Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maelie Has a Family!!!

It's day's like today that keeps the fire burning to work on behalf of Orphans with Down syndrome. Five months ago I was fortunate to visit an orphanage in Peru. It is there that I met a very special little girl named Maelie. Maelie is a soon to be 5 year old who has Down syndrome. Since that day, I felt it important to try and be an instrument in helping her find her forever family.

This search took me to the lava fields of Kona where I raced in the Ironman World Championship on Maelie's behalf in hope to find her family. The day before the race I received an email from a family in Tennessee asking me about Maelie. They had been feeling led to adoption for many months, but it wasn't until just the day before that they felt strongly that they should inquire about Maelie. Ironically enough, the very next day I would be racing on her behalf!

Things moved quickly after that. There application was accepted and they were officially matched to Maelie!  I'm excited to announce that Maelie has a loving family committed to adopting her!!!

Meet the Olsen's!

Lisa and Paul have been married for 17 years. They have three biological children. Their boys (ages 7 and 9) are GREAT big brothers to their baby sister (almost 2) who happens to be a princess with Down Syndrome. The Olsen's tried to adopt internationally a few years ago, but the country closed its doors to adoptions with the United States while they were in the process. They were unable to complete their adoption, which was devastating. Lisa’s heart remained tender towards adoption, but they were very reluctant to go down that path again. After the birth of their daughter, they discovered Reece’s Rainbow. Lisa visited the site often, looking at the waiting children and reading about the incredible families who opened their homes and hearts to orphans with special needs. The Olsen's spent months waiting and praying, wondering if God was calling them to step out in faith and begin the adoption process again. One little girl in particular touched Paul’s heart. Even then, Paul said “God would have to hit him over the head with a shovel” to convince him it was time to move forward. Well, Paul’s head is still tingling! God flung the doors wide open for the Olsen's to step forward to adopt Maelie! The Olsen family is humbled and excited to begin their adoption journey and welcome another princess into their home!

This is a picture of Maelie's soon to be little sister.  They are going to be awesome for each other!


In reading the Olsen's bio about their family, I particularly enjoyed the part where they referenced God opening the doors wide open for them to step forward to adopt Maelie.  I feel the same way when thinking of finding Reece's Rainbow almost 1 year ago and the miracles that I have witnessed since then.  I have learned that if we have desires to be part of something that will truly make a difference in someones life, those opportunities will be presented to us.  Whether it's orphans, Down syndrome or some other cause that is close to your heart, I encourage you to seek opportunities to make a difference.  Don't allow doubt or fear to stop you.  Please don't feel that you can't make a difference because that is simply not true.  If you have sincere desires, doors will be opened, hearts will be softened, and lives will be changed. 

1 comment:

Kim Tracy said...

Have to say I love the photo of you. It looks like you are walking on air, which given what you had just done you probably were.
Super excited and can't even begin to express how blessed I feel to have been allowed to take a part of helping you with this journey.