Written by Rick Weesner — adoptive father, pastor, and Project Hope staff member
Bethany Christian Services has re-opened its adoption program in Colombia. I had the privilege of traveling to Bogota with their awesome team to visit some of the orphanages with which we are working. We are excited to be part of the team that will advocate for some specific children who desperately need a forever family, and we are going to work very hard to make that happen for them.
Because of the personal experiences of our family, my specific passion is for older children and for sibling groups. As children reach the age at which they are no longer able to be adopted, they face the prospect of living on the street and finding ways to survive. There is no “safety net” in Colombia – no food stamps or homeless shelters. When the child is no longer adoptable due to their age, they remain in an orphanage under protection until they turn 18, at which time they must find a way to survive on the street.
I met a young lady this week that solidified my passion for these older children.
We were interacting with the children at one of the orphanages when this beautiful young lady joined us and talked about her love for soccer. She was showing me her Facebook page and I asked her how many friends she had. (Yes, many Colombian children have cell phones and access to the social media. We live in a mixed up world.) She told me she has over 2000 friends on Facebook. Later that evening I asked Bethany’s in-country representative if she was one of those available for adoption. I was told she was 17 years old so she could not be adopted. That means that sometime during this next year, she will leave the protection of the orphanage with no home or family to go to. She has 2000 Facebook friends, but no mom or dad.
I guess it’s too late for my new friend and I will be praying for her as often as she comes to mind. But it is not too late for many other children who are approaching an age where there will be no more opportunities to have a forever family. Every time I see her face in my memories, I will pray and work harder to give hope to another child whose time is running out. I hope you will join me. And if you wish to learn more about our children who need a forever family, please contact us.