Do you have someone in your life who has been a shining light? Someone who has given of themselves and really made a difference?
Whenever I consider who has been this for me, I think of my friend Christie Erwin. Christie is the founder and director of Project Zero. Project Zero’s mission is this: 1+1=0. One waiting child plus one welcoming family equals zero kids in foster care waiting for forever homes. Christie works hand-in-hand with Arkansas Division of Children and Family Services to accomplish this mission. And the Goyers personally know that this equation works.
When John and I felt called to adopt from foster care a second time we felt that God had specifically placed something on our hearts. We felt drawn to adopt a sibling group of two or three older girls who would soon be aging out. Why this specifically? In my work with teen moms I’ve seen so many young women who aged out of foster care and who were pregnant within a few months. Vulnerable and alone, they turned to young men for love and to create a family unit they didn’t have. They often found themselves in the family way, but without the love they were looking for.
Other young women who aged out of foster care also became victims of sex trafficking. We felt God telling us that we needed to do something to solve this problem before it became a problem, even in a small way. We couldn’t help every young woman, but hopefully we could help a few.
I shared our heart with Christie through an email, and she responded right away. Christie said it “just so happened” that she heard about a sibling group of old girls just the day prior. They’d just faced a failed adoption, but their adoption specialist still had hope for these girls. She’d contacted Christie in hopes of getting their photo on the website and Heart Gallery. It turns out the girls’ photos—a sibling group of four girls ages 10-14—never made it to the website. After talking to their adoption specialist John and I felt these were our girls. And over the next many months we worked to do the home studies and paperwork to make that happen.
Whenever I look at my girls—who are now 100% Goyers—I think of Christie. If it hadn’t been for her relentless work for the cause of the orphan we would have never had this connection.
I considered buying a gift for Christie for an upcoming holiday, but then wondered, “Why wait?” So after talking with my girls, we decided to get Christie flowers just because. We ordered a bouquet from ProFlowers, and the girls and I delivered in one chilly, February night. Christie was in bed sick, but she sent us a photo the next day with her thanks.
Who has impacted your life? Who do you need to thank? Who needs a Just Because vase of flowers from you? Who’s day do you need to bless?
It’s important to be thankful, but it’s even more more important to show our thanks in small ways. I’d love to hear who you’re thankful for and how you want to thank them! Today is a good day to show your thankfulness.