NOTE: The following post was written by Becky De Nooy, adoptive mom and orphan advocate. Sometimes we can feel helpless knowing the immense need in our world. But there are three things nearly all of us can do for this one boy. Who knows how God may use our obedience?
1) Read Becky’s post all the way to the end and watch the two videos.
2) Pray that God will provide a family for Jimmy, printing out his photo as a reminder.
3) Share the following post on social media.
Thank you, friends!
Until the end of 2012, I worked as a glorified volunteer in Russian adoption; unfortunately, Russia closed to American adoptive families at the end of 2012, which ended my work there. It broke my heart.
There was a silver lining, though, which became apparent a little later; my husband and I found a blind child in China about 20 months after Russia closed.
Our daughter has been such an immense joy to us I would never be able to describe it. I thought she would be blind, but it turned out that she has 20/20 vision in her heart. To know how close we came to saying no to her, then to see the blessing she is every day now, makes me shiver. She has done far better than my wildest, craziest hopes…when the Lord called us again to adopt a blind child, we said yes again. We expect to go get this child in about two months or so.
At the beginning of November 2015, I visited a Christian-run foster home outside Beijing for visually impaired children. My goal was to get to know them so that I could better advocate for them on an individual basis. There was a boy, Jimmy, there, whom I did not bother to interview, photograph, or videotape, since he had a family working on his adoption. I heard recently that his family cannot come for him now. This would be bad enough, but making it more crushing is that he will age out when he turns 14 in July. There is virtually no time for this dear soul.
Life for a blind person in China is difficult. The society considers them specifically cursed, and they are treated and ostracized as such. During my visit to the foster home, I learned that blind people in China would often be sent to a “warehouse”-like facility once they age out. For those with more abilities, like Jimmy, he might possibly be able to get a job; the only fields open to him there would be piano tuning and giving (legitimate) massages. But this is a boy full of ability, and even if he were not, this is not what he deserves.
My kids are praying for him daily, I am praying constantly, and I am putting the word out there wherever I can. In China, the child must actually be adopted by their 14th birthday, so the parents have to have taken custody at least two days prior; just being in process is not sufficient, unlike in some countries. So a family adopting Jimmy would have to act immediately.
This adoption would cost approximately $30,000, though some of the things required to speed it up might increase that cost a little.
Two agencies, WACAP and Madison Adoption Associates, will likely offer a $4,000 or $5,000 grant respectively toward this adoption should the adoptive family use their services.
In addition, my best friend runs a church adoption fund. This church is offering a $5,000 additional grant for this adoption to Christian families with a simple application, statement of faith, and three references, one of which must be the family’s pastor. Approval of the application is required, but would be extremely likely if the criteria are met.
I am offering up front to assist his adoptive family to the best of my ability, should they need it. For me to do this, I would require a written plan of what they are willing to do for themselves, either by contributing their own funds and/or fundraising for themselves. With such a plan, I will request help from a donor who has given large amounts toward adoptions in the past. I may have other possibilities, as well. However, since I am not the person with the money, I cannot promise what another possible donor might actually do.
Here is the Facebook post about him from his foster home:
Jimmy at Bethel is again looking for a family (for reasons having nothing to do with him). He will age out in JULY, so we have limited time to find him a family!
Jimmy is quiet and shy, but once he gets to know you he’s a loyal friend. He is an accomplished piano player and it’s been wonderful to see him blossom with his music. He is smart and tries hard in school [he attends a school for the blind in Beijing]. His best subjects are math and language, but he is competent in all areas. He can get around on his own and has good mobility skills. Jimmy has been living in our City Life Project for the last few years in an apartment with the other older Bethel boys. Even though he’s one of the oldest kids, he doesn’t mind showing affection and giving his Bethel mama a hug.
Let’s find him a family!
Here are two videos of him; in the first, 1:07 long, he is playing the keyboard as another blind child, aging out in April but with a family, plays the cello. In the second, 2:46 long, he is just doing various tasks.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with questions. I would be so thrilled to talk about this adoption, and am available to talk on the phone between 1 and 10 pm EST. My number is (616)245-3216.
If you prefer to email, please use email@example.com.
I would be beyond delighted to speak with anyone about what parenting a blind child is like. It’s mainly like parenting any other child, with a few twists thrown in for good measure. And it’s a true blessing!
~Becky De Nooy