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In the darkness, there is light…

As I sit here with a spotless house, fridge stocked full of all the bells and whistles for tomorrow, knowing family and friends are en route from far and wide, my mind is still in China.  I’m barely a week off my trip, and it is still more than fresh in my mind.  We spent ten days visiting orphanages, loving on kids, witnessing heartache.  Though, during the moments of darkness, somehow light, and hope, managed to shine through.  One of those moments happened when I got to see these three very dear friends.


You see, they are my friends because I got to spend a wonderful month with them last summer.  They were three of 17 orphans who came for summer hosting to the US.  Thanks to hosting, they are now three orphans no more, as their families race through paperwork to get to them.  Thanks to hosting, these three boys will know love, they will know family, they will know hope.  These three boys will learn the fun of snapping the wishbone, and they will soon enough know what full bellies and football are all about.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful for these three boys.  But more so, I am thankful for their host families who stepped up into the unknown, into the uncomfortable, to give these boys a chance.  Without these host families, who knows what the fate of these three boys would be.

As you sit around the table Thursday, giving thanks for family, for love, for food, please do not forget about those who do not have any of those things¦.and think about how you can step up to change that.  The following kids will be coming for hosting in February 2017.  Think about stepping out of your comfort zone for three short weeks and hosting one of these kids, and giving them the chance to be able to be thankful for something next Thanksgiving.


Joe – 10


Logan – 7


Adam – 10


Bode – 8


Nelson – 7


Paul – 7


Mallory – 11


Melanie – 12


Cleo – 9


Charles – 10


Donovan – 10


Bentley – 9


Gus – 8


Mary – 12

All of these children are available for hosting this coming winter, February 13 – March 6, through Madison Adoption Associates.  Hosting is available in IL, MO, PA, NJ, and MD.  For more information on hosting one of these amazing children, please email

A Blown Kiss

Dear Jayne,

I ended my last letter to you dreaming that I would meet you one day, living out your forever.  Well, I was at least able to fulfill half of that dream, and for that I am grateful.  Meeting you Jayne was honestly one of the most meaningful and poignant moments of my life.  You interacted with our team so beautifully you answered the endless questions, and you demonstrated the exceptional progress that you have made.  I was busy with the other children while you were meeting with the team.  After your interview, you locked eyes with me, as if you knew that I was your voice.  You immediately came my way and said something to me, in Chinese, over and over again.  Jayne, somehow I already knew what you were saying, but I needed to make sure.  I called our translator over and asked him.  œShe is saying, ˜When will I have a family?  I want to go to America.  I want a family.  Will you find me a family?’  In that moment Jayne, I had to look away.  I rubbed your back as the tears streamed down my face.  I didn’t want you to see, so I did my best to shield my tears from you.  It was not pity.  It was simply heartache from knowing how special you are, and knowing how blessed you will make your family.  œPlease tell her I’m trying.

I don’t know how you knew that I was the one sharing your story Jayne.  Call it intuition, call it a sixth sense, call it whatever you want.  But from the moment you locked eyes with me, you didn’t leave my side.  I could feel your heart.  I could feel your yearning for a family.  No more translation was needed.  After our time together, as you walked away from me, into the orphanage, your eyes never left mine.  And at the last moment, you blew me a kiss.  You spoke to me with your eyes and with that kiss, as a flurry of kids and activity bustled around us.  It was as if time stopped, and the activity around us was frozen, and it was just you and me in that moment.  No words were needed.  I knew what you were asking me.pan-ying-rui-nov-2016-10

After I dried my tears, I approached the Madison team, œWe HAVE to do more for her.  Can we waive all of our agency fees?  The answer was a resounding YES.  Then I approached our translator, œPlease tell the orphanage director we are doing all that we can, but we need more.  Can they waive the orphanage donation?  The answer was YES.

Jayne, I will continue to be your voice, and I will continue to share your story until the very last minute.  The vision of you walking into the orphanage, seeing only me, and blowing me that kiss, will be forever seared into my memory.  We’re half way there Jayne¦half way to fulfilling both of our dreams.  We have met, and now we just need to meet again while you are living out your forever.

With much love, and a blown kiss across the oceans,


Jayne is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  She will turn 14 on March 8, at which time she will no longer be available for adoption.  All agency fees ($8,000) are waived for the family who adopts Jayne.  The orphanage donation will also be waived.  AND, an anonymous donor is donating $3,000 to the family who adopts Jayne to help cover the remaining costs.  Email for more information, or visit our website