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Thankful for YOU, the adoptive family

As we gathered around the conference room table during our own makeshift ˜Friendsgiving’ last week, the time came to share what we were grateful for.  Of course, our own families were mentioned, but then you were too.  Our adoptive families.  Because without you, we cannot do what we do.  We cannot change the lives of the fatherless.  YOU make it all possible.  For you, we are eternally grateful.  And while we would love to share each and every story, as they are all so special, we only have room for one today.  Please read Jenny’s story.  And as she gives thanks for her daughter this Thanksgiving, we give thanks for her.

Their first hug

For years, her friends would return from these trips and she would see how they were changed.  She would see how their hearts would bleed for the children they met.  Not only were their lives changed, but the lives of some of the children they met were changed, as they would advocate for the children until forever families were found.  She wanted to go.  She wanted to do her part to be a voice for the fatherless.  So in November 2016, Jenny went to China as part of Madison Adoption Associates ˜Ambassadors of Hope’ team.  A trip that would change her life more than she could ever imagine.

The team visited three orphanages that trip.  They met many children, getting to know them, doting on them, playing, laughing, teaching them how to be kids.  And taking pictures galore knowing they would help advocate for the children on their return home.  Each advocate was assigned one or two children at each orphanage.  Prior to the trip, Jenny was drawn to ˜Nikki’s’ picture.  So she was assigned as ˜Nikki’s’ advocate.

Upon arriving at ˜Nikki’s’ orphanage, the second orphanage on the trip, Jenny felt butterflies like she hadn’t at the first orphanage.  She was going to meet the little girl whose picture she had been praying over for weeks.  And what a spectacular meeting it was!  ˜Nikki’s’ smile lit up the room, and she and Jenny were inseparable during their days together.

Jenny went on to orphanage number three, where she continued to do her part to advocate for the kids she met, but she could not get ˜Nikki’ off her mind.  Of course she was dedicated to advocate hard for all of the kids assigned to her, but especially ˜Nikki’ she just HAD to find this sweet, special girl her forever family.

One of many hugs to come as Mother and daughter

Jenny returned home.  ˜Re-entry’ was difficult, as it can be coming off a trip like this.  You see, the children have a way of imprinting themselves deep into your soul.  You might try to get back to your normal, but they will always be there, on your heart.  Jenny experienced this for all the children she met, but especially for ˜Nikki.’  She could not get this girl off her mind, off her heart, off her soul.  She dove into advocacy, but quickly realized she was having a difficult time advocating for ˜Nikki.’  As, the ˜what ifs’ wouldn’t go away.  What if I am her Mom?  What if she is the reason God sent me on that trip?  What if?  What if?  After pondering and praying through all of the ˜what ifs,’ it became clear to Jenny that her advocacy for ˜Nikki’ was complete.  Her forever family was found.  In Jenny.

Jenny dove in head first that day.  And almost one year later, ˜Nikki’ became Evy Lu, and was placed into Jenny’s arms again¦.this time as daughter, this time forever.

Ready to go home!

Evy’s first Halloween


Madison Adoption Associates has adoption programs in China, Philippines, Bulgaria, and Colombia.  There is currently a $1,000 grant available to any family who signs on for any adoption program by the end of 2017.  Visit our website, or email for more information.


I recently heard a statistic that kids laugh hundreds of times per day, while adults laugh only a handful.  I tried verifying this statistic for the sake of this post, and found varying reports of truth.  So I scrapped the research and stuck with my own observations.  And I found it to be obviously true.  In just one evening of listening to my boys, I quit counting the laughs when I hit 100.  They laughed at a cartoon, at the dog, at my mismatched socks, and of course, too many times at the word ˜poop’ (they are boys after all).  I didn’t laugh half as much.  It was then that I realized, where ever this ˜statistic’ came from, whether or not it has any data-backed validity, it is filled with truth.  When you sit back and hear, really hear, a child’s laughter, it has an almost calming effect.  It pulls you into their innocence, and forces you to realize that the reasons you aren’t laughing (the dishes, work, the laundry, getting to basketball practice on time, upcoming holiday preparations) are not worth lost joy.  So I took a big pause, sat with them, and do you want to know what is even funnier than the word ˜poop’?  A Mom saying the word ˜poop.’  We laughed together for the rest of the evening.

So when I sat down today to write a post about one of our waiting kiddos, I opened Aubrey’s video, and not 4 seconds in, I knew I had to share her with you, as part of this post.  Her giggle just has to be heard.  Her sweet, innocent, not-a-care-in-the-world giggle will force you to pause.  Will calm you down, and make you hear, really hear, joy.  Oh how Aubrey would bless a family with this giggle.  How she would ground you, and make you realize, every day, there is joy to be had, and so many laughs to be laughed.

Aubrey is 6 years old and is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  She is diagnosed with thalassemia and CHD, and is reportedly developmentally on target.  There is a $2,000 grant available through the end of the year for the family who is lucky enough to adopt her and be blessed by her giggles.  Please complete the Prospective Adoptive Parent form for consideration as Aubrey’s forever family, or email for more information.

MAA Grant Announcement

3,092. 3,092 children waiting on one country’s shared list. One country. And that doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all of the children waiting in that one country. Don’t get me wrong, 3,092 is a huge number. But it is simply a fraction of the number of children waiting for forever families across the world. And it doesn’t come close to touching the estimated 153 million orphans in our world. So picture a number somewhere between 3,092 and 153 million as you read this next statistic¦.

40%. We’ve had to turn away 40% of families who recently contacted us about adoption, because they no longer qualify.

Regulations will change. They always do! But these changing regulations do not change the number of children who wait. That number continues to grow. It grows while the number of qualifying families continues to decrease. We could argue about how unfair it is, and we can fight policies (and, we do), but it still will not change the number who wait.

While we continue to do all we can behind the scenes to urge our partners to recognize the ramifications of regulations that are far too restrictive, the children still wait. So for now, while we fight for the children, and while we continue to wait alongside them, we extend this grant to you to the qualified prospective adoptive family. We need you. They need you. Do not wait any longer. The time is now.


Madison Adoption Associates is pleased to offer the ‘Regulations May Change, But The Children Still Wait $1,000 Grant’ to any qualified family who applies and contracts with MAA for any program today through December 31, 2017 (deducted from the first agency fee). *This is in addition to all other qualifying MAA child and family grants.*

Email for more information.