The idea for this Foundation was born on Sunday March 11, 2001 during a sermon by Pastor Matt Smith of Grace Community Church. In the sermon, Matt Smith was talking about our adoption into God’s family. He proceeded to share an article that he had read from the Baltimore Sun dated Sunday January 11, 2001 by Michael Olesker. The article spoke of a Baltimore couple who had adopted two Russian orphans. When pastor Matt read the part about Nina (the adopted girl), I felt something in my heart snap. The part he read told the story of little Nina’s first meeting with her new dad. As he bent down and kissed here for the first time, the article said “She’d never been kissed by a man before”. I suppose part of the reason that I had such a strong reaction could be accounted for because of my six children at the time (four of which were girls) and the fact that not a day goes by that I don’t kiss them and tell them that I love them multiple times. However, I am convinced that the real reason I reacted so strongly was because that snap in my heart was from God. I proceeded to share my experience with my wife and we began to pray about what this might mean.
A few days later I shared with Kathy (my wife) that I believed that God wanted us to start a Foundation. The Foundation would provide resources to families who are seeking to adopt international children from orphanages. Kathy was open but very skeptical, and rightfully so because I tend to have about a million ideas per waking day. I continued by sharing the concept with several of my business associates. I was overwhelmed by some of the responses. One associate asked me a great question. “Why wouldn’t I start a Foundation to help all of the poor children he sees everyday on the streets of Baltimore?” I respectfully answered. You see there is not a child in America who couldn’t at the age of sixteen walk into a local fast food restaurant and get a job making more in two weeks than most international children could make in a year if they were fortunate to live and be healthy enough to get a job at the age of sixteen. This is not to minimize the plight of the poor in America or discredit any humanitarian efforts to help!
Let me at this point interject a story about a dear couple that our family knows. Wanting to fulfill a dream for their marriage, they decided to pursue international adoption. The total cost to adopt internationally is easily $20,000. They had only a fraction of that and needed to borrow the balance to go through with the adoption. To this day they are still paying off that debt, but went on to adopt another international orphan which are both growing wonderfully in their loving family. This story helps to explain why I would see the value in providing resources to families seeking to adopt international orphans. I am convinced that if finances weren’t as big of an issue, that many more international orphans could find hope being part of a loving adoptive family. One last thought is that the bible speaks of orphans in James 1:27 where it says “This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress….”. By God’s grace I might have the privilege of visiting orphans around the world, but how much more wonderful if through the efforts of this Foundation, many international orphans find loving adoptive homes!
Continuing on now with where we have come in such a short time. We continued to wade further into the water by sharing about the Foundation with several church friends and again the responses were overwhelming. Finally, Kathy was convinced that this was from God and we began to move forward as a family in believing that this Foundation was to be born. To date we have incorporated and have received our 501(C)3 (non-profit) status. Many business associates that have heard our idea have gotten behind us and have agreed to do the following pro bono: 1) Produce and print our initial brochure, 2) Create a web page, 3) Fill some of the key roles that will be needed to get the Foundation functioning successfully. One business associate even questioned how one “little man” expected to make such a huge thing happen. I quickly replied that if it was one little man making it happen then it couldn’t, but if it is God through one “little man”, then anything is possible.
Currently much funding has dried up and we are turning our efforts to awareness for the plight of orphans. Please visit our home page for more about what we are currently doing.
Founder, ICARE, Inc.