An Adoption Aid Story: The Family of Eternal LoveSeptember 9th, 2015
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Two long years ago, the Dobson family – mom Jennifer, dad Brad and then 6 year-old daughter, Anna Lee – made the courageous choice to adopt a daughter with special needs from Haiti. Following their decision, the Tim Tebow Foundation was given the opportunity to be a part of their amazing journey by awarding the family an Adoption Aid grant of $8,000 to help with the expenses of bringing their daughter home. After almost two years of waiting, many trips back and forth from Haiti and only being able to hold their daughter for brief moments in time, Jennifer traveled home with their new daughter, Lily… Praise the Lord! Through the trials of waiting to bring Lily home, the Dobson family stayed faithful to the Lord and believed that His timing would be the right timing. Today, we wanted to share Jennifer’s incredible words, as this story of God’s glory could never have been adequately told by staff at the Tim Tebow Foundation. God has granted her with an incredible gift to glorify Him through her writing, and we hope you feel His goodness and the emotion from her following words on bringing her daughter home:
“Yesterday I sat on a plane…and my daughter, Lily, slept in my arms. I thought back to the very first time I left Haiti without her. I opened my journal, and I wrote every single thing I could remember about her. I didn’t want to forget one memory… Here is what I wrote…
‘I know what it feels like to hold my daughter whom I have prayed for so many times. She holds on tight. She smiles even though it is tough to pull it out of her. She has personality, even though it is hidden deep inside. She sucks her hand to sleep. She hides her right eye with her right hand when she is unsure of what is going on. She has some feistiness inside her. She knows what she wants, but actions are buried deep inside sometimes. Her eyes are big and brown. Her eyelashes curl so much they overlap. Her eyebrows are bushy. Her hair smells distinct and sweet. Her toes are tiny with little knots on them. She is tiny herself. She isn’t big at all. Her right leg is more severe than her left. She knows what is comfortable and what isn’t. Her legs have scars. She sits up just fine, and she crawls really well. She reached for me the first time we saw each other, and by the time we left she was quite comfortable. We prayed with her before we left, and that was the hardest thing we have ever had to do.’
“As I held this baby in my arms, all those memories of what I wrote down came flooding back. I still see every memory alive in her today. And as I looked at her eyelashes, I flashed back to that first plane ride without her. She wasn’t there with me, but Jesus was. Yesterday, tears flooded my eyes and I held them back as best I could, just as I did that first trip. But the tears fell yesterday, and not because I was finally bringing this child whom I have loved for what feels like forever home, but because I finally realized what God’s love for me really felt like. I love this child so deeply who isn’t my blood, who did not grow in my belly, who is not the same color as me and who I have spent less than four weeks with. It was in this moment that I realized how much my Father in Heaven loves me. It was in this moment that I realized what adoption into His family really feels like. It was the first time I felt Him looking at me, the way I was looking at her…and it was overwhelming. For God SO LOVED me that He gave me Jesus. That He made a way for me. That He continually fought for me and did not give up on me when it seemed hopeless. It was the first time I saw and felt with clear eyes the magnitude of His love for me, and in that moment I could not have felt more like a child cradled in her Father’s arms than Lily did in mine. I am forever grateful to Him for how Lily’s story has continued. I am forever grateful to Him for continuing to make a way. I am forever grateful to Him for bringing her home, because He brought her home. I am most grateful for His continued love to take me deeper and show me more of whom He is. I have some really cool stories about the last two weeks, but the ultimate story is about a Savior who saved my life and continues to carry me through each day with new levels of trust in Him. Today, I am thankful for His plans, His timing, His mercy and His Grace. Today I am thankful I am adopted into His family, because His family is eternal, it’s everlasting, it’s freedom and it’s mine. Is it yours?”
The Tim Tebow Foundation provides an $8,000 Adoption Aid Grant every month to help cover expenses that families incur when adopting a child internationally with special needs. To help unite a child, such as Lily, with their forever family, please consider donating today at www.timtebowfoundation.org/donate.php
The Tim Tebow Foundation exists to bring Faith, Hope and Love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour of need. The foundation fulfills this mission every day by making dreams come true for children with life-threatening illnesses through the W15H program, building Timmy’s Playrooms in children’s hospitals, providing life-changing surgeries to children of the Philippines through the Tebow CURE Hospital, sponsoring Night to Shine, a worldwide prom for people with special needs, providing care for orphans in four countries and adoption aid grants for families who choose to adopt an international child with special needs, and encouraging service to others through Team Tebow and Team Tebow Kids.