LEXI'S FAMILY HAS FOUND HER! I can barely contain myself and my emotions. I'd had goosebumps all day just thinking about it. Madison Adoption Associates, the agency that has had Lexi's file and has been a huge advocate for her, was scheduled to LOSE HER FILE at MIDNIGHT TONIGHT. Best case scenario, she would have been placed on China's shared list or listed with another US-based adoption agency, but worst case scenario is that she would be deemed unadoptable and would never know the love of a family. It was a risk I wasn't willing to take, and neither were any of you. Together we got the word out. I got an email around 11pm last night from an interested family. They got connected with her case manager at MAA first thing this morning and it's been a whirlwind since. They've now made a verbal commitment and are working on (quickly!) getting the rest of their information in. But here's the bottom line: LEXI HAS A FAMILY. Lexi will know the love of being held in her mother's arms, a love she has NEVER known because she was abandoned as an infant. She will receive the best possible medical care available. Her skin will be treated with the upmost care and expertise. She already is loved, but she is going to know it. She is going to experience it EVERY SINGLE DAY. It gives me chills and I can't stop smiling.
Lexi's story isn't the only thing that gives me chills...the origin story of EB Promise and of my own personal involvement with the EB community does the same. Have you heard this incredible God story? I was a YoungLife leader in college. Patrice Williams was on YoungLife staff. She gave birth to Jonah (now 7 years old) and he was shortly afterwards diagnosed with Junctional EB. Jonah and the Williams family were brought up at a YL prayer meeting I was at. We prayed, I left, and I carried on with my day and life. But I could not stop thinking about Jonah. A few weeks later I started nannying for a family who had a little girl who was born on the very same day as Jonah. I still couldn't stop thinking about him. I knew nothing about EB or this family; the only thing I knew to do was pray. So every time I changed this little girl's diaper, I prayer for Jonah's diaper and dressing changes. Every time I fed her, I prayed for Jonah's feedings. I sent a card to Patrice explaining this. She cried and sent me an email back. A friendship formed. Fast forward two years to the very first Jogging for Jonah 5K/Fun Run for EB awareness and funds for a cure. Patrice was left in a lurch and was desperate for help planning it and making it happen. I had experience doing that very thing. We joined forces and have been partners ever since. I have had a pretty serious health condition of my own through the last few years, and it was always Jonah and Jogging for Jonah that pulled me through and gave me the strength to keep fighting. Five years later and we've raised over $100,000 for EB research, patient advocacy, and EB awareness and the Williams family is like family to me. Right before Jogging for Jonah this past year I found out about 2 year old "Travis", an orphan with EB in Eastern Europe in desperate need of a home. He is never touched and is left on his back all day, every day. He DOMINATED my thoughts and I agonized over the fact that I couldn't adopt him myself. I knew I had to take action, so I began to advocate for him. A few months later I got to head out to Texas to the DebRA Care Conference (DCC) with 500 people affected by EB. I was helping to oversee the kids' room, and as I stood there in the chaos of it all an inexplicable feeling of joy and peace came over me. I knew I had found my calling and my life's work. Travis had a family come forward to adopt him, but I knew there were other orphans out there who weren't as lucky. I couldn't stop thinking about them. Jesus used the song "Do Something" by Matthew West and basically yelled at me until I couldn't help but take action.
So, I shook my fist at Heaven
Said, “God, why don’t You do something?”
He said, “I did, I created you”
Do Something by Matthew West
I had no idea what to do, but I knew I had to do something. I followed blindly and Jesus did all the work. EB Promise was born and the response was incredible. Since it's inception in August of 2016 I have had the privilege of bearing witness to the start of the adoption process to TWO orphans with EB (in addition to Travis!). A total of four EB orphans are on their way home. Four children. Four families. Four lives changed forever.
There is no earthly reason I should care about EB, but God had other plans. The story is NOT AT ALL about me, but 100% about Jesus. I have had my fair share of doubts and struggles with my faith recently, but when I think of the ways He has orchestrated all of this I am completely overwhelmed by the evidence of His work. From the big picture to the teeny tiny little details, He has been in it all. There's no denying His love and care for these precious butterflies, and am beyond honored to be a small part of His powerful work in their lives.