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Dear Auden…

Dear Auden…

Dear Auden,

Where do I begin?  How do I start a letter to someone who has been on my mind and in my heart every single day for over four years?  I guess I’ll start at the beginning….

I will never forget the day I met you.  I was in China on an advocacy trip and was given the opportunity to come into your orphanage.  We met many children, took pictures and video, and gathered all the information we could so when we got home we could advocate like crazy.  We went from crib to crib, asking questions and sneaking in as many hugs and kisses as we could.  Then they brought you, in their arms, out to meet me.  I had seen babies like you on TV, in the news, and depicted in movies.  But never had I been face to face with a baby who very much appeared to be dying.  You had nannies and caregivers who were doing all they knew to help you, but your digestive needs were great, and you were very clearly slipping away.  I honestly have no idea how you were even still alive.  We asked questions about you, your needs, and how we could help.  I left that orphanage forever changed, because of you Auden.  So many waiting children weigh heavily on my heart.  But you, Auden, you became so deeply imbedded in there from that day, I knew I had to do something.

Our team contacted several organizations, and we were able to coordinate with Love Without Boundaries to get you not only the medical care that you so desperately needed, but also the love and nurturing from a wonderful foster family.  We were relieved you were off death’s doorstep, and we were hopeful that an adoption file would be prepared for you.  But only time would tell!

Several colleagues were making another trip to China in November 2016, with hopes of spending time in your province.  I begged them to check in on you, and to let me know how you were doing.  Oh how glad I was that they got to see you!  When I opened that picture of a chubby, gorgeous, bright-eyed meatball, I sobbed with joy….initially not even convinced it could possibly be you!  Oh Auden!  You did it!  You hung on, and you persevered.  And, thanks to Love Without Boundaries, you not only survived, but you were flourishing!!!  Our team gathered information and took many glorious pictures of your chubby face!  And we continued to hope and pray that an adoption file would be prepared for you to have a chance at a forever.

July 31, 2017 – the day finally came!!!  You had an adoption file and were now available for international adoption!  We immediately jumped into action and began advocating for you.  Many people were touched by all that you had overcome but still, your family did not step forward.  And we tried Auden.  I promise you, we tried.  We’ve never stopped trying.

Fast forward to now.  Sadly, you had to leave your loving foster home and return to the orphanage.  While the orphanage staff do their best with the limited resources they have, you, understandably, did not handle the transition well.  A Madison family was traveling to China just weeks ago to adopt their second child from your orphanage.  You have been on their heart too.  The Adoptive Mom packed some things for you specifically!  When she saw you, she cried.  But, they were not good tears.  When she sent me your picture, I didn’t recognize you.  Back in November 2016, I cried happy tears as I didn’t recognize you because you looked so wonderful. This time, though, I didn’t recognize you because you no longer smiled, and had scars on your head, likely from banging your head on the crib you sit in day after day and hour after hour.  This time, Auden, my tears were because I was devastated for you.  There you sat in a crib on a floor I’ve learned is no place for any child to be, and the look on your face was not of peace and contentment, but of sorrow and worry.  Oh Auden, after fighting for your life and coming out on the other side, here you were slowly slipping away again.  We just cannot let this happen again! 

So, with the help of many angels on earth, we have reached back out to Love Without Boundaries to see if they are able to provide any help.  And miraculously, it appears they are.  But, as with everything, it will not be free or cheap.  But Auden, you are loved, you are worthy, you are perfectly and wonderfully made, and you deserve care, compassion, and love.  Our prayer for you is, as it has been for years, that you get this care, compassion, and love from an adoptive family.  Until then, we are blessed that Love Without Boundaries is able to provide it for you.  But, they need help.  And I can assure you that I, many others who love you, and Madison, are all prepared to step in and provide that financial help so that you can thrive once again!

Auden, if I had a dime for every time I thought of you, for every time I prayed for you, we wouldn’t be in this position of needing funds for your care.  Many waiting children have touched my heart, but only a few have impacted me the way you have.  You have changed my life.  I will continue to advocate for you, to stand by you, to pray for you, and to ‘rally the troops’ and get whatever funding is needed so you can thrive again.  And dear Auden, I will NOT give up on you until you are flourishing again AND until we find your forever family.  Don’t lose hope sweet boy.  I made a promise to you the day I met you, and I stand by that promise now, and forever.

With Love,

Brooke

Love Without Boundaries is working diligently to provide care for Auden, but they need support.  Please consider donating to Madison Adoption Associates, as we vow to match every single dollar donated to us (up to $10,000) – Every penny will go to Love Without Boundaries specifically to get Auden the help, care, and services that he needs.

In addition, Madison Adoption Associates is offering a $5,000 grant to the qualified family who commits to adopting Auden.  Please complete a free Prospective Adoptive Parent form to find out more about Auden, and the adoption process.

A Holiday Wish…

A Holiday Wish…

It has always been hard for me to write advocacy posts around the holidays.  ‘But why?  People are always more giving around the holidays….their hearts are usually more open.  Wouldn’t that be the perfect time?’  Well, yes, you are right.  I didn’t say it is not a good time to advocate (for the record, it is ALWAYS a good time to advocate.  And we will continue to do so until no more children wait).  I said it is hard for me to write advocacy posts around the holidays.  You see, ‘the holidays’ isn’t just one day.  For me at least, it pretty much spans from pre-Thanksgiving through early January.  During these weeks, plans are being made, families and friends are coming together, traditions are being celebrated, bread is broken together, laughter is shared, and excitement is in the air.  In my house, the wooden Rudolph countdown decoration is attended to first thing every morning by my youngest – ‘Only 19 days Mom!’ And tuck-in is filled with ‘Where will Simi the Elf be tomorrow?!’

It’s during the holidays that the gravity of waiting children, and their reality, lays heaviest on my heart.  During this time, that for many of us, is filled with family, fellowship, and fullness – fullness of the heart, of the mind, and let’s be honest…of the belly.  For children too – a time that is filled with wonder and magic.  And as I sit here, next to the fire in my overly holiday decorated living room, waiting for the kids to run off the bus so we can go cut down our tree, my heart breaks even more for Madelaine.  This girl, with her shy demeanor, and her sweet, infectious giggle, deserves to be embraced by a family.  She deserves to be part of family traditions not just at the holidays, but year-round.  She deserves love, she deserves to share in the wonder and the magic, she deserves a childhood.  So please, take a moment during this busy, joyful time to pause and share about Madelaine’s need for a family.  I believe in the magic of the holiday season, and I so want to believe that this will be Madelaine’s last one without a family.

Madelaine is 8-years-old, is visually impaired, and is waiting in China.  She is available for adoption through Madison Adoption Associates.  Madison Adoption Associates is happy to provide a $5,000 Bright Futures Grant to the family who steps forward to adopt Madelaine.  Interested in learning more about Madelaine, and about the adoption process?  Please complete and submit our free Prospective Adoptive Parent form, and an adoption specialist will be in touch.