The need was great and I had seen it with my own eyes internationally and in my own back yard. But my knowledge was limited and so were my resources. I spent days brainstorming, jotting down ideas, and looking online to see what others were doing to help orphans. I felt like the passion was growing in my heart to do something, but putting it into practice felt like wading knee-deep through mud. This frustration led me to surrender my ideas to My Creator, knowing that if it was His plan, He would have to do it. It was May 2010 when I finally let go of my vision to solve the global orphans crisis in my own effort.
We had met the Waggoners at Chicago's O'Hare Airport in January 2010 waiting for our flights. We were both traveling to Ethiopia to meet the beautiful children we were adopting. Our children were in the same lovely home in Addis Ababa. Even if we would have known the Waggoners prior to our adoptions, we could not have arranged to travel this life-changing trip together. Every adoption is on a different timeline and while our adoption journey started in June 2009 and moved quickly, the Waggoners' journey began in December 2008 and was a longer process. A wonderful friendship began that trip as we experienced life together in Ethiopia, a country that is forever part of our families. Both families knew that when we returned to the States our lives would be interwoven forever. That is why in August we were visiting the Waggoners' home for the first time so we could introduce our entire families and catch up on life. As we watched our children run a "car wash" in the Waggoners' driveway, I shared my longing to do more to help children around the world and my frustration with how to live that out. They were good listeners, and the conversation was probably side-tracked by one of our children spraying the other in the face with the garden hose.
He had some ideas of how to move forward due to his business experience and so we took the next step, and the next, and in October 2010, we filed our Articles of Incorporation to begin Village to Village International. Our purpose being to make a dent in the global orphan crisis one child at a time through helping families tackle the financial barrier to adoption and by advocating for orphans that are in need from every nation. That is our beginning and honestly we just keep taking the next step hoping Our Creator will meet needs and change lives through us. As Bob Pierce said, "Don't fail to do something just because you can't do everything." The orphan crisis is layered with different issues and will not be tackled by one individual, however, our God is aware of the needs and His heart is for the orphan. We're just two families, joined by two more, and two more, and so on. Unified in passion for children, hoping to be lives that reveal the Glory and Goodness of our Creator in areas of life that seem hopeless!