|Meredith, Micah, Elizabeth, David, Smitty|
Meredith had done medical missions work in Haiti and Mexico and had worked in pediatrics for a number of years. While serving on these medical mission trips, she "Just fell in love with the children," and was astonished at the large number of orphans. Also, Smitty, from Clemmons, had done extensive work in youth ministry. The couple knew going into their marriage almost 11 years ago that they wanted to adopt children.
After years of infertility and then a series of miscarriages, the Smith's decided to go ahead and begin the adoption process with Carolina Adoption Services in Greensboro, NC. In only eight months, they were thrilled hold Micah, their son from Guatemala. Shortly after his adoption they were blessed again when they gave birth to Elizabeth (now 5) and then David (now 2). Micah just celebrated his sixth "Gotcha Day", the anniversary of the day they got to bring him home. He'll be entering first grade at Moore Elementary. His sister Elizabeth will be joining him in kindergarten there, and little David enjoys attending New Philadelphia Preschool. Still, the Smiths felt that their family was not finished growing and were making plans to adopt their next child, but as they searched their hearts, they felt that God had other adventure planned for them -- foster care.
"Without giving you piles of statistics, in 2007, it is estimated that 491,000 children entered foster care in the United States. And that was four years ago. There's a real need here. I had to ask myself, 'Who is caring for these children?'"
Meredith points out that not everyone is called to adopt or give foster care, but that, "Everyone can do something to help with this great need. Find a way to plug in to see what needs are in your area."
As a former Board member, Meredith speaks very highly of the locally based "Caroline's Promise", an adoptive family assistance organization based in Kernersville, NC, that also provides orphan care and education services. The Smiths also do volunteer work through their church, New Hope Presbyterian in Clemmons, which supports WIPHAN (widows + orphans), which is founded on the James 1:27 scripture: "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
As they embark on this new stage in their lives of foster care with Stokes County Department of Social Services, foster care leaves them with many uncertainties, yet Meredith says on her blog, (SimplySmittys.blogspot.com):
"I keep hearing this reassurance with each step we take. We still have lots of concerns and questions. We are still anxious about what this will look like for our family. We might have to be uncomfortable sometimes. There are so many unknowns. What we do know is that there are children who need the love and stability of family, and we can give that, with God's help."
Meredith's Blog: www.SimplySmittys.blogspot.com
Caroline's Promise: www.carolinespromise4u.org