In 2012, CMomA launched our Gifting Program. We put the word out to partnering agencies and organizations to let them know, “WE HAVE MONEY TO GIVE” to worthy and wonderful childless women, men and couples adopting special needs and older orphaned children. By the end of the year, we awarded our first two grants and we were over-the-moon thrilled.
We shared the story of our first CMomA recipient last year, and now we are excited to share the details with you about the second grant we gave to a very special family.
In December 2012, we were delighted to award a CMomA $5,000 Adoption Grant to Jo and Jeff, who awaited their 13-year-old adopted daughter, Aleja, from Columbia. They had already sold their car and depleted their retirement funds to make this happen.
A family finds itself
Jo and Jeff met Aleja in 2012, through the Kidsave Summer Miracles Program, which serves orphans age 10-13, who have little chance of being adopted in their own countries. The program works with U.S. families, who host a visiting child for one month. During that time, the host family sends them to summer camp and works with Kidsave staff and volunteers in advocating to find them adoptive families.
As part of their application, Jo and Jeff included a testimonial from the wonderful family that hosted Aleja during her summer visit.
Here is what Aleja’s host family wrote to us:
A week or so into the month, Jo and Jeff came to a Kidsave event and met all the children here for the month. Aleja was drawn to them immediately. So we set up a bike ride with Jeff and Aleja to go on with the help of a translator. And from that day on they were inseparable. One night they took her to the circus that was in town. On the walk in from the parking lot, Aleja whispers in Spanish to the chaperone, “Do you think they would let me hold their hand?” And of course, Jeff and Jo jumped at the chance. What 13 year old wants to hold an adults hand in public?! It was one of the most amazing experiences to be a part of… To watch a family fall in love with each other for the first time.I can go on and on about how this family needs to be together. I would hate for funding to be the only obstacle. When Jo and Jeff were over to say their final, but hopefully temporary, goodbyes before Aleja went back to Colombia, there were a lot of emotions in the air. As Aleja began to give quick hugs of goodbye, I left them alone and went into the kitchen. But as I turned around, Aleja had followed me in. She started to smile and laugh, her usual cover up of hard things that she has trained herself to do throughout her hard life. But this time the smile didn’t stick. Her heart was too full, and she started to sob. She told me that she didn’t want to ever say goodbye to Jo and Jeff. I wiped her tears and as she went out to give them one last hug, it was a longer and more tearful one. I came out to find Jeff bear hugging Aleja, her feet 2 feet of the ground. I couldn’t hold it together any longer. Seeing this girl, whom I had gotten to know as fearless and steady, always happy and never a tear in her eye, breakdown her walls and let her new mom and dad in, it was too much for me. I pray that they will be together as soon as time, and funds, will allow.
CMomA is honored to be a part of their story!
As you can imagine, once our CMomA gifting team qualified the expectant new parents, we read this heartwarming description and knew the host family had witnessed intuitive love that transcends language and borders. Without a doubt, we were delighted to participate in supporting these three individuals, who were clearly destined to become a family.
Jo and Jeff’s waiting came to a close at the end of 2013, when they brought Aleja home to celebrate the holidays and New Year. Jo, now a full-fledged Mama, shared with us on the CMoma Adoption Grant Gifting Program video (below),
… one of the most exciting things about bringing her home was that we were not just bringing her home to our family, we were bringing her home to a community that is just excited about her being here as we are.
CMomA certainly IS so excited to welcome Aleja “home” to America and to her new family, who will love her forever.
Every child deserves this. We feel so privileged to bear witness to helping one child at a time find their way into the loving arms of the women and men that deserve them… and who will be such wonderful parents.
Below left, WATCH OUR CMomA GIFTING PROGRAM VIDEO and SEE JO, JEFF AND ALEJA TOGETHER! And at right, in February of 2014, CMomA Founder and Executive Director, Dr. Marcy Cole meets Aleja for the very first time.