Many of you have followed the Hollis family's blog since Lydia, their 11 year old daughter, started fundraising for Darya. Yet some of you might be wondering who they are. This post is long overdue, partly because I didn't know how to give them proper thanks and was afraid my words wouldn't give justice to the gratitude I feel, and partly because it's been a whirlwind of a month since we committed to Darya.
Around Thanksgiving last year, a lovely young girl was smitten by a little orphan named Darya who was listed on the Reece's Rainbow site. Lydia has a younger brother and sister with Down syndrome and it broke her heart to think about the neglect that little Darya endured, knowing what joy she would bring to a family. She asked her mom that if she could raise the $20k needed to adopt her, if they could bring her into their family. Well, her mother said "yes" and so it began. With the amazing faith, love, and determination of a child, the Lord provided the money above and beyond their goal - IN JUST A LITTLE OVER A WEEK! People from all over sent in their financial support - from little children to elderly women, from local families to people in other countries. It was truly the hand of God orchestrating it all. They committed to Darya and started working on the adoption process. You can read the story first hand on their blog - the excitement and emotions will be better experienced reading it from it as it happened. I'll share the link below.
Fast forward about 5 months into the adoption process. The Hollises had to make the painful decision of letting Darya go. I can't pretend to imagine how difficult that must have been. I was heartbroken and prayed for them. But little did I know that the Lord had used them to pave the way for our family to step up and bring her home. Three boys will now have the joy of a baby sister - a very special little girl! A little girl who has never experienced the love and warmth of a family, the embrace of her mother's arms, the way only she can make her daddy smile, will be joining the Fick family :) The Lord had put it on our hearts to adopt a little girl with Down syndrome for a while, and though we had no idea how and when it would pan out, we were trusting Him. It all seemed to happen so quickly and we are so excited to be bringing her into our family. For this we are so thankful to the Hollis family, and for Lydia's heart in taking special notice of Darya. We are forever indebted for their love, kindness, and generosity. They made the decision to give the entire amount raised ($20k) to Darya's grant! When we committed to her, there was already over $8k in her grant (several people had donated directly to RR), yet we knew of the Hollis's story. Shortly after we committed to her they sent the rest of the money they had raised to go directly to Darya's grant! They insisted it was to stay with her. They could have used it many other ways, but selflessly gave it to Darya. We are overwhelmed with gratitude and humbled that it pleased the Lord to provide for us through their family. Because of that huge grant, most of the adoption costs are covered. Amazing, huh?
Chappy, Melanie, Caleb, Lydia, Natalie, Hope, and Charlie - we promise we will love and cherish Darya. You will always be remembered by our family and we are forever indebted and grateful for you!
Without further ado, I encourage you to read the beginning of Darya's amazing adoption story as it unfolds on the Hollis' blog. It is best read through their experience first-hand so you can fully sense the emotion and amazement of it all. Grab some tissue! It begins in November of 2009 (start with November 16): http://the30dayjourneyforhope.blogspot.com/2009_11_01_archive.html
And for another tear-jerker post about them letting Darya go: http://the30dayjourneyforhope.blogspot.com/2010/03/can-you-imagine-what-it-is-like-to.html
It is through this family, and their amazing faith in our mighty God, that has been instrumental in writing the beginning of Darya's life autobiography.
Thank you Hollises and thank you to each and every person who gave selflessly to Darya's adoption grant!