He adopted an abandoned baby 14 years later. He looks unrecognizable before and after photos of Haven. He was able to come home with the Kinsley’s when he was six months old. Britain Lynn holds an Alphabet book called E Is for Ethiopia, which the Kinsley’s used to teach Haven about his birth country. Haven’t name means a refuge or safe place.
That’s what his parents say they hope their family is for him. The joy of bringing home a new baby is something unparalleled in this world, even if your new baby is already six months old and from another country, Birmingham based non profit Lifeline Children Services, makes adoption possible all over the world. Those efforts help make the joy shared by the Kinsley family come to life. Like most toddlers twoyearold, Haven loves playing with his sister story and dancing. And he especially loves his Mama.
He was probably a year old before he started saying Mama, said Haven’s mother, Lisa Kinsley, who can barely get through a sentence without Haven saying her name a few dozen times. It just melts me. Haven also loves eating and drinking a lot. What was your first word? Lisa asked Haven.
What do you like to say so much? Can you say more? Grinning from ear to ear, Haven proudly said more. Just two years ago, Haven met his mother for the first time when he was two months old. Oh, my goodness, Lisa reminisced.
It was overwhelming. I remember the first time that the nanny at the orphanage placed him in my arms. It was the same feeling you get when they place your baby in your arms that you have birth to. It’s just completely overwhelming. Here’s this person that I’ve prayed for and longed for for so long, just completely falling in love with him, she said, stopping to gaze at Haven.
Her husband, Chris Kinsley, continued. It was just an immediate love, Chris said. This is my son. This is it. There wasn’t weirdness about it.
I didn’t think, oh, he’s a couple of months old or, oh, he’s a different skin color than mine or this is so strange. It was never like that. But an option isn’t for the faint of heart. When we met Haven, he was very malnourished, Chris said, explaining how Haven struggled to keep down the baby formula he was given. He was legally declared our son and then we had to leave.
Well, essentially, our country side of things gets worked out. All his immigration paperwork. Having met him and knowing he was ours, leaving him was probably the hardest thing we’ve ever done, Chris said. Just like if any parent, if their child is sick, they want to be able to take care of them and help him. And we had to leave him.
So it wasn’t just waiting, it was wondering how’s he doing. Is he okay? Is he getting better? He added. Four months after meeting Haven, the Kinsley’s were able to bring him home on Valentine’s day.
At six months old, Haven weighed just £7. It’s very different from having a child biologically because with them there’s a lot of unknowns and weightings and surprises, but you have a clear time frame in which it’s going to occur, Chris said. Despite the uncertainty, the weight and the high cost of adopting a child from another country, the Kingsley has never doubted the decision. We were doing this for our son, Chris said. What measure of money would you not sacrifice, save and raise for your child?
There’s no limit to what we would have done to get him home. That’s why the adoption process has been a constant reminder of what God has done for us. The United Nations Children’s Fund UNICEF reports a child is orphan in Africa every 18 seconds. Every minute, 21 children under the age of five die from preventable causes. Worldwide, an average of 5760 additional children around the world become orphans daily.
We found a natural pole to Africa and the people there, Chris said. My parents spent time living in South Africa and adopted from there. Ethiopia was also a place of great need. We felt like we could make a difference. We couldn’t help every single orphan around the world and every single orphan here, but we could help one and he can help us to be part of our family.
In Ethiopia, one in six children will die before their fifth birthday. Ethiopian children are also 30 times more likely to die by their fifth birthday than a child in Western Europe. Haven’s story is that he was found abandoned on the side of the road, Lisa said. A police officer found him and took him to a nearby hospital. They determined that he was about a week old, so they started caring for him in the hospital and then they assigned him to an orphanage.
From there, we got paperwork and started finding birth parents and no parents were able to be found, Lisa added. We trust that if nothing else, God was watching out for him to make sure he was located or found and able to be brought to us, Chris said. A place of refuge, a place of hope, a haven. It means refuge and safe place. That really gave us a picture of what we’ve experienced in God for ourselves, that he is our refuge, our safe place, taking us into his family.
Hopefully by us doing that for Haven, that he would be doing that for Him, that we would be taking him into a safe place, into our family, Chris said. In raising Haven, the Kinsley’s have felt it important he has a connection to Ethiopia. One of the ways they’ve done that is an Alphabet book about the country. Each letter is for something that comes from Ethiopia, Chris said. We even used it with Story and preparing for him to come home to teach her about Ethiopia.
Then while we were in Ethiopia, we purchased some gifts and things so on certain birthdays, we’ll give him things from his country and we’ll talk about it. Obviously, we really look forward to some time down the road, probably when he’s significant older, being able to take him back to see where he came from. We’ve also kept his given name, Bahar, which is the name they gave him in Ethiopia. It’s now his middle name, Chris said, with a full belly and a happy heart. Haven’t Home an additional note from Britain Lynn.
I wanted to tell this story because my father was also abandoned. At two months old, I felt the love of adoptive families firsthand. Like Baby Haven, it took a significant amount of time. Six months before my dad was adopted, he lived with the local police officer who found him and none until he was able to be placed in my grandparents’home a few States away in Texas. But happy endings like my father and the Kinsley’s experience aren’t always the case for most vulnerable children.
Of the estimated 153,000,000 orphans worldwide, only about 30,000 will be adopted each year. The rest usually end up in forced human trafficking prison or don’t make it past their 18th birthday. The numbers are shocking today. His father always posts about his achievement after many years of caring and love. Tonight was the blue and gold banquet for Havens Cub Scout pack.
Here in his bear rank, his religious emblem of faith, had one of the top three cakes and officially became a we Lo that’s on top of everything else he’s worked so hard to achieve this year. We’re pretty proud of him. In another post, he said, First Pinewood Derby was a success. We weren’t the fastest, but we walked away with the trophy anyway. For Scout favorite.
And for the record, he did legitimately help build the car. Here’s how they grew up together. One of my favorite things to do is to randomly tell the kids, Get dressed, we’re going on an adventure. It both sets the expectations and defines the experience. Almost no matter what we end up doing.
We’ll agree adventure was had, and today that adventure was much needed. He gave to his young man a life he could never imagine. Less than zero. 1% of the orphans worldwide will ever be adopted. About 30,000 about 75% of orphans worldwide will be forced into human trafficking and prostitution.
About 15% of orphans worldwide will be imprisoned or dead by 18. In a few days, I’ll be traveling to Uganda, Africa to share how a Ministry of Lifeline Children services called Unadopted is working to help those children. Throughout the trip, I’ll be posting stories and video on myfoxel.com Twitter at Britain Lynn and Facebook, both Myfoxel.com and Britain Lynn pages to share Unadopted work. Foster care is an extremely fragile time in a child’s life. Think about it.
They aren’t with their parents. They’ve probably moved more than once and they’re not sure what their future holds. That being said, since foster care is often at a vulnerable time in a child’s life. Here’s my advice get too attached loving them unconditionally even if they act out. Usually when they act out, they’re testing you because in foster care, if we act out, we’re often moved again and labeled as too difficult.
Don’t be that adult who gives up on them again. They’ve had too many adults not proved themselves trustworthy and they need you to be committed as long as it takes. Don’t be surprised if some of your stuff like knickknacks, disappear and you find it in their room. Let them know it’s okay. It’s a comfort thing.
They will often act out what’s been done to them and may manifest mistrust if they start to act out. Have them tell you about why they saw someone else do that. Sometimes it will snap their tape on their behavior. Observe their native qualities and abilities since they may be quite different from your own genetic line. Help them enhance and plug in those qualities meaning use them as that will give kids confidence and control.
Being in foster care and having social services treat you more as a job to be done Rather than a person to be listened to is a key factor in the development of a child becoming mistrustful or a child becoming more criminal. Society doesn’t appreciate people who are openly wary of other foster children. I’ve met there have been many situations in which I’ve heard foster carers discuss to one another how troubled a child is.
Most of the time they’re complaining that the child they’re looking after has shouted at them, slammed doors or just doesn’t seem overall thankful that they’ve got a roof over their heads. Now, as this is the case with any animal, A child who feels threatened or cornered Will lash out.