Where Are They Now?

Where (1)I’ve had a few requests for updates on what’s going on with past Advocate & Pray kids. Tracking down how their stories have progressed can be difficult, but I did my best to do so with some of the kids. I may do another similar post in the future if you guys like this one.

Aris (November 4, 2013) — Aris is no longer visible on the Children’s Hope International website. I emailed someone I had talked to previously and she said that not much is happening in Ethiopia. Several families are stuck in the adoption process, matched but unable to actually bring the children home. They aren’t sure they’ll be able to continue to Ethiopia program. Pray that Aris will be well cared for, whatever happens.

Min Kyo (November 18, 2013) — Min Kyo is no longer listed with Heart Gallery, LA. I don’t know what that means, but hopefully it’s good news.

Sunny (December 2, 2013) — I can’t even find the initial post that mentioned this young lady who was about to turn fourteen and become too old to be adopted from China.

Xiao (December 17, 2013) — I was unable to find Xiao’s listing on the agency website where I originally saw it, but some searching turned her up on the protected photo listing on Rainbow Kids. The information on her profile has not changed since my post a year and a half ago. (If you would like to view Xiao’s profile, you can register for an account with Rainbow Kids.)

Vitalik (January 6, 2014) — In an update on March 3, 2015, I mentioned that a missionary in Ukraine let me know that a friends of her’s adopted Vitalik! You can pray that he is doing well with his new family.

Greta (January 13, 2014) — On March 31, 2014, I posted to say Corine Lucas (one of our readers) posted on Facebook to let me know a family was seeking to adopt Greta. This family is still in process. Updates on the family’s blog are few and far between, but if you’d like to follow their journey, you can at Obedient 2 His Command.

Tristan (January 27, 2014)Tristan’s profile now says it is not available for public viewing. Not sure what that indicates as far as him finding a family…

Angela (February 10, 2014) — Angela is no longer listed with Doorways to Hope.

Candy (February 25, 2014) — Candy was another young lady about to age out of the adoptable age range in China. She was listed on Gladney’s, Asia Waiting Child blog. Beyond that initial blog post, I was unable to find further updates.

Margaret (March 10, 2014) — Margaret was listed with the same agency as Aris, and is likewise no longer listed.

Olexander (March 24, 2014) — Olexander is no longer listed with Doorways to Hope.

Jacques (March 21, 2014) — Now eight years old, Jacques is still listed with AdoptUsKids and has a new profile picture.

Olive (May 5, 2014) — The original post on No Hands But Ours is still available and her profile is still listed with Bringing Hope To Children.

Zack (May 19, 2014) — When I clicked through to the No Hands but Ours post linked to on the TIO post, one bold printed line had been added to the top of the post. Update: My family has found me!

Did you like getting an update on the kids we’ve prayed for? Have you followed any of their stories more closely?

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Renewing the Vision

Renewing the Vision_3

Where there is no vision, the people perish: –Proverbs 29:18

The dictionary definition of vision is, “the faculty or state of being able to see.” The Strong’s definition of the word used in the verse above is, a mental sight. Over the past few months, my vision for this blog has floundered. Coming up with post ideas has been a struggle, and too many times I’ve decided to just ignore the fact that it was time for a post. After talking with a friend about my frustration concerning this trend, I realized it might be a good idea to step back and redefine the purpose of TIO.

Sharing Involvement Ideas

When I first started this blog, I wanted to offer teens and young adults a resource to find ideas on how they could become involved in orphan care. This stemmed from my own frustration that most opportunities seemed geared for adults, and I had struggled to find such opportunities myself. This is still a huge goal. Many opportunities are listed on the Ways to Help page. Finding a steady stream of involvement ideas to post about has proved challenging, but I’m hoping to spend a little more time finding and sharing them with you guys.

One great way of finding ideas is to share what other teens are doing. Because of this, I’m hoping to step up the quantity and consistency of Teens in Action posts. My goal is to post one of these projects each month. If you or anyone you know of is working on an orphan care project, PLEASE tell me about it. Two readers have volunteered to help locate these projects in the blogosphere but they often get buried, so don’t hesitate to share. We will be very grateful for your assistance.

Another feature I’m hoping to add to the blog is a monthly letter writing challenge. The positive response to the Compassion Correspondence Sponsor post and the tremendous outpouring of support (largely from teenagers) for the Valentines Day Card Challenge indicates to me that ministering through cards is a great opportunity for young people. PLEASE tell me if this is something you will be interested in participating in. My hope is to feature various missionaries, adopting families, and perhaps even organizations and orphans that we can send notes of encouragement to. If you know of a missionary working with orphans or a family in the adoption process, let me know!

Advocate & Pray

These biweekly posts offer you guys a chance to get involved right from the blog. Prayer and advocacy are two orphan care areas wide open to teens. Unfortunately, the prayer chains haven’t been getting many sign-ups, and that might be because you don’t quite understand how they’re supposed to work. Be on the lookout for a post explaining those a bit better. If you have a Gmail account, you may find some useful tips in this post about Using Google Calendar to Pray. (Don’t despair if you don’t have Gmail! Using the calendar to remind you to pray each day is absolutely not required for participating in the A&P prayer chains.) If there is something you don’t understand about the prayer chains or if you have ideas on how to improve the format of the A&P posts, PLEASE let me know.

Education

Knowing the ins and outs, the pros and cons of the orphan care and adoption worlds are a big part of getting involved in caring for orphans. However, it’s a little tricky determining which topics will be relevant and of interest to this demographic of readers. I am hoping to brainstorm and develop some helpful “learn more about this” posts to share with you guys. If you have any questions or would like to learn more about certain topics, PLEASE tell me. It would be so helpful to have some concrete ideas of what you all are interested in reading about.

Bible and Inspiration

The Bible’s directives to serve the fatherless is the foundation of my passion in this area, and I know it’s the same for many of you. Therefore, I hope write a monthly post that draws it’s inspiration from God’s word. These posts may be specifically about orphan care, or they may be about broader topics that can apply to orphan care, such as the recent post titled, 120 Disciples Turned the World Upside-Down. If you have ideas for a devotional type post or would like to share how the Lord is working in your life in this area, PLEASE let me know and we’ll work on having you write a guest post.

Resource Round-Up or Link-Up

This blog only makes a pin-scratch in the vast resource of information, involvement opportunities, and inspiration shared by like-minded people. I would love to make a way for all of us to share our favorite orphan care related posts with one another each month. One of the blogs I follow is having a link-up party today. It would be awesome if we could share orphan care posts in a similar manner, so I’m doing some research on that potential (WordPress.com can be a pain about allowing stuff like that).

So, that’s the “renewed” vision for TIO. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. Are these categories of interest to you? Which category is MOST important to you? Is there something not mentioned here that you would like to see on TIO?

P.S. I did asked for feedback on a bunch of stuff in this post. You can share your feedback by commenting on this post (or any other post) or using the contact form.

 

Get Ready to Read! The Global Orphan Crisis

Global Orphan Crisis, TheTwo weeks ago, you all voted to help pick our next book club read. The Global Orphan Crisis ended up taking first place. I’m so excited to read this book and discuss it with all of you. It’s an especially easy book to talk about because there are discussion questions at the end of each chapter. I kind of breezed by them the first time I read it, so I’m looking forward to going back and thinking them over.

Since this blog started (almost a year ago!), several people have expressed interest in participating in the book club only to shy away when they find out it’s a Goodreads only thing. While Goodreads lends itself perfectly to book club style reading and discussing, I don’t want to exclude those who don’t have and don’t want a Goodreads account. So we’re going to be adventurous this time around and try to expand the book club to incorporate the blog.

I’m not sure what this will look like yet. It might be a separate page. Or a weekly post. Or something entirely different. Maybe we can get one participant a week to share his or her thoughts on the discussion question from the previous week. We’ll figure it out as we go.

So. Are you in?! I’m hoping everyone can start reading on September 29th. (That day may eventually get pushed to October 1st. We’ll see.) In any case, you have until then to secure your copy of the book.

Buy the Book!

Amazon
The Global Orphan Crisis (Paperback)
The Global Orphan Crisis (Kindle)

Barnes & Nobles
The Global Orphan Crisis (Nook)
The Global Orphan Crisis (Paperback)

Don’t forget to check your library!

Do you have any questions or suggestions? Fire away! How do you think we should incorporate the book club on the blog? Are you planning on joining us (please let me know if you are)?

I really hope this is an enjoyable success for all of us!

Participation Survey

If you’re reading this as an email, click through to see the survey.

P.S. A sneak peak of my novel, Counted Worthy, is now available in the Story Shop over on Leah’s Bookshelf. Check it out!

Update on Greta

GretaRemember praying for little Greta? Well I have some good news. Her status on Reece’s Rainbow now says “My Family Found Me“! I spent some time trying to find out if her family has a blog, but so far no luck. Keep praying for this little girl. From what I understand, adopting from Ukraine works a bit differently than it does in other countries. While you can plan to adopt a specific child, until you go to Ukraine and are matched with that child in-person, there is no guarantee you’ll get him or her. You can read how the process works on the International Adoption Bureau of Consular Affairs website. The bottom line is, it’s awesome that a family has decided to make Greta their daughter, but both Greta and her family still need plenty of prayer!

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to keep praying for Olexander, the current A&P child. We’ve now prayed for eleven children! I admit it’s getting hard for me to remember all their names and needs. They all deserve to be remembered, though. When you have a few extra minutes, try scrolling through the list and praying for each of them.

Many thanks to Corina Lucas for posting on the TIO Facebook page to let us know the good news about Greta.

Updates On Two Of “Our” Kids

ArisAris
Aris was the very first Advocate & Pray child posted on this blog. If you’ve looked at all the things on the sidebar, you’ve seen her silhouette and read the snippet of her bio posted beneath. You may also have read the update saying that a family was interested in adopting her. I contacted her agency this week to ask about her status and they told me that the family did not move forward with adopting Aris. They also said that is a lot of uncertainty surrounding adoptions in Ethiopia at this time. PLEASE, keep praying for Aris specifically and for the orphans of Ethiopia and the issues surrounding them. Aris has continued to be heavy on my heart. Usually when people (myself included) look through the lists of waiting children, it’s a face that stands out. With Aris, something about her short bio just jumped out to me. This is a precious little girl who needs to be loved, and she’s very close to aging out of the system and losing her chance to be part of a family. Unless someone steps in after she ages out, this will leave her vulnerable to those who might exploit her. Again, please continue to pray for Aris.

VitalikVitalik
Praise the Lord for more encouraging news concerning Vitalik. God answered our prayers for him before we even knew to pray them. My missionary friend, Karen Springs, recently left a comment to let us know that friends of hers from Utah adopted Vitalik a year ago. How exciting to hear that!

The Others
So far we’ve prayed for nine children here on TIO. We probably won’t know what happens to most of them this side of heaven. Please don’t stop praying for them just because their two week segment is over. As I mentioned above, for some reason Aris grabbed a special place in my heart so I’ve continued praying for her and thinking of her. Maybe one of the kids has stood out to you to. We teens might not be able to adopt kids into our families, but we can adopted them into our prayer life for sure. And if you ever learn how one of these kids is doing down the road, please share with us! It’s always a special blessing to see how our prayers or answered or know how to pray more specifically.

Have any of the nine kids prayed for here on TIO particularly touched you? Which one? Is there a waiting child who hasn’t been featured here that you’re praying for on your own? Let us know and maybe we can feature him or her on a future A&P post.