|The wonderful Eriksen family!|
Sara woke up that morning, made a cup of coffee, turned on her computer to see what was happening out in the world of Reece's Rainbow and their love story began.
On that day, June 24th, several of us blogger types in the Reece's Rainbow community had decided to rally together for one special boy. Remember "Porter"? We had recently discovered that Porter, a 7 year old orphan in Eastern Europe, had been transferred to the Lost Boys institution and our hearts were broken for him. So we all decided to blog about Porter on the same day. We would send out his face far and wide, praying and hoping that his Mommy and Daddy would see their boy and decide to go after him. Well, God loves the orphan with a fierce, tangible love, and that day He answered our prayers. Sara turned on her computer, saw Porter's face, and instantly knew she was looking at her son. Curtis agreed. "Let's go get him!"
Oh my word, the excitement when we found out that Porter had a family coming for him! My excitement was extra because I found out that his family lived in our town, like 8 minutes away from us!!!! Ha! I just love how God works. Jed and I met Curtis and Sara and a friendship was born. Now our friends, Curtis and Sara are in Eastern Europe to bring home their boy and they need our help.
You see, this love story (like most) has taken many twists and turns over the past 6 months (holy fast adoption Batman!!). Sara and Curtis found out in September that there had been some confusion over the pictures of Porter. They had fallen in love with a little boy in a pink shirt, in a picture on Reece's Rainbow. Then some other pictures came out from adoptive families in that region. It was thought by many people that the boy in those pictures was Porter before he was transferred. Curtis and Sara rejoiced to see their love. Extra pictures and video are a luxury most don't get when adopting from Porter's country, so this was awesome! They fell more in love. Well....in September they found out that the boy in the extra pictures was not, in fact, Porter. They were, in fact, in love with two different little boys! How crazy is that? I'm tellin' ya, only in the adoption world. Haha! I remember talking to Sara on the phone, her heart was broken, knowing that in choosing to continue to pursue Porter's adoption they were having to say no to the boy they had grown to love in the extra pictures. But, they knew God had called them to Porter, so they continued on their love story journey, a little confused, but trusting God had a plan.
|Left: Reece's Rainbow profile pic, Right: Extra adoptive family pic|
Then in October, some more news came- another twist in the love story journey. This time the news was good! Curtis and Sara found out that Porter was not living in the Lost Boys institution! He was living in an orphanage for healthier children that was located in the same small town as the Lost Boys. They rejoiced knowing Porter was most likely getting better care at this orphanage. I remember Sara telling me she was not really surprised because she had been praying all along that Porter's situation was different, better, than his profile on Reece's Rainbow indicated. Her Mama heart believed the best for her boy and they continued on their love story journey.
Last week Curtis and Sara arrived in Eastern Europe for the culmination of their love story. The time had come to meet Porter and make him their son. There had been many twists and turns, testing of their faith, and all along they had trusted that God had a plan. Now they were going to get to meet their boy that had loved from afar and prayed for for months. They had their appointment at the office for adoptions last Tuesday and their love story took a crazy turn none of us saw coming. Porter has an extra diagnosis that no one here in the US knew about. Yes, he is HIV positive, Curtis and Sara were prepared for that. But he also had a diagnosis that changed the game instantly. Curtis and Sara are not homestudy approved for this extra diagnosis. No matter how much they love Porter, they were not able to continue with his adoption. They do not meet the requirements to adopt him.
When adopting from Porter's country it is widely known that you never know what you're gonna get till you get there. Things can be very unpredictable and nothing is set in stone. Much faith is required. :) But nothing can prepare you for the loss of the son of your hearts. But you know what? God was not done with the Eriksens. Their love story continued. In that moment, in that office of adoptions, they were presented with the files of all the boys who met their homestudy requirements. In that moment they were to choose their son. God's love story continued and they chose a little boy named "Marcus".
Last week they met Marcus and they are completely in love. They are in the process of adopting him. Yay!
The end result of this love story looks different than they had originally thought, but it is a love story all the same. It is the story of God's love for Curtis and Sara- that He would gently guide them and lead them, using the means He knew they needed, to guide them to their son Marcus.
It is the story of God's love for Marcus. As he waited in an orphanage across the world, God was molding and guiding his parents' paths to ultimately lead them to his door.
I believe it is also the story of God's love for Porter. Porter has now been "seen". He is not lost. He is not just a face. He is loved and cherished- by Curtis and Sara, by Jed and me, by the rest of the Eriksens family and friends, by many many advocates in the Reece's Rainbow community. We will not forget Porter, and now that we know more about his needs we are able to better advocate for him. You better believe Curtis and Sara are not going to let him be forgotten. God has the perfect family for Porter- his love story is not over yet.
Remember earlier when I said I needed your help? Well, if you've stuck with me long enough, here's where you come in. Each child listed on Reece's Rainbow has a grant. Some grants have only a few dollars, some have thousands of dollars (ahem...Heath!). These dollars are donated by people who love these children. The goal is to help offset the costs of the family who decides to adopt that child. Funds from the child's grant our dispersed to the adoptive family when they receive their invitation to travel to the adoptive country. Adoption is expensive, so these grants are a life-saver.
Porter had $4,986 in his adoption grant when Curtis and Sara committed to his adoption. This was a tremendous help to them. Well, now that they are not able to adopt Porter, those funds need to be returned to his grant fund. And they should! I believe Porter has a family coming for him and they will need all the financial help they can get! BUT, this was not something the Eriksens saw coming. When working toward fundraising for this adoption they were counting on that money. Now they need to pay it back to Porter's fund.
Would you be able to help the Eriksens financially one last time? They are in Eastern Europe as we speak. There is nothing they can do to earn money or fundraise while they are there. They need the Body of Christ to gather around them and love them through this. Let me tell you something about these people. They have worked their tails off to fundraise for their adoption! :) Every.single.weekend they were doing fundraisers. They are hard workers, but now they need our help.
Here's how you can help! ( I just knew you were waiting on pins and needles for that part!) :)
1. Donate $$ to the Eriksens adoption fund right here. Every little bit helps. I know these people, and I know that they will appreciate every single dollar that comes there way. Money that is donated to the Eriksen's adoption fund will then be used to replenish Porter's grant fund. Make sense?
2. Pass this love story along to others. Many of us doing our part, big or small, will make a huge difference!
3. Pray for God's provision for the Eriksens and little Marcus: financial provision, emotional provision, physical provision (Sara is fighting a cold right now). God is the Provider of everything they need! Pray for their hearts as they grieve the loss of Porter.
4. Pray for dear, sweet Porter. Pray that his Mommy and Daddy find him soon. Pray that God's perfect plan be accomplished in his life. Share his face. Share his story. Help the Eriksens find a family for the boy they still love- and will always love.
This love story isn't over yet. God's plans are perfect. His ways are perfect and I can not wait to see how this all ends for the Eriksens, for Marcus, for dear Porter. Praise God for His guiding hand and that His ways are higher than ours. THANK YOU for helping our friends!!