Sunday, September 16, 2012

Celebrating Jacob turning 21- An older child we took a chance on

We have adopted 25 children. Our first adoption was 27 yrs ago when we brought home Abraham from Mexico...He entered our family as the 5th child....We then continued to build our family thru 2 more bio. children ( Mary Kate and Ben )....then we did foster to adopt in 2 diff. states ( not planning to share about that experience here )....and then we kept praying for more children. The Lord answered our prayers in a mighty way :) Jacob was the first of the 24 children the Lord has given to us in the last 10 yrs.. He was just 11 yrs when he came. He is from Vladikavkaz , Russia which is in the Chechyna region- the Caucasus mountain area ( a very beautiful part of the southern tip of Russia , right by Georgia). We were in Russia for 23 days finishing his adoption along with Isaac and Lily. Jacob was in the older kid's orphanage and it was a rough place, a very sad place for a child to be in. All around the orphanage were refugees from Georgia since they were less than a mile from the border. He first came to America in Nov. 2001 with a host program. He was one of 4 children who did not get picked by a host family- ( We had not even met him then). We were thru our foster family training and waiting for a child. In June of 2002 we had some extra money . We had been planning a
"midlife" trip to Alaska. We went away with some old college friends of ours to Deep Creek Lake. We had a wonderful time of fellowship, sharing and fun on their boat. God sort of presented 2 choices to Paul and I- One was to live like most of our friends who were empty nesting and invest in things to enjoy while moving towards retirement ( what does retirement even mean) or invest in the life of a child. We asked about Jacob and the other children and the rest is history....We have never regretted our choice. Jacob had severe scoliosis and he has had 3 major back surgeries at Johns Hopkins. The curve in his back was 103 degrees and he lost 50 % of his lung capacity in his r lung because of it. He has struggled to overcome some interests that we disagree with ( mostly influenced by his life in the Russian orphanage) but he has overcome them. It is such an amazing journey to watch your child begin to understand the value they are to God, and to desire to have a relationship with Him. This day we celebrate the life - 21 yrs of Jacob. He is an amazing and sensitive yg. man whom I love to call my son and I cherish his life being in mine every day. Happy birthday Jacob.


Jenny said...

I am wondering how far you are away from me. We are about two hour from Johns Hopkins, but live in VA. We are bringing home #10-12 from Ethiopia; two next month and an older sister next year. We will have 7 adopted, 6 from Africa.

I'm always fascinated how you make things work; I'm a bit anxious about adding another three to homeschooling, etc. This is also the oldest child we have adopted, she will be 12 or 13 next year coming home.


Thanks for writing.

Mike and Christie said...

Happy Birthday! :)

MARY B. said...

Hi Jeane,
Happy Birthday Jacob! Wow! 21 already...I remember him as a young teen and since I'm OT getting any older how in the world did he grow up so quickly??? I'm Los shocked to put "years"...ten of them...on your adoption ministry. It seems as if this has been your life forever because I thinkive only know you as an adoptive mom.
I agree with you...we too could be empty nesters...but we choose to serve Him by serving's a challenge everyday but I wouldn't pass on the miracles God provides everyday for a beach house in the Carribean! Now, if you had asked me kidding!
Congratulations for all that Jacob has accomplished in his 21years...way to go Mom and Dad for investing so much in him for Jesus!
Love, Mary B.

mommajeane said...

Congratulations Jenny on your new children. Sometimes I do wonder how it all works for us but I know without the Lord's help and grace it would not. We live in the panhandle of WV, very close to Martinsburg or Hagerstown, Maryland. If you are ever up that way it would be great to meet you.