GABRIEL and BETSY for the Elkins family — TX
JoLynn has dreamed of adopting children since she was a teenager, even before she dreamed of marriage. She just couldn’t imagine a child being tossed aside due to poverty and illness, and there being no one there to pick the child up. She knew God had laid it on her heart to love the abandoned. Charles had thought of adoption as something he could see in his future, and once they were seriously involved, Charles was 100% in agreement when JoLynn told him she wanted to adopt, regardless of how many biological children she had. Charles and JoLynn were married in 2007 while Juniors in college. In 2008 they welcomed Isak, their bundle of joy, and in 2011 Malkolm, their child of peace came into their lives. But 2009 and 2012 left Charles and JoLynn heartbroken from miscarriages. They felt like there were “gaps” in their family, and while those children could never be replaced, they felt that their family was smaller than it was supposed to be. Feeling a gentle urge from God, they moved up the time table to adopt. JoLynn assumed that International adoption was a distant dream, something that would happen after their children were older and they had fostered and adopted domestically. But when doors refused to open for foster/adoption, a simple phone call “for more information” quickly led to an email with the file of a little boy . Twenty photos and a small, sad life summed up in a few paragraphs shook their hearts in a powerful way- a little boy who had never known a mother’s kiss or felt a father’s embrace had waited for someone to come his entire life. They could not walk away. Charles and JoLynn already consider “Gabriel” their child, and their sons are excited that they will soon have another brother.
“Gabriel” is 3 years old, and lives in an Eastern European orphanage that has been his home since the day he left the hospital. Born premature at a very low birth weight, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. He also has Strambismus and a handful of other easily-treatable conditions. Even with the minimal therapy he receives, he makes great strides towards better control of his limbs. He has moderate institutional delays, but once in a family environment, he is expected to improve greatly. But whatever the case, Charles, JoLynn, Isak and Malkolm cannot wait to give him the love he has missed out on for so long.
Your prayers and support will be greatly appreciated. While they are planning on paying a great portion of the costs out of pocket, the Elkins will need to raise approximately 1/3 of the cost of their adoption.
What was meant to be a single adoption has turned into a double- when they saw Betsy’s photo in April Charles’ and JoLynn’s hearts were opened to having a daughter. They prayed, asked hard questions and reevaluated what was a necessity in life. Finally they decided that their lives would be blessed by having Betsy as a daughter, and her needs were more outside of their comfort zone than outside their capabilities. Those who have met her have high hopes for her future, and think she and Gabriel will do well adopted together. The adoptive parents of blind children and even blind adults encouraged them again and again to take the leap- that the rewards were innumerable and the challenges are much smaller than imagined.
Follow the family’s adoption journey on their blog at engulfedbytheswell.blogspot.com