Monday, July 11, 2016

Shadow Children

Do you ever have to make a hard choice when it comes to orphan advocating? The kind of choice where you have to choose one child over another? The kind that breaks your heart into bits and causes you to whisper desperate prayers that God will cover the child you weren't able to help?
Do you ever have to turn away from one need because the need in another place is so much greater?
I have.
Many many times.
Each time I am compelled to make a choice I am forced to my knees, praying for Holy Spirit wisdom.  Praying that those I have to let go will not be forgotten. Praying that somehow and in some way I can help them too.
Three years ago I did a Mulligan Stew Giveaway.
It was a MASSIVE Giveaway with tons of prizes and benefitted a host of families and 12 orphans.
Rob and I had to pick each of the families and each of the orphans.
Picking for me is the hardest, hardest part because my inclination is to help everyone.
But it's not realistic.
So after picking the families, we had to select 12 orphans out of thousands.  Looking back at that Mulligan Stew it warms my heart to realize that all but 2 of those babes are tucked safely in families.  One went to be with Jesus later on that year (Hanson) and one is still stuck in a mental institute. His chances of being adopted fading as the time goes on. JASON
One of my favorite boys on that Mulligan Stew was a sweet soul named Barton.  He was aging out and his chances for a family were pretty much slim to none. He was a boy hidden in the shadows.  Unnoticed. Who would want a mentally disabled almost 16 old boy who had spent all his life hidden away in institutions? He had been listed on Reece's Rainbow but had been passed over by just about everybody. I hadn't ever even noticed him until some missionaries began to yell for him and for others in his institute.  They had pictures of the life that Barton faced if he was left behind.

There was no way we were not going to yell for Barton.

Shed sitting and cage sitting breaks my heart into thousands of tiny pieces.

So sweet passed-over Barton was added to our Mulligan Stew and soon his family found him.  Every time I read his Mama's blog and see pictures of him I want to cry.  They not only adopted Barton but three other desperately needy sweet passed-over babes.  Oh how much they love their treasures!! If you want to read a sweet blogpost read THIS ONE written by their Papa.  Make sure to have Kleenex handy, especially the part about Barton talking.  Silent Barton who was written off by everybody.

Yeah.  Kleenex post.

Barton wasn't the only one at his institute who needed a family.

There was another boy.

Barton's friend.

The boy behind Barton in this picture.



He too stole my heart. I had his name down as one of the ones I wanted in that Mulligan Stew.  But in the end... I had to remove his name.  He wasn't urgent.  He had time.  There were others who were too critical - too needy. 

I removed his name.  With a promise I would not forget him.

But other kids surfaced and other needs and other families and each time I saw his picture I had to push him aside. Later.  One day. Soon.

Time slipped and he grew older and all I could do for him was pray. Pray hard that someone else would see this child hidden in the shadows and would pick up his cause.  See him.

Last fall I had the opportunity to add him into a matching grant shout out.  He was on the list of boys to consider. He had only days left before he turned 16.  I had the flexibility of picking the boys for the grant.  But, after praying and talking to the donor we decided to focus all the grant money onto the boys at one institute where I had visited the spring before.  They too were shadow children.  Passed over and neglected. The choice was agonizingly hard. Amos was set aside. More promises.  More desperately whispered prayers. His chances slipping away and there wasn't a thing I could do about it.

Well let me tell you I serve a God who answers prayers.

He hears the whispered prayers of the struggling advocate who can't find a way to yell for a shadow boy who desperately needs a family.

If you remember that really loud screaming coming from Virginia last December it was me... I was beside myself with joy that a boy I never really got to advocate for wasn't going to be a shed sitting, cage sitting statistic.

Instead he was going to be a son.  A brother. A grandson.  A nephew. 

A family stepped up.  A crazy, boy-loving, risk-taking family filed their paperwork days before Amos' would have been lost forever.

It's too crazy perfect.

The family that stepped up to get him... They are Barton's family.

Barton's family.

The family who stepped up two years ago to adopt the boy hidden in the shadows is going back to get his buddy. 

And not only Amos.

They are getting three more shadow children.

Three more children who have been passed over time and again.

I love this family. I love their heart. I love their passion for the older child.  Their hearts seek after the ones that most would render as unsalvageable, a drag on society. Two years ago they reached in and scooped up four treasures and they are thriving. 

And now they are going back for four more.

And Amos is one of them.

And I am going to keep my promise to Amos that I will yell for him. 

I'm doing a GIVEAWAY!

This family has a LONG ways to go to get fully funded and we are going to do everything we can to help them get there.

I already have some really really cool prizes but would LOVE to add some more to the pot.

I'm looking for gift cards or electronics or collectibles or anything you think people would LOVE to have!!

It starts next Monday so look around and see what you have to add to our pot so we can help a family get four Shadow Children home to their family...

But of course since I am a bit on the nutty side... I can't just pick one. 


There is a sweet little boy on the other side of the world living in a hard and lonely place who right now has 0.00 in his grant account and that is just not acceptable at all.  So stay tuned because I have more stories to tell, a family to get funded and prizes to giveaway!!

Send me an e-mail if you have anything you want to giveaway in our giveaway!!

This is going to be fun!!


  1. Love this!!! My heart also breaks for all the ones I never yelled for... I'm the one who took that picture of Barton and Amos together nearly six years ago. I yelled for the babies, the under 5's who were still cute and cuddly looking, the majority of whom had still not been transferred from the baby house. But I never found the faith, the strength, the courage to yell for the older ones whose chances seemed next to nothing... Thank you Julia for your faithfulness in doing what I never could do. I am so happy to hear that sweet "Amos" has found a family. He is a very special boy ans his family will surely be blessed.

  2. I LOVE The family you speak of. They are inspiring, so much so that my adoption of only 1 child turned to 2, and now 3. If we raise the funds needed in time we should be in country at the same time. I am so excited at the chance to meet that wonderful mama, she has inspired me and shown me a light that shines very bright. She opened my heart to the big picture, and I will be forever thankful.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!