about a boy {a glimpse into the experience of advocating}

July 25, 2013 Advocacy, Kelly 6 Comments

I introduced him as Bo right before Christmas. People shared the post as they do. But, most families were spending their time wrapping gifts and baking cookies. But, just when the holidays were over, we got an update on him. I still remember opening those pictures for the first time and seeing his beautiful big eyes and silky looking skin. When I posted about him again in January, I was sure his family would find him. I was all ready for emails to start coming in. I got a lot of emails, but not many had anything to do with this boy.

I did all I knew to do. I contacted the United States’ leading specialist in his joint condition to have him review his file. I contacted families with children with the same diagnosis, asking them to tell me more about what day-to-day life is like parenting a child with this need, asking if they’d be willing to talk to families considering adopting him. I posted the links everywhere I could. Friends joined me and posted about him on their blogs.

And, I waited; he waited.

Days. Weeks. Months. I kept his picture on my sidebar; but, to be honest, I had sort of lost hope. I second guessed my initial excitement, all my efforts. No one wanted him. His crib sheet in his update picture had the words “Happy 2008,” just another reminder of stale expectations.I felt defeated and wondered how long I should keep his picture up. His beautiful eyes gazing at me every time I posted on my blog reminded me of every child who waits and no one even knows they are waiting. I didn’t want that reminder anymore.

About 4 months later, an email showed up in my inbox with the subject line “About a boy…”

…God has been hard at work in my heart for special needs adoption! I tumbled across your blog from some links from other blogs…and I saw dear Bo….If Bo is still waiting, would you send me information about him? I will pray first, “Lord, us??” and if it is a no, I will pray “Lord, find his loving family!”

I forwarded her everything I had–all the pictures, the update, the review from the specialist. And, honestly, I didn’t think all that much about it after I hit send. I’d done this before. No one wanted him.

But, this time, a flurry of emails ensued.

PRAYING!!!! He seems so perfect! NO ONE WANTS HIM!?!?!??!?!

She asked me to pray with her; she was going to talk to her husband about him in a few days. Another email came; she decided not to wait; she’d talk to him that night.

A few days later, nearly 5 months after I first advocated for Bo, I got this —

Oh dear Kelly!!!
I am shaking with excitement!!! God has spoken to us and we are going to MOVE FORWARD ON BO!!!!!!!!!!!!

And, my Bo became their Toby.

In seeking the best for their son, they decided to see that leading specialist who happens to have his practice only miles from where we live which meant I got a very special gift.

Advocating works

Over lo mein in Chinatown, Amy asked what it was like to be with him, to sit right there across the table from Bo.

I struggled over the words as I still struggle now. I had wanted to take his picture down; I’m so glad I didn’t. The same eyes that I had wanted to shield on the screen in front of me now were directly in front of me with a message entirely different—hope restored even when things seem desperate and irreconcilable, anticipation of good things to come when there doesn’t seem to be any good at all, the blessing of stepping out to do something maybe just a little bit crazy like make a child you don’t know who has a special need hardly anyone has even heard of who lives in a foreign land your own child.


Toby Collage

6 responses to “about a boy {a glimpse into the experience of advocating}”

  1. Abby says:

    Oh, Kelly…I’m so proud of you for how you allowed God to use you in this precious boy’s life! Tears of joy, sweet friend!

  2. Cydil says:

    Thank you for sharing the ‘end’ of Bo’s story and the beginning of Toby’s! This gives hope for all of us who have advocated for others to not give up hope… How beautiful!

  3. SleepyKnitter says:

    We adopted our oldest daughter at eight years old because Shonni from Nations Around Our Table posted one story about her, which I happened to read. I prayed about this little girl for about three months (because we had just adopted an infant five months before, and my husband had said, “No more!”). But one day, after three months of praying, my husband suddenly said, “You know, we could adopt one more.” And I said, “What about Lisa?” (her agency name). I scrolled back through three months of blog posts to find Lisa and her contact info on Shonni’s blog, contacted the representing agency, and began her adoption the next day. Right now I’m praying about two twins, ten-year-old girls with CP. It is just crazy that we could adopt them, but I’m praying anyway, because God brought us “Lisa”, and I could believe He could bring us these girls — or find a family for them very soon if we are not to be the one. And just as Shonni advocated for this child and she found a home, I have advocated for two other children who have been adopted through my posting about them. I fully believe in the power of advocating.

  4. Kim smith says:

    This is so absolutely beautiful . . . Love.

  5. So, so AMAZING!! So happy to see this Kelly. What an amazing story!! Glory to God!

  6. LOVE when God allows us these full circle peeks into the work which He sets in our hands to do. One of the greatest joys of serving HIM in what we do, be it advocating, or other work, is knowing that it has ETERNAL value and builds His kingdom, but we don’t always get to see the “full picture” quite like this. I’d have been a puddled mess for the whole dinner if this was me 🙂

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