From 2009-2010, Kat had the opportunity to live in Haiti at an orphanage before, during and after the earthquake. Following this season, The Lord made it clear that we were to build our family through adoption. Our 1st overseas missions experience together as a couple was in Ethiopia in 2007, working in a community with over 1,000 orphans. Because of this, we wanted to make our family available to a child in need of a family in Africa. In 2010, we began the adoption process from Ethiopia, and in March 2011, we were approved to adopt, and we began the waiting process. We were told the wait time would be approximately 5-7 months, so we prepared our nursery and prayed daily for our child.
Due to government delays in Ethiopia, 5-7 months turned into 1 year, and 1 year turned into 2 years, and 2 years turned into 3 years without a referral. We were frustrated, confused, and anxious, but we didn’t lose hope.
Last year, in 2013, we learned of a young boy that was born in Ghana, Africa. We received the news that his birth-mom passed away, his birth-father was unknown and he was extremely sick. In 2 weeks time, we switched all of our paperwork from Ethiopia to Ghana, flew to Ghana, and met our son, Evans, face-to-face for the 1st time on Valentines Day. Kat would end up living in Ghana for 8 months, working through the court systems, the legal paperwork, and caring for Evans on a daily basis as I flew back and forth from the U.S. 5 different times. On my final visit, Jeremy decided to stay in Ghana, committing that we would come home as a family in God’s timing.
In October, we were given clearance to return back to the states. Leading up to our post-placement visit from our social worker, we prayed about our Ethiopia adoption, because our case was still active with the agency that we started with back in 2010. We recognized that we had made a promise, and we were going to keep it, but we also heard from The Lord that we should open up our request to a boy OR a girl, not just a boy.
Well – this is crazy, but the same month that we had our post-placement visit and we opened up our case to a boy or a girl, a baby girl was born in Ethiopia in need of a family! 3 months later, our family was called asking if we would adopt her! We immediately said yes! We aren’t able to share all the details of her health concerns for privacy and legal reasons, but we can share that this is a special needs adoption and our daughter is sick. Without the transitional home in Ethiopia, the agency, a family willing to adopt her, and the provision to bring her home, our daughter would lose her life.
There is an important court date taking place in Ethiopia soon, and we are supposed to be traveling in the next 1 – 2 months. We will travel together as a family, and then Kat and Evans will be living in Ethiopia for 4-6 weeks, until we can bring her home. At that time, Jeremy will fly back over and bring everyone home.
As you can imagine, completing 2 international adoptions within a year of each other can be very costly. We were certainly surprised that we received a referral this past February for our daughter, but we also know that this did not surprise God! Thankfully, we have already paid for Phase 1 and Phase 2 of this adoption, with only the 3rd phase left to go. Because we could be traveling in the next 1-2 months, it’s important that we raise the remaining funds soon. The last phase left to raise is $20,000.
This sounds like a very tall mountain to climb, but we have some great news! We have connected with friends at an organization called “The Orphan Care Project”. This organization is local to us, and is made up of families that have also completed international adoptions! They have agreed to match donations for our adoption DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR up to $3,000 this month! That means, if we can raise $3,000, it will be multiplied into $6,000! In addition, “The Orphan Care Project” will be collecting the donations for our family, providing a tax-deductible receipt for every donation AND, will be utilizing every donation made to the organization through the summer towards our adoption until it is funded! That means you don’t even need to include a note or memo with your donation, as every donation that comes in starting now will go towards our adoption! Through special campaigns and fundraising events, The Church will have many opportunities to be a part of our adoption story through “The Orphan Care Project”.
WATCH OUR ADOPTION UPDATE VIDEO HERE
We are adopting because Jesus’ heart is for adoption. As we were born into a world of sin, we were separated from our heavenly father, and therefore were orphans. But because of The Cross, those that God has called have been adopted as sons and daughters, no longer orphans! This is The Gospel! This is the good news that is changing lives around the world!
We believe that every follower of Jesus has a mandate to care for orphans. This doesn’t mean that every family should adopt, but opportunities like this through “The Orphan Care Project” give The Church a way to respond to the orphan crisis in our world. Please consider a tax-deductible donation towards our final $20,000 cost to help us bring our daughter home through “The Orphan Care Project”. We have approximately one month to raise these funds. Thank you for responding urgently and generously. You can follow along with progress on our adoption at http://www.jeremyandkatwillet.com and by also using the hashtag, #praywilletdaughterhome on social media.
For the least of these,
Jeremy & Kat WIllet
Make a tax-deductible donation through “The Orphan Care Project” towards our Ethiopia Adoption here. (“The orphan care project” is underneath “The Community Foundation of Carroll County”, so your donation will be processed by them and ANY donation made to “The orphan care project” is designated towards our family’s adoption).