Eliza and Evangeline have been home with us for just over seven months.
They are both fourteen and a half years old. For their first fourteen years they lived as orphans devoid of the love and security a family provides.
They battled chronic illness and cognitive disability alone until the day we arrived to take them home forever.
Evangeline has a rare form of Spina Bifida and had a very old bone infection of which no one was aware when we arrived to take her home.
She spent her first eleven years in a horrific orphanage where there was little to no heat, never enough food to go around, and one in which abuse ran rampant and unrestrained.
She is four feet tall and merely fifty pounds. Her brittle bones tell the story of a life lived far too long without enough nourishment for her tiny body.
Eliza spent her years in a somewhat better orphanage, but one that was completely unaware that she was autistic. She struggled to make sense of social cues and to comprehend and use language effectively. She had no friends. She lived on the outskirts of the orphanage and the public school she attended because no one understood this precious child who was kept apart by a disability that had never been identified.
Sadly, this story is all too common for so many older orphaned children. The names and faces change, but the children all carry burdens far too heavy for their little shoulders.
A life without a mom and dad is no life at all.
And as if living the first fourteen years in an orphanage is somehow not enough brokenness and loss for their short little lives to bear, the future that lies ahead for these children who never find a family is even bleaker.
Research shows that as high as 95% of the children who age out of orphanages without ever finding their forever families are human trafficked within the first year.
For these older children, adoption is nothing short of redemption in their lives.
My friends, adoption is redemption. It’s costly, outrageous, expensive, excruciating & exhausting. Buying back lives costs so much. When God set out to redeem us, it killed him.~Derek Loux
Yet adopting these precious older children is costly. International adoptions typically cost between $30,000 and $50,000.
Another issue is that frequently it is an established family that has the experience and ability to meet the needs of an older child, yet most established families’ budgets are spread thin meeting the needs of the children they are already parenting.
There is a huge need for ministries to come alongside these families and provide funds to bring the children home.
The Pearl Ministry did just that for our family. As we grew closer to travel, and were still short thousands of dollars, the Pearl Ministry stepped out in faith and committed to providing the final amount that we needed to board that plane to rescue our girls.
The Pearl Ministry, along with so many other faithful givers, changed the world for Eliza and Evangeline.
They are orphans no more.
They have come home, and their lives are forever changed by the presence of a family in their lives.
Our dear friends, Roy and Lori Cross, have now stepped out in faith to adopt a precious older child and hope to travel in the fall.
The need is big, but our God is bigger.
Again, The Pearl Ministry has committed to partnering with the Cross family to raise the funds to bring sweet Allie home.
Your gift will change the world for little Allie.