomorrow, yesterday, and infinitely.

With Love and Joy,

Mary


MAA is humbled to offer the ˜For Ivy’ $1,000 grant to families adopting any child with complex CHD.  And while we are featuring Ivy’s story in February in honor of Heart Awareness month, we are happy to offer this grant year-round, as we stand by all children with CHD like Ivy, and strive to get them all home as soon as possible.  To meet some of the children we are advocating for with complex CHD, please visit our website.

If you are not in a position to adopt, but would still like to help bring these children home, please consider donating to the For Ivy grant so that we can offer this grant for years to come!

The You Now – Johnny

The You Now – Johnny

Oh Johnny!  You are so much more than number three thousand five hundred and ninety-eight.  We knew that all along¦.but now we can share more of you with the world!!  The you that is NOW, not just the you from ten years ago.  The you now is active and busy, but also well-behaved and obedient.  The you now can run, jump, and climb like other kiddos your age, and do all the fine motor skills of your peers as well!  The you now tries hard in school, and has good relationships with friends.  The you now cares about others, and has no challenges with language.  Your speech is comparable with adults!  And Johnny, last but not least, the you now knows what adoption is, and the you now wants to be adopted.

Dear, sweet Johnny.  You are perfect.  You have sat on the shared list for years, just as a number.  But you are oh so much more than that.  The you now is perfect, as was the you then.  And our hope and prayer for you is that your Mama and Baba will see the you now, and step up and say you are meant to be theirs!


Johnny is currently waiting with Madison Adoption Associates.  He will turn 11-years-old in a few months.  There is a $1,000 grant available to the family who adopts Johnny, with other grants possible.  To learn more, please complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form.

Three thousand five hundred ninety-eight

Three thousand five hundred ninety-eight

I was perusing the shared list as I do most nights, searching by gender, then by age, then by province, then by special need.  Clicking on so many different files, and seeing so many different faces.  When for some reason I decided to open the absolute last file on the list.  Number 3,598.  Yes, that is number three thousand five hundred and ninety-eight.  Say it with me¦.THREE THOUSAND FIVE HUNDRED AND NINETY-EIGHT.  I can’t even comprehend how huge that number is when it is in reference to waiting children.  And, as we know, that number doesn’t even scratch the surface of the number of orphans in the world.  Any way….I digress.  Back to that file¦.the last one on the list.  #3598.  I knew I had to do something for him.  Because he is not just the last file on the list.  He is not just number three thousand five hundred and ninety-eight.  He is a child.  He is a boy.  He is a soul.  Waiting.  Waiting for what all the children are waiting for¦.a family to say Yes to him.

So as I open his file and start reading, I notice the date that it was posted to the shared list.  March 19, 2010.  9 years ago.  Nine years.  And since we’re talking about numbers here, let’s say that number together too¦..NINE YEARS.  His file was released 9 years ago.  What were you doing then?  I was getting ready to meet my first child.  Who is now ALMOST 9.  I feel like I have lived an entire lifetime in these past 9 years.  And that whole time, Johnny has been waiting on some list. 

His file was completed when he was 4 months old.  He’ll turn 11 in a few short months.  His file talks about baby babble, and rolling over.  There is nothing about his life as a toddler, or as a little boy, or as now a young man.  Nothing about his likes and dislikes.  There are no updates.  Of course we are doing all we can to get an update, but what if we can’t?  What does that mean for Johnny?  That he will continue to hold his spot as #3598?  The last on the list?  The one that sat and sat and sat for years, with no one asking about him, until he turns 14 and loses his chance at a family?  Please, please let that not be the case.  Johnny needs more than just us fighting for him.  He needs a family fighting for him.  Demanding answers.  Begging for updates.  Johnny needs a family, his family, to step up and never, ever let him hold last place again.


Johnny is currently waiting with Madison Adoption Associates.  He will turn 11-years-old in a few months.  There is a $1,000 grant available to the family who adopts Johnny, with other grants possible.  To learn more, please complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form.

THANK YOU – Our Giving Tuesday Recap

THANK YOU – Our Giving Tuesday Recap

˜Thank You’ doesn’t seem sufficient enough to represent our feelings of gratitude.  Maybe Thank You in 10 different languages would be better?

謝謝. БлагодаÑя ти. Gracias. አመሰግáŠáˆˆáˆ. Спасибо.  Salamat. Gratias tibi. áá»á±á¸á‡á°á¸áá„áºá•á«áášáº. ありがとうございました. DziÄ™kujÄ™ Ci. 

Nope.  Still feels too little.  So, we’ll just stick with a simple Thank You.  But please know that it is a Thank You filled with sincerity, and pulled not only from the bottom of our hearts, but from the hearts of the four Angels in Adoption families as well.  You see, with your generosity, we were able to raise close to $8,000 for our Angels in Adoption!!  We were able to bless each ever-so-deserving family with close to $2,000 thanks to you!  This gift YOUR gift went towards specialized formula, medical procedures, travel associated with medical therapies, and so much more!  So, on behalf of MAA, the four Angels in Adoption families, and their four very special kiddos, we’ll say it one last time THANK YOU!  Thank You for making this Giving Tuesday a memorable one for us, and more importantly, for our Angels in Adoption.

Why Host?

Why Host?

You’ve seen their pictures.  You’ve heard some of their stories.  You’ve read our pleas asking you to step out of your comfort zone and fill in the gap for these kids.  These kids who have waited for years and years for their chance at a forever.  These kids who are so much more than words in a file.  But the excuses are so easy to hang on to.  œWe are too busy.  œWe’d have to rearrange our bedrooms. œThe kids might get too attached.  The list goes on and on with the ˜why we can’t’s.  And we get it.  We really do!  But as that list continues to grow, we ask you to just pause for a moment, and ask yourselves, Why Not?  Even take it a step further, and don’t just ask, but really consider, ˜What if we did host?’  ˜How would we be impacted?’ ˜What would it mean for us and the hosted child?’  ‘What would those 20-25 days look like?’  None of us know the answers to those questions.  But some possibilities are that you could offer a life changing three weeks to a deserving child; you could learn about a new culture, and share your own; you could become the answer to a waiting child’s prayer; you could be forever changed, and change the life of a child; or maybe, just maybe, you could fall in love.  Now, wouldn’t all that be worth it?  Think about it.

We are hosting a conference call on December 18, 2018 at 7pm CST to answer ALL of your hosting questions.  From standard hosting to ˜reverse’ hosting, from big picture to minor details, please join us to have all of your questions answered!  The dial in number is (605) 468-8845, with a participant access code of 813043.  We look forward to having you there!  And we look forward to you choosing to be the change that will change a child’s life.


To learn more about our hosting programs, please visit our website, or email michelle@madisonadoption.org for more information.

Giving Tuesday – The time is NOW

Giving Tuesday – The time is NOW

We’ve given you a glimpse into the day-to-day lives of our Angels in Adoption.  And while each and every one of them would say, œNo way¦.we are not the brave ones¦.it is our children who are, to that we say, you ALL are.  Brave, courageous, faithful.  These four families (meet them here, here, here, and here) sacrifice day in and day out for these four precious children.  They pour their all into them, so it is our hope to pour even just a little back. 

THE TIME IS HERE.

THE TIME IS NOW.

It is Giving Tuesday. 

Time to GIVE.

We ask that you do what you can in joining us in showering these four families with love and support.  Our hope is that our gift will give these families the opportunity to just take a bit of a breath.  A couple date nights, help with the holidays, slight relief from the never-ending medical and travel bills.  Whatever they decide, you can rest assured they will do so with a smile on their faces, thanks to you.  And because we believe in this cause with all of our hearts, we are happy to match each and every donation*!

Thank you for your generosity!

And thank you to the Sims, Johnson, Pitts, and Taylor families for not only sharing your journeys with us all, but more so for that one, little, big, significant YES you said to your children.


You can donate directly on our website, or send a check to:

Madison Adoption Associates

1102 Society Drive

Claymont, DE 19703

100% of donations will go towards the four Angels in Adoption.  Please specify on your donation that it is for Giving Tuesday.

*MAA will match donations up to $4,000

THANK YOU!!!




 

Angels in Adoption – The Taylor Family {Giving Tuesday}

Angels in Adoption – The Taylor Family {Giving Tuesday}

Your bellies are full, and your hearts are thankful.  Ours are too –  thankful for you all, for all of our families, and especially for the four Angels in Adoption that we have introduced you to over the past month.  In case you missed it, we are so excited to be raising money for these four special families on Giving Tuesday.

Four MAA Families who have endured the unthinkable.  Four MAA Families who knew the risks, and said Yes regardless, because it meant a Yes for their child.  These four families have been to the brink, and are all still working their way back.  Their days are filled with medical appointments, surgeries, unknowns, heartache, worry, but ultimately, joy.  So.much.joy despite the hard.  Despite being in the trenches.  So, it is for these Four MAA Angels in Adoption that we are reaching out to you.  Our dream is to shower them with love, and gratitude, and support.  They have poured out their hearts and souls into their children, and it’s time to pour into them.  Their lives have been turned completely upside-down due to the intense medical needs of their children.  So, we want to just do a little something to say, œWe see you.  We notice you.  We love you.  Whether it’s a Target gift card to help with the holidays, or a much needed night out for Mom and Dad, our goal is simple to give just a little something to four MAA Angels in Adoption who continue to give their everything, day in and day out.

As we introduce you to our final Angel in Adoption, we thank you for ‘meeting’ these four special families – for reading their stories, and holding them in your hearts.  As we have shared about them with you, our hope is that you will share what you can with them.  And because we are so dedicated to this, we, too, are going to share.  We will match your donations for each family.*

Last week you met the Pitts family, and their daughter Clara.

Our final Angel in Adoption who we want to shower with love on Giving Tuesday is the Taylor family¦

Our journey to Everly took 613 days, but God had a hand in it all.  Back in 2015, a friend, who worked at New Hope Foster Home outside of Beijing, told us there was a spunky little girl who needed a home.  So after years of praying about it, we started the adoption process.  The paperwork, the files, the logistics, all of it seemed endless, but God had such a plan for our family.  In November of 2017, we traveled to China, with our older daughter, Lorelai, to get Everly.  We fell in love with her instantly and our whirlwind trip went relatively smoothly.  We brought her home on December 1st, and the entire family was smitten with our sweet little girl.

6:30am wake up for chemo day

Upon settling into family life and getting a grasp on her health condition, we found out she had a large brain tumor which we were completely blindsided by.  We knew she had Epilepsy when we adopted her, but we were shocked to hear she was likely born with a brain tumor that had gone undetected for 4.5 years.  Living close to the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), we knew we were surrounded by world-class doctors.  In May of 2018 she underwent a partial tumor resection of her brain.  She is the strongest little girl we have ever met, and she recovered from her surgery like a champ.  Since some of her tumor is inoperable, Everly is currently undergoing a year of weekly chemotherapy treatments in hopes of stunting the growth of the remaining tumor.  She has her CHOP nurses and doctors amazed at her strength and resiliency, and we are amazed at the growth and development she has made this past year.  She’s currently in part-day preschool and is learning so much, despite being in weekly treatments which cause her some nausea and fatigue a few days a week.

Everly’s brothers and sister love her to pieces and we are so thankful for our amazing community of friends and family who pray for her and root for her constantly.  We know God had a plan for this little girl when He brought her home to us, and He used her to put a smile on so many people’s faces.  We are so thankful to Madison Adoption Associates for helping us bring her home.

Thank you, Melanie and Joe, for sharing your family’s journey with us.  You are in our thoughts and prayers!

 


While our goal is to raise funds on Giving Tuesday (November 27), we welcome you to make your donation whenever you feel so moved between now and then.  You can donate directly on our website, or send a check to:

Madison Adoption Associates

1102 Society Drive

Claymont, DE 19703

100% of donations will go towards the Taylor Family, and our other three Angels in Adoption.  Please specify on your donation that it is for Giving Tuesday.

*MAA will match donations up to $4,000

THANK YOU!!!