Beauty stems from Rusted Roots… and this beautiful family is living proof.
The year was 2014. One man. One woman made a decision that would change the lives of six people immediately… and countless others as the years go by.
Meet Susan and Mark. A local Hillsborough, NC couple and the proud parents of these three joyful children, 12-year-old Luke, 10-year-old Anna, and 8-year-old Sara. You can see the love of the Lord in their eyes every time they come in the shop.
But it wasn’t quite love that they felt when they heard a simple eight letter word more than two years ago… ADOPTION! Anna, bless her heart, ran away from the conversation crying. And Sara mistakenly thought the three of them were being put up for adoption. But it didn’t take long to clear things up, the kiddos went from confusion to compassion and the family of five were beyond excited to become a family of six!
Fast forward two years…
As I sit down to write this blog post, I get a message from Susan,
“Our match was made “official” overnight! We are SOOOO excited!”
Just in time for the Mother’s Day, I could hear the joy in Susan’s heart through the text on my screen. A mother of three becomes a mother of four.
For the last several months, Susan would come into the shop and share their journey of adoption with us. We have laughed together, even shed a tear together. That’s where the Rusted Roots come in…
In the summer of 2010, a precious baby girl was born in China. For reasons we will never know or understand, this gift from God was abandoned. Suffering from a serious heart condition, this baby girl needed immediate help. God wrapped His arms around her, protecting her until she could be found, and carrying her to a nearby orphanage. Shortly thereafter, she received a much needed surgery that likely saved her life. That beautiful baby girl will turn six this summer… meet Maya.
While she may have Rusted Roots, a rough beginning, and perhaps an unconventional childhood thus far, God planted the seed of adoption in Susan and Mark, and with a little watering from family, friends, and of course, faith, Miss Maya’s Rusted Roots are about to blossom!! Imagine that little girl experiencing the joy of a loving family, a hug, a home, spinning in fields of happiness with her two new sisters.
It’s a selfless act that will undoubtedly change the lives of countless people, but most importantly Maya!!
I don’t claim to know a lot about the adoption process, but I do know this. It can be a loooooong process and it’s quite expensive!! For the last two years, the entire family has been working hard, saving every penny to make this adoption happen. The kids pitched in to help gauge the success of their fundraising efforts.
And they’ve also pitched in their own money, literally!! Susan and Mark have never asked, or even encouraged, their kids to give their own money towards the adoption. But when Anna got some money in the mail last year, she didn’t hesitate to add it to the donation bucket! All three children sat down and hand signed 140 letters of support and then asked to stuff the envelopes to send them out! Three young hearts that understand the magnitude of this process and the lives it will change.
The family has had several other fundraising efforts, Chic-fila night, babysitting, even a couple of successful yard sales.
But the need is still great. Moving forward Maya will need further medical treatment due to her heart condition and likely one or perhaps two more heart surgeries as she grows up. Not to mention the cost of the adoption itself.
When Susan was in the shop last month, she was telling me that they had submitted their letter of intent to adopt Maya. That’s the last step before you are “officially” matched. Then the ‘real’ adoption process begins. It will still be months before Miss Maya comes home, but nevertheless, the anticipation of that day is already mounting. I asked Susan if she and Mark would go pick her up by themselves? To which, she quickly responded,
“We can’t imagine doing this without our children. They have been such a BIG part of this process. We want them to go with us. I don’t know how we’ll do it, financially, but God will provide a way.”
Those words stuck with me long after Susan left that day. I went home and couldn’t get the image of those kind-hearted children out of my mind. A twelve-year-old boy, already with two little sisters, and yet over joyed with the prospect of having a third. A protector of sorts, who is excited to take Maya under his wing. I can see him making sure she gets the last chicken nugget at dinner and that no one teases her at school. Teaching her the ropes when it comes time to learn to drive and one day… one day… dancing with her at her wedding.
And then there’s Anna and Sara. I don’t know what it’s like to have a sister, but the friendship I see between these two at the shop is inseparable. When I asked Sara if she was excited about Maya coming home, her face lit up. And although she only responded with a simple, ‘yeah’, that one word held so much joy, it spoke measures about her excitement to have a new sister. Imagine these girls showing Maya nail polish for the first time or how to braid her hair. Boy talk in their teen years. And the three of them standing side by side at each others weddings!
These children are just as selfless as Susan and Mark. As I pondered on how I could help. How can I help get this family of five to China to bring Maya home? It hit me. We have a platform at Rusted Roots that reaches thousands. I can’t imagine this story not touching the hearts of those who support Rusted Roots. For the last year and a half, Susan and her family have come in the shop nearly every time we open the doors. The girls excited to buy a new necklace for the first day of school, Mom excited to transform her builder grade home into a farmhouse haven. They’ve been long time supporters of Rusted Roots, even the kiddos!
So, it’s time we step up and support them!!
Our ‘Bring Maya Home Campaign’ is our effort to help support this wonderful family and their adoption. We will hold a raffle at Rusted Roots May 13-14 sale to raise money to bring Maya home! Raffle tickets are $1 each and we will do the drawing at 5pm on Saturday! The winner can pick up their prize the following month at the shop! This month we will be raffling off this fabulous red toy truck!!! It’s a big one!!
Susan and Mark have said from the beginning that they can’t do this alone, but they have faith that God will provide. While they NEVER asked for Rusted Roots to help, we feel honored that God would use us as his hands to help provide. And we pray that many of you will have it laid upon your hearts to help as well. As I sit here in awe of Susan and her family, I sent her a message telling her how wonderful and selfless they were and God would bless them because of it. Susan was quick to respond…
“We feel privileged to do it, living out the example that God gave us when He adopted us into His family, a beautiful picture of the gospel”
And that, my friends, is beauty stemming from Rusted Roots.