This is a guest post by Matt's Mother-In-Law:
Many people today totally misunderstand the joys that come from being a military family. Some people see only the sacrifices made by these men and women and their families. However, because I grew up near Scott Air Force Base in Illinois, and because I went to school with the children of military parents, I experienced first hand the pride and opportunity a military career provides. Clearly, military families are special.
My son-in-law, some of you know him as BlackFive, taught me even more about what being in the military means. Matt, my son-in-law, never really “retired” from the military, he just took what he learned about “being a brother to those who serve with you” to find ways to continue to serve and make the world a better place, no matter where you are or what you go on to do. Matt helped me to see that working for a charity is a most honorable way, in even a small way, to serve mankind and make the world a little better for us all.
I wrote one other time, for Blackfive.net, about the charity I write for, The Gift of Adoption; since that time, 15% more military families have applied to us for grants.
One military family who recently received a grant from Gift of Adoption is comprised of John and Amy, Micah (8) and Aubrey (9). Not only have they proudly served their country, but they are now in the process of taking another step to make the world a little bit better; they are adopting two brothers from Estonia in order to give them a chance at a good life. “I can’t begin to describe how their life will be altered,” John told us. From small things like getting to go to the grocery store to going to an amusement park, their world will be opened up. We are in the military so we do move every 3 years and the life experiences and amazing places and things we’ve seen will now be shared with our boys. Not to mention the opportunity to go to college later in life.” Ace (3) and JT (who just turned 3)) (they will keep their Estonian names as middle names) have lived in an Estonian orphanage for two years now and didn’t even know they were brothers. All of that is about to change. They have met their new family and are waiting to come home to them in May of 2010, if all goes as planned.
John explained their motivation to adopt this way : “The road that brought us to adoption has been long. We have had fertility issues since we first started building our family. After years of trying, God saw fit to bless us with our 2 beautiful daughters, Aubrey and Micah. We still felt our family wasn’t complete; that God wasn’t finished growing our family. We tried for a few years to become pregnant, but this was not God’s plan. Through much prayer and discussion, we believed adoption was the path laid out before us.”
“Our adoption journey has been long, approximately 5 years in total. We have switched countries twice because of countries being closed and governmental changes. Last October, God brought 2 brothers into our lives through an agency in South Carolina.” John added, “We can see this is clearly God’s plan for our family. We feel honored to be able to take these boys into our family and love them.”
“We had saved some throughout our wait, but we lost approximately $7,000 when we switched from El Salvador to Estonia,” explained John. “We were able to get back $4,000 which we have already sent to AHI. We also have borrowed against my retirement. We will receive $4,000 from the military after the adoption is complete. We have recently received a matching grant from Lifesong of $2,000. Our church family has generously offered to help pay for our flights to get the boys. Amy’s family gave us $1,200 at Christmas as well. We are still waiting to hear from a few organizations about grants/loans/matching grants. Whatever we don’t get covered by the time we travel to pick them up, we will probably have to take out a bank loan if that is possible.” The Gift of Adoption Grant is another blessing for the family and especially for the boys. Ace and JT, who will gain much from their opportunity to become a part of a military family, but,” John concluded, “all of these things are nothing compared to the love and affection they will receive from us and our girls. Support, unconditional love, sense of safety, and belonging. There is nothing like a family.”
Gift of Adoption would love to help more military families, like John and Amy’s, to secure the financial resources to fund an adoption of a child who needs the love and security of a forever home and family.
If you would like to feel the joy of giving what you can to help one child be united with a loving adoptive family, please consider a donation to Gift of Adoption. Read more about us at
As Mother’s Day approaches, I am thankful for my son-in-law, Matthew (Black Five) and for all he has taught me about the need to give back as we all work together to make this world a better place, one act at a time, one child at a time. Give a child a chance for a more secure and loving life. Donate today.