This I Believe

Joseph - New Holland, Pennsylvania
Entered on March 28, 2008

About 10 years ago, our 12 year-old daughter asked if she could go to Russia to visit a Russian orphanage. We had friends going on the trip that was planned through a humanitarian organization, so we agreed to let her go. Lydia came back and told us of 4 year-old Anya whom she had met, and that we should adopt Anya. We already had four children of our own, but Lydia brought back pictures and videos. We adopted Anya and found that she had an older sister, Masha, who we also adopted. Their started a chain reaction. My wife started bringing children from their orphanage over to the United States for adoption to other families, and one of our biological daughters moved to Guatemala with her husband to run an orphanage. Two of our children have since adopted orphaned children. The daughter who first went to Russia is now about to move back to Moscow to work with refugees. I had very little to do with any of this, but I believe that little acts of kindness and concern lead to incredibly profound changes in people’s lives. I also believe that hospitality is its own reward. We have been the recipients of unexpected personal growth and great blessings as a result of the decision to open our home and hearts to children who are now integral to the fabric of our lives.