When I was growing up I spent six summers in Nicaragua interning for weeks a time under missionaries there. They have orphanages and feeding programs throughout the country that we would help with. We did everything from digging trenches to rocking babies to sleep. It changed my life. When you see families living in the city dump, digging through the trash for food it makes you so thankful for the life you have.
Heading home at the end of the summer was always sad, as I always left a piece of my heart with those babies who didn't have a mom. I knew then that one day when I got married I would adopt a child if not multiple children. In 2005, after a year of dating Matt, he came along with me to Nicaragua and spent 3 weeks. Seeing him loving on the children made me fall more in love with him. He had a heart for them like me. We talked a lot about adopting even before we got married. Now that we are coming up on our 5 year wedding anniversary, it's still something we know we will do someday. I've never dreamed of being just a mom to my biological children. I picture our family with little babies from different ethnicities. I may not be able to help them all, but I can help a few.
In the last few pictures, I want you to meet Jenny. She is probably 10 years old now, and I have no idea where she is. Hopefully she has a loving family now, but most likely she is still in an orphanage in Managua. I fell in love with this little girl when I met her as a baby, and saw her grow from year to year on my summer visits. The last time I was there, you could begin to see the effects of her being an orphan. She would sit and rock back and forth to soothe herself, like a mother would her baby. It broke my heart. She is the reason my heart is so big for those children. I will adopt to be a mom to an orphan like Jenny always needed.
If you ever have the opportunity to travel to a third world country, or help out the poverty stricken families in your town, do it. It's amazing how your thoughts on life can change when you help others in need.