Mar 05, 2010 Tami S. Zimmerman Uncategorized
Three organizations join to host conference March 13 in Manlius
Do you have a heart for orphans?
Manlius resident Elizabeth Snow does. Her family of four grew to five when she and her husband Jonathon adopted Hannah, 7, five years ago from China. Abandoned baby girls resultant of the country’s one child policy led the Snows toward the process of adopting their first and only daughter.
On Saturday March 13, Arms of Hope, Family Connections and One Child International will hold an informational conference for those considering adoption but may find the process daunting.
“We’re wanting more people to know about adoption, what a wonderful thing it is and can be,” said Snow, who helped establish Arms of Hope last year. “There’s so many people who are open to it but it’s such a vague, scary thing to enter. How do you start? How do you pick a country? How can you afford it? [The process] just paralyzes people in their tracks.”
The half-day conference will provide insight into these fundamental topics through sundry workshops and, ultimately, a Q&A session with adoptive parents. Guest speaker Tim Baker, co-founder of Shepherd’s Fields Children’s Village in China, will focus on special needs adoptions as well as the realities of living in a Chinese orphanage.
“Adoption has been such a blessing for my entire family,” Snow said. “I would hate for someone to miss out on their own “Hannah” because of fear or the maze of the adoption process.”
Arms of Hope embraces world’s children
In 2009, Snow and six other women from Eastern Hills Bible Church in Manlius established Arms of Hope shortly upon returning from an eight-day trip to visit orphans in Guatemala.
“We wanted to go love them and serve them and show them that there was something more out there, that, you know, this is what love feels like,” Snow said. “We really wanted to go share Christ’s hope and love. It was a beautiful, life-changing experience.”
The tour altogether included five orphanages of which two were special needs; the ghetto, where people live in corrugated steel dwellings; and the dump, which is literally the dump of Guatemala City, Snow said. She described those people living in conditions such as makeshift cardboard boxes as families, singles, orphans and foreigners.
“It was really an incredible experience to look into the eyes of somebody who lives in that environment,” Snow said.
The group, which came armed with 40 boxes of clothing, toys and care packages, communicated primarily through an interpreter, however, much can be said for body language, too.
“Kids know bubbles, they know bouncy balls, they know hugs, they know kisses,” Snow said. “They just loved having somebody care for them.”
Arms of Hope is designed to embrace families going through the process of adoption and foster care, for which the Snows are now becoming certified.
“I hope that anyone who has ever considered international adoption would come and find out for themselves what it is all about,” said Snow, referring to the March 13 conference. “It is so worth it.”