Today we're happy to share with you an interview we did recently with Monica, team member with the Teens Interceding for Orphans (TIO) website. Join in the conversation as we get to know Monica a bit and talk about her passion for adoption and orphans and how we can join in on that.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you came to know Christ.
I'm a recent college grad and newlywed. My husband and I live in South Florida, where I teach music lessons, blog, and freelance edit. I grew up in a Christian family and accepted Christ at an early age, but it wasn't until I was a teenager that I began to think about what that really meant and how being a Christian should affect my life, my attitudes, and my actions. I went to a Christian college and struggled through some tough issues regarding my faith there, but I came out stronger as a result. Today, even though I still have doubts and fears, I am daily learning to lean on Christ and His love and strength, no matter what the circumstances!
How did you became interested in adoption and orphans? What has that journey looked like?
I have wanted to adopt from a very young age, although I can't remember now where that passion came from. I have always been drawn to the image of God adopting us into His family, and I deeply desire to make that image a part of my family as well. As a kid and teenager, this passion found an outlet in supporting children through Compassion International and eagerly soaking up stories from mission groups that worked with orphanages. Now, as a newlywed, that passion has formed more concrete steps--having discussions about adoption and foster care with my husband, starting an adoption savings fund, and doing tons of research on adoption laws and requirements. My husband and I both feel led to build our family through adoption, and I can't wait until God opens the doors for us to do so!
Why did you join Teens Interceding for Orphans (TIO)? What's your desire in being a part of TIO?
I found out about TIO through a Facebook post from Do Hard Things. The word "orphans" caught my eye, and I clicked through to Leah's website until I found a post about getting involved. I told Leah about my passion for adoption and told her that if there was anything I could do to help her, I'd be willing. To my surprise, she wrote back and asked me to take on the bi-weekly Advocate and Pray posts. I was thrilled to have a concrete way to help! My desire in working as a part of TIO is to draw attention to the millions of orphaned children around the world so that, through prayer and raising awareness, many of them might find forever families. More importantly, I hope that many young adults will be drawn to the idea of adoption, if not for themselves, then by supporting those who choose to adopt through prayer and financially.
Are there any books, resources, and so forth that you would recommend to aid us in gaining a heart for orphans and adoption?
WhitsonLife is a great resource--it's a blog about adoption and foster care, created by a couple who has been there, which features personal stories about the struggles and joys of adoption. I also have several books about adoption on my reading list, although unfortunately I haven't gotten to them yet! I've heard good things about "Make Me a Mother," a memoir about the adoption process, and "Adoption is a Family Affair," which explains to family and friends of adopting parents how they can provide support.
What are some ways that we, as young women, can get involved in serving orphans and helping in adoptions?
Like we talk about in the Advocate and Pray posts on TIO, there are two incredibly important aspects of supporting orphans and adopting families: prayer and advocating (or raising awareness). Just by sharing these waiting children's stories, you are giving them a greater chance of finding a family who will love and care for them, and raising awareness for the number of other children who are still waiting for their forever families. There are also sponsorship programs and adoption fundraisers which you can donate to if you are able (we've recently featured Sarah's Covenant Homes and Watoto). If you know someone who is in the process of adopting, be aware that they are probably going through a gamut of emotions--fear, excitement, frustration, joy, grief, impatience, and more. Every adoption journey has its own trials and heartaches, and offering encouragement to the adoptive parents who are walking that road can make a big difference. You don't have to know their whole story to offer them some words of encouragement and pray for them.
Monica is a former homeschooler and a recent college graduate with a BS in Music Education. She currently lives in Florida with her husband, where she teaches private music lessons and does freelance editing. She maintains a book review blog called Newbery and Beyond, as well as contributing to Teens Interceding for Orphans. She and her husband hope to adopt at some point in the future, with God’s provision.