I met Jennifer at a wedding earlier this year and was captivated by her heart for adoption. Hearing how she started her own small business journey with the specific purpose to fund her family’s dream of adopting a child in need was an inspiration and true example of ambition, purpose and commitment to turning dreams into reality. It brings a whole new meaning to the term “working mom.” I’m thrilled to play a tiny part in their adoption story by sharing with all of you. Please welcome Jennifer and give her some love, prayers and support as she continues to battle for one very, special little girl.
Our Dream and Hope of Adoption
Hi there! I’m Jennifer, a wife of 10+ years, a mom of two high-spirited boys ages 6 & 8, a preschool music teacher, and a soon (well in reality we still have a long journey ahead) to be mama to a little girl from Bulgaria! We have often talked of adoption, since I was a teen I can remember thinking that one day I’d adopt. My husband and I have a heart for the fatherless, compassion for those hurting, and while we’ve wanted to adopt for years, the cost of adoption had kept us from ever being able to start the adoption process. Did you know that the average adoption can cost upwards of $25,000? Yep, that about knocked the wind out of me too!
In 2012, everything changed after I went on a mission trip to Haiti and was able to visit two orphanages. No longer was the idea of an orphan simply those without parents. While that is horrible in and of itself, it’s about so much more. Orphans barely get their most basic needs met. Many have experienced more trauma and heartache in their few short years of life than most of us ever will in an entire lifetime. There aren’t enough caregivers for the amount of children in the orphanages. They don’t love on, hug and carry the kids like you and I would. The kids flew out of the orphanage with their hands up, hoping we’d simply hold them and play with them. The first child I held was a little over a year old, crying, and was sitting at a balcony overlooking the courtyard of the orphanage. As I picked her up her crying stopped, she put her sweet head on my shoulder, gripped my shirt with her little hands and simply remained like that the entire time I held her. God used that sweet little girl to show me that I had to trust Him to help us through the financial burden of adoption. These children need forever families. No, the adoption process isn’t easy, it’s incredibly expensive and overwhelming, the total time to complete the adoption will take years, but the children are waiting. Would you believe over 140 million orphans are in the world today?
I’ve always been somewhat crafty and so I began to brainstorm how to add a little supplemental income to the mix. Believe it or not it all started with coasters and a little dream stirring within after my first trip to Haiti. From there I started making various types of jewelry and custom wreaths, and now have given all my time to custom hand stamped jewelry and wreaths. I love anything that has a sentimental feeling and each piece I make for others truly brings me joy! 100% of the profit I make from selling these items goes straight into our adoption fund! We’ve also begun various forms of fundraising for the adoption. We’ve set up an account where people can make what I like to call a ‘love gift’ towards the adoption, I’ve also created an Etsy Shop to display and sell the items I make, and you can also find me through Facebook, Jen’s Gifts of Hope.
While it took us quite a while to research the various adoption agencies, and muddle through all of the different requirements and stipulations for each country, we have committed to working with All God’s Children International and will be adopting from Bulgaria. We officially began all the paperwork this past summer along with the first big chunk of money toward the adoption. I can’t tell you how special it was to mail in that first payment and officially get the ball rolling! We have seen God’s faithfulness and trust Him to continue to provide.
Do I get overwhelmed with the whole adoption process? YES! Do I have moments of fear that we’ll never raise all the money necessary to adopt? YES! But then I just remind myself that the need is great and if I can push through, keeping my focus on the end goal, possibly even being an advocate for adoption in the process… guess what? Slowly those fears begin to diminish. I’m pressing on for one little girl I don’t even know yet, fighting for this little girl who we’ll be able to give a forever family. I’m so grateful for those who are helping us along this adoption journey! Hope has been a recurring theme in our lives; hope is the courage to fight for something unseen, holding out with the expectation that piece by piece everything will fall into place. I can’t wait to see this beautiful picture unfold. I know there will be many more who will step in to help us, possibly those who read this today will want to help. There are many different ways to help, but the end result will be the same, knowing you helped there to be ONE LESS orphan in this world! And while that may not seem like making a big difference when there are over 140 million orpahns, trust me when I say it will be life changing, possibly even life saving for the little girl we’re adopting. Won’t you please consider joining us in this journey? We’d also love for you to stay in touch with us and where we are in the adoption process, you can do that by checking out our website, www.stimpsonadoption.blogspot.com
**A huge Thank You to Katy for allowing us to share our story with her faithful readers! It’s people like her that are helping us along with our journey! We are so blessed and will be forever grateful for people like her! Thank you Katy! Your willingness to help in this way means more than words could ever express! Know that you now hold a piece to the puzzle as it unfolds in this beautiful picture called adoption!