The team subtitle.
Princess Tea Chair, Conway, AR
In 2012, my husband and I traveled on a mission trip to Guatemala and worked with a people that I fell in love with and wanted to serve in a long term way. We visited an orphanage during our trip and there we learned that adoptions were closed. My heart broke. Looking around at these beautiful children and not being able to do anything made me feel helpless. I wanted love and justice for them.
The call to actually “do something” started in the Spring of 2016. Not being able to shake the desire for God to use me more and in whatever ways He desired led to a prayer of saying “Yes!” to whatever He asked of me. Around that time, Jenny and I were catching up on life and her ministry, The Orphan Door. Following our phone call, in my time of prayer, it became increasingly obvious that my privilege as a follower of Christ was to love and care for the orphan. James 1:27 “Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you.” I felt the prompting to help in any way possible that would most care and bless the lives of the sweet children at Eagle’s Nest. Jen and I believed the greatest way to impact their lives was to take the chance at hosting another Tea in Conway, AR, where the Lord had called our family to a few years earlier to advance the Kingdom of God through church planting. We have 2 beautiful children that I get to love and watch grow, and what a joy that is! But, it hurts my heart to know that sweet babies all over the world who deserve love, may not be getting it for numerous reason. But, I can do my part. I can help by hosting a Mother Daughter Princess Tea, which will raise money for caregivers at Eagles Nest, and by committing to pray for these children regularly. The ability to be part of this team is such an honor and is so humbling. I am full of gratitude to know the good work this organization does and will continue to do.
The Orphan Door Shop Coordinator
“Why, Lord, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?” Psalms 10:1
This was my life: I was alone. I felt forsaken. I was disillusioned. I couldn’t understand why a good God would allow this to happen to me. But He did.
In the early years of high school, I made one decision. It didn’t really seem like a big deal at the time, but then the unimaginable took place, something priceless was taken from me, and I was never the same. I didn’t seek help because I was afraid of what people would think. Would they blame me? Would they say I should have listened? Would they tell me this was all just a consequence to my sin? In those moments I decided this must just be how God works. I thought back to the story of Adam and Eve, how they lost their perfect life, and were kicked out of the garden because of their sin. I figured this verdict was the same for me and I felt the heaviness. From then on, I just knew my life would no longer work out the way I had hoped- the way others expected.
The years of high school and college proved to be very painful. I felt like I was not good enough for good things and because of this, I found myself in abusive relationships as early as my junior year of high school. I hung out with friends that were not the church type, would lie to my parents, and go out to parties. I acted as if God’s best was off the table for me and chose to pursue the best of the world.
This ideology spilled over to my adult life and I set out to be the best nurse, the best wife, and the best mother I could be. I worked tirelessly to advance my career, to make more money, to have the big house, the nice car, and all the right clothes. I had convinced myself that if I managed things well that no one else could hurt me or take something from me. Over the years, I moved into better jobs, had money and things, but none of it was filled with God. After experiencing a failed marriage and divorce, I met another man who is now my husband. We had money, businesses, a house, and cars; to the outside, we had it all. But when we lost it all, we were left with a lot of baggage and a dysfunctional marriage. At this point I felt broken; everything had been taken from me and I didn’t know how I could possibly move forward. But this was really when God began to change me.
In my desperate brokenness, I cried out, “God this is not the life I want. I need you!” God began to soften my heart and show me the ways I needed to surrender. The road was not without bumps, but my husband and I were both looking for God to change us, so life began to be better than it had ever been. Through a Bible study with my sister, I began to realize God just didn’t want to restore my marriage, He wanted to restore me. Ironically our study started with the story of Adam and Eve and for the first time I saw the grace in the story. I saw that God didn’t just throw them from the garden because of their sin, but protected them from an eternal life without God. He was allowing for their restoration. He is such a good God!
My life’s journey has been hard. But because of God, I know beauty can come from ashes. I feel like my life has equipped me to be an advocate: to stand up for the victim, to show compassion to the hurting, and to lead others to the beautiful restoration God offers.
Princess Tea Co-Chair, Jackson, MS
I always knew. Growing up, nurturing came naturally to me. I remember stories my mom would recount to me of times when I would crawl into my little sisters crib just to snuggle with her. We were five years apart and she was like my very own living baby doll.
In later years, I became a regular babysitter for several families. Often times I would even travel with them on vacations, but mostly I was just involved in their day to day- helping them with school work, making their meals, laying them to sleep at night. And in these moments I would think to myself, I was meant to be a mother.
One family in particular had a profound impact on my life. They were the first family I saw walk through the adoption process. I saw them experience the hard parts, the long waiting, and then the joyous moment of finally seeing their daughter for the first time and welcoming her into the family. And it was in this moment that I thought to myself, I was meant to be an adoptive mother.
I kept this calling close to my heart and continued throughout life. But God had subtle ways of continuing to prepare me. During college I worked at a Children’s Home. It was a hard place to work, seeing all that these children faced and all that they had to overcome. But it was also a place where I clearly saw the Lord at work, binding up the brokenhearted and setting the lonely in families. Just as God planned, it was here that I would also meet my husband. A man who also had a clear passion for encouraging and discipling children. A year or so after we married, my husband and I took our first mission trip together to Eagle’s Nest Children’s Home in Guatemala. It was then that we fell in love with this place, these children, and it is what brings us back year after year.
Then the calling came and it was clear. After welcoming two beautiful boys into our family, God was ready for us to pursue adoption. To see a dream, 20 years in the making, come to life in the eyes of my precious daughter has been a treasure. Through our journey, God taught me about adoption and exposed me to the needs of the orphan, but He also taught me about my own adoption. Seeing our daughter for the first time and feeling such tremendous love for her reminded me of just how God feels about me. When Grace was given to us, she received all the rights and privileges of being in our family. When we accept Christ as our Savior, we enter into the family of God and enjoy all the privileges of that relationship. We are heirs of the King of Kings! Knowing this and experiencing it first hand, reminds me to have great confidence and desire to walk forward in the calling He lays on our heart.
While I hope we adopt again, I also know that that there are so many children who are longing for the love of a family but unadoptable by law. It’s my prayer that The Orphan Door isn’t just a non-profit, but a family that reaches out to these children and loves them like the Father loves us.
Executive Director & Chief of Staff
Jenny & Tyler Blount
Adoption changed me; the years of waiting, the months of paperwork, the hours of praying, the ever-increasing desire to be a mother. In many ways, it broke me. But more than that, it restored me. During those years of waiting, God drew near to me in my brokenness. He taught me deeply about the gift of the Holy Spirit, the beauty of persistent prayer, and the unimaginable joy of seeing God be faithful to His promises. But God, being the God that He is, didn’t just answer my waiting with the birth of my beautiful daughter; He also answered with the birth of a deeper faith and a desire for new ministry.
The sleepless nights that came along with my new little one, were some of the most special in my life. As I held her in my arms, rocking her to sleep, and thanking God for His grace to me, I felt a deep stirring. I felt a calling to two, seemingly unrelated things: to share the gospel in a community full of churches, but not full of Christians and to love and care for children who would never have anyone call them son or daughter. I don’t have any glamorous gifts, no great speaking talents, no real connections, and I began to wonder if God could really use me to do what seemed like such a large task.
Eventually, the call became too burdensome to ignore and I realized it had become less about if God could use me and more about if I would surrender and allow Him to do the work. I never thought my surrender would come in the form of a Mother- Daughter Princess Tea, but it did. In its first year, the Tea raised enough money to send 18 children at Eagle’s Nest Children Home to school for an entire year. As my family and friends joined in on the project, all of us with the goal of making a way for these kids, I was overwhelmed by the beauty of community. In these moments, I saw how God’s callings for me weren’t unrelated after all.
So here we are “building a community that builds communities”. We want more than anything for you to join this calling with us. It is going to be an adventure, but one where we believe we will see the goodness of God, the beauty of community, and His love for the orphan.
I never thought I would be here! Growing up with Cystic Fibrosis, you never really know how much time you will have on earth. It’s hard balancing the statistics you hear of life expectancy with the positivity friends and family provide. Life sure has been a rollercoaster and I’m so glad to still be on the ride!
I thought the hardest things I would have to deal with in life would be physical. But as I grew in age I also grew in faith. And one thing I have found is that as you grow in faith, God begins to stretch you in new ways. Sometimes these ways are subtle, and sometimes they are like a hurricane.
Adoption was never really on my radar. Sure I knew that If God allowed me to live long enough that one day I would want a family. But I never really sat down and thought “Adoption would be really awesome.” Instead, like most people, I just kind of had a vague idea of what a family would be like. The traditional family that is, much like the one I saw modeled in my own home. And while there is nothing wrong with that, God had other plans for my life.
God began to lay on our hearts the need and the desire for adoption. So we pursued that calling. And once we adopted our beautiful girl, I thought “We did it God! We have done what you have called us to do.” But like God often does, He takes a dream that He has given you further than you can imagine. And I couldn’t be more thankful. After our adoption He continued to burden me with a desire to help orphans. Orphans in my home state, in my country, and ultimately all over the world. And my wife and I followed step by step where He was leading, He grew a passion that was so big that we knew we couldn’t follow His calling alone! And that’s where you come in!! Orphan Door is a place to connect people passionate about caring for the orphan with opportunities to realize that passion in a God centered, God ordained way!