With my journey as an Angel Tree warrior shifting into its third year, I’m still amazed at the amount of love, support, and dedication that comes with this massive fundraiser. It’s a whirlwind, but a whirlwind filled with so many marvelous and dedicated people that I have come to admire greatly. For the first two years of Angel Tree I was the warrior for a precious little boy named Trey, who I love very much. I was 100% committed to doing it for Trey for the third time in three years (unless he had found his family prior to Angel Tree), but the doors to his country closed to adoption in January. Should his country reopen their doors to international adoption, I will of course fight for Trey again. But this year, that is just not possible. So, instead of picking another cute baby, I decided to go a different route.
I would like to introduce you to my Angel Tree child, Collier.
In the United States, the average age of a child in foster care who is available to be adopted is nine. Nine! Pretty unbelievable, don’t you think? Less than ten percent of children adopted through foster care were between the ages of 14-17. And if those sobering statistics are from the United States, imagine what they must be for orphans overseas. Older children are just as deserving of a family, but they are often the last to be picked. And, since I wanted to advocate for a child I had met, the choice was easy.
I know what you’re thinking. Older child? Irene, that’s not an older child. He’s looks like a toddler! You must be reading something wrong. Believe me, I am not.
I had the privilege of meeting Collier when I went on a mission trip to his orphanage this summer. These are the facts I can share about him. He is in a wonderful orphanage with a caring director and staff. Collier is very tiny, about the size of a two or three year old, not a fourteen year old, and skinny. Collier loves exploring, going outside, and being held. He attaches very quickly; when I was in his room he would always rush up to me and beg to be held. Collier is non-verbal, but he can express what he wants very easily. He is in desperate need of a family - he turns 16 in October 2015, and must be adopted prior to that.
It's been a challenge this year, especially with being overseas, but I believe I can not only get Collier to the $1,000 goal, I believe I can get him over the next "Moving Mountains" level ($7500+)! I have seen it happen before with Trey, thanks to some very generous donations, and know it can happen again! This year, my own fundraiser is called Coffee for Collier, and is located here: https://justlovecoffee.com/coffeeforcollier. And you can purchase Collier's ornament at the main Angel Tree site.