by Amanda Leite 1 Lives Impacted Bulgaria
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Amanda Elizabeth and I am a late 20-something, single woman. I am a follower of Christ and delig...
For those of you who don't know me, my name is Amanda Elizabeth and I am a late 20-something, single woman. I am a follower of Christ and delight in His teachings. I am a lover of all things on four legs, (okay, almost all...), a hard worker and enjoy nothing more than having a good laugh. While sometimes known as the "Sassy Lassy", most people know me as Nana or Auntie as I have been a nanny or have worked in childcare for over 15 years. I love working with children, but now work for a non-profit and have come to love that too.
For those of you who are wondering how I got here, and called to a place to follow God into the unknown, I would like to share that story with you. (I'm sorry, but it is a long story. It takes time to tell of God's amazing grace!)
Back as a little girl, I knew I was called to adopt. I knew I would welcome children into my home who weren't mine and love them like they were. When I was married in 2015, I was convinced that was the beginning of a great adventure. We had looked at a few children on the waiting child lists and fell in love with two, one older boy and a younger toddler boy, both from Eastern Europe. As we were debating to move forward, tragedy struck our family and in late 2017 I lost my husband to sin, (he is still alive, just not with me), and was left homeless, jobless, and devastated.
Over the next six months I was able to get a new job, that I love and make three times as much as I was at my old job, I had secured a charming home out in the country, and had even traded in my PT Cruiser for my amazing Ford truck. To top it off, I managed to get a promotion within six months of starting my job. I was completely on top of the world, and I wanted to give everything that God had blessed me with back one hundred fold.
After praying for many opportunities, one opportunity knocked: to welcome a woman, and dear friend, who was homeless at the time. It was a wonderful blossoming of our friendship and I knew that is where God wanted me.
When we knew our time living together was coming to an end, I watched with awe as God provided for her every need where she could not provide for herself. To watch her be set free was incredible. I was so sad to see her go, but so happy for her future.
After just a few weeks of her leaving I was restless, I already knew that God was calling me to something else, but to what, I didn't know.
Then one day, just out of the blue I got an email from a photo listing agency for children with special needs. Now, this was a normal thing for me, I got these on a daily basis. The strange part was instead of 5 or 10 children in the email, per usual, there was only one. And it was the same toddler that my ex-husband and I had debated perusing years back.
My jaw dropped, I sat there just in complete shock and awe and I did what any other insane human would do...I inquired about him.
Not long after I got more information on him I knew I had to move forward. There was no way in the world that this wasn't from God. So I searched through so many agencies, trying to find a good fit.
Finally, I came across Saint Mary's International Adoptions. It was like greeting an old friend. Their agency "fit like a glove" with my situation and they were willing to work with me through thick and thin.
The first hurdle we covered was what nationality is this child? If he was anything but Bulgarian, the adoption for me as a single woman would have ended. I prayed hard in those hours. I prayed that if the door was meant to be shut, do it now, spare my heart; but if the door was meant to be opened then to let it fly open and let no one doubt that God's hand worked this adoption out. I prayed for people to come to Christ through this testimony and that they could see His goodness and glory. But God was just starting, after an agonizing 24 hours, we found out he was indeed Bulgarian.
So we moved forward and put in a soft application. I was thrilled, I had told my family and was eagerly anticipating the next steps. Then, out of the blue, Saint Mary's called to say another family had put in an application and I was out of the running.
Once again, I was just devastated. I could not understand why the Lord had led me here only to hit a closed door. I had remembered my earlier prayer and just didn't understand. I decided to be faithful to the Lord's decision and to be grateful no matter what. (1 Thessalonians 5:18 | Psalm 107:1 | Ephesians 5:20)
A few weeks later, after my life had taken a series of upheavals, (or as I like to call them a series of unfortunate events--I know I'm a book nerd), I got a call from the agency saying that they had never had to make this call before but they wanted to let me know that the other family backed out and if I wanted to put in a declaration stating that I was still interested in this adoption that I should do it now. While I was grieving, behind the scenes the agency was fighting for that child, praying for me and praying for him.
I have heard from many people that this is the hand of God, what a miracle this is and how little one and I are truly blessed. I am beyond grateful and in awe of what God has already done, and I know what God is capable of. (Job 42:1). I will continue to trust in the Lord, (Proverbs 3:5 | Isaiah 26:4) and to cast all of my cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7).
I thank you for reading through all of my story thus far, I hope that you will pray along side me through this difficult journey, and lift myself and my little one up in prayer. I am forever grateful for those prayers.
As we all know, adoption costs are a hefty burden on any family that is considering adoption, no matter their financial status. And with that, can often come scrutiny as to where the funds that are raised for adoptions are going. As many of our supporters will have questions, I wanted to dedicate this page to talk about what our adoption costs and timeline will look like. I want you to know where your money is going.
The Bulgarian waiting child adoption process is a very quick one in the world of adoption. Most waiting child adoptions happen within one year from putting in a soft referral to bringing the child home. That is a lot done in a very short amount of time. From the time of acceptance of a soft referral (about a month into the process), you then have six months to submit a dossier and home study. That is very very fast.
As a soon-to-be single mother, that's definitely not money that I have to throw around. But, I know that I have been called to adopt, (1 Thessalonians 5:24) and I will drop everything and follow Him, (Matthew 16:24).
So, if you're still reading, and you are joining me in prayer and are considering help me bring this amazing little boy home, here is some information that may interest you:
Cost & Timeline:
These costs do not include:
All of these extra fees are likely to accumulate another $8,000 to $10,000.
Bringing the total cost to around $30,000.