Friday, June 29, 2018

Seven Alone

Back in the 1970's I watched a movie that had a huge impact on me. It was a true story about seven children who were traveling on the Oregon Trail in 1844 when both their parents died.
The oldest was 13 years old and the youngest was a newborn baby.
Seven orphaned children lost on the Oregon Trail.

Seven Alone.

They eventually made their way to safety and lived happily ever after.

At least that was the way the movie ended.

In reality they did make their way to safety and into the open arms of a loving, Christian missionary couple, Marcus and Narcissa Whitman, who had experienced their own tragedy. Their little girl drowned years before, but despite their grief, they willingly took in needy children. When the seven Sager children showed up at their mission they did not turn them away. They took all seven children in and adopted them. Sadly, happily ever after only lasted for a few years and then tragedy again struck. A local Cayuse tribe, in anger over the diseases that the settlers had brought with them which had killed countless of their numbers, attacked the mission and killed the Whitmans and the two oldest Sager boys. One of the girls died in captivity. The other four girls eventually were released and were split up among four different families.

It isn't a feel good story.

It's about loss and survival and rescue and loss and survival and rescue again.

We like adoption stories to be the feel good kind.

Seven children adopted by a missionary couple is a great happy ending.

It's what makes a great movie.

But it's not real.

Adoption stories are messy and hard and born out of loss and tragedy.

The ever after, even if it doesn't involve death and violence, is rarely the fairy tale kind but instead the cycle of loss and survival and rescue and loss and survival and rescue again.
Children who have lost their parents are emotionally tossed in a pounding sea and bringing them to the peace of the shore sometimes takes a lifetime of lifeboat attempts.

But despite it's messiness...

Orphans need families.

They need families with open arms and willing hearts to welcome them knowing that the ever after will sometimes include loss and survival and rescue again and again.

Sometimes orphans come by themselves.

And sometimes they come with a sibling or two.

And sometimes...


They come Seven Alone.



All from the same family.

And sometimes there is a family - one family - with open arms - willing to bring them home.
I have recently discovered one such family.

A family of four who has suffered through their own losses when it comes to children.

Their heart's desire has been a table full of children.

But infertility and loss have plagued them. They have two beautiful girls but their hearts long for more.

Despite their grief over their losses, they began to consider adoption. As a beginning step, they opened their home to hosting and in the process fell in love. Three sisters.

After spending a summer with them and then again hosting them over Christmas (2016), they decided to adopt them.

But the three sisters had four other siblings.

And they all wanted to stay together.

Without blinking, they moved into a larger home and opened their arms to welcome them all.

But the courts said no.

Only four could be adopted at a time.

That didn't stop them.

They did all the paperwork, crossed the ocean and then crossed it again and then crossed it again and at the end of May passed court for four of the children.

In less than two weeks they travel back across the ocean to bring them home.

Oksana 18, Natalie 15, Jacob 11 and Emily 8

 Once they hit American soil they are planning on starting the process all over again so that they can go back and bring the other three home too.

In the meantime, after the courts split the four children from the three children, the other three were transferred to a special needs institute. Oh My Heart!

Adopting four children is massively expensive. Our adoption of Mary cost us close to 30,000.

Adopting four is way over that amount. Especially when you have to cross the ocean four times.

They have borne the vast majority of the cost themselves. They fundraised and borrowed and worked to the bone to get the funds they need.

They travel in under two weeks and still need around 9,700.

And then they will start over again.

Crazy Love.

To keep a family of seven children together.

Will you help?


Their Reece's Rainbow grant account is HERE. Their  grant account needs to read 13,000 to be fully funded.

You can also donate through this link: CONNECTED HEARTS

Give knowing that this family has been sacrificing everything for these seven children.


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