Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Full Circle - From Mission Trip to Adoption

One thing I love about my job as Executive Director for Visiting Orphans are the stories I get to hear as God brings the lives of orphans and team members full circle. I have seen numerous people who visit orphans decide to adopt after their mission trips and I've heard many stories of orphans finding homes thanks to those that visited them. But this story really brings all the details and points full circle for me.

I recieved an email last week from a woman named Leslie, directing me to her personal blog. Leslie is in the process of adopting an older boy from China. This same older boy who is waiting in the orphanage for his new parents was visited by one of our mission teams in 2006! AND it was a team that my own sister, Robin Ireland, led to the Feng Du region. The mission team members who visited her son, then, only a toddler, held and prayed over him daily. They specifically prayed that he would one day be adopted and now, 4 years later, he is finally being adopted!!

There are many people who do not believe that short term mission trips are beneficial to orphans. Many people ask me, with skepticism in their voice why we send out short term mission trips. I understand the arguments that short term visits to orphans could cause more harm to their hearts than good. I am aware of this and our heart at Visiting Orphans is to develop long term partnerships with orphanages so that orphans know they are loved and visited repeatedly by the same people who are developing long term relationships.

However, this is not always possible. Most christian Americans can only or choose only to take one or two weeks out of one year of their lives to make this commitment. And sometimes those that travel on our trips come home frustrated, feeling they did not do enough to make a difference. But, I want to showcase Leslie's blog to prove to those who doubt themselves and others who go on trips, that short term trips DO make a difference in orphan's lives. Just read about Jamison, the orphaned boy that our 2006 team visited who will very soon have a forever family!


  1. This is so very true Amanda. You should ask Terri Coley how many were adopted as a result of our 2007 China to the Henan Province. I know twin girls, about 9 or 10 yrs old, came home to Atlanta, Georgia within a year, as well as several others also to the U.S.
    On my first trip to an orphanage in China in 2004, one of the babies I held everyday was adopted later that year by a wonderful family in Texas. I was able to send along pictures of their daughter that would have never been possible for them to have of her early life. So she now gets to have baby pictures of herself to look back at. Not many orphans have that. Her parents told me what a treasured gift it was for them to have those pictures.
    I was able to hold her and pray over her, and ask the Lord to change her life, and then I got the most amazing blessing to hear that she did go home to her forever family.
    God doesn't forget one orphan. He sees every single one of them. He knows them and he loves them. How amazing it has been and what a blessing to my life that he has allowed me to see a small part of the life stories of some of his most precious children.
    Keep telling the stories!

  2. I enjoyed reading your blog today. We adopted an older orphaned child from Thailand in 2007. It has been a wonderful and challenging journey.