My name is Donna Laurie. I am the proud mother of two sons and three daughters. Some were born to me, some adopted and some fostered, and all are the light of my life.
The journey I am on started many years ago with an unexpected opportunity to study in Asia for several months. Since then God has woven China into my life in various ways through dear friends and other travel opportunities. The momentum increased dramatically in 1997 when the first of my three daughters was placed in my arms at an orphanage in Jiangsu Province. Two more adoption trips in 2003 and 2005 cemented my love for the Chinese people, but even more, broke my heart for the many children living in orphanages with few resources and fewer opportunities to create a meaningful future.
In 2008, God opened the door...and pushed me through it...for my daughters and I to spend five months volunteering with an orphan care ministry in Henan Province. We quickly fell in the love with the children and also recognized the need for full-time volunteers to support and train the local staff. So in the fall of 2010, after selling our home, our car and nearly all of our other possessions, we said good-bye to friends and family and traded our warm and comfortable life in South Florida for the challenges of central China. We spent three very hard and very rewarding years there, learning a lot about the challenges of helping children and teens grow healthy in heart, mind and body. Those years also saw my dream grow for a better life and more opportunities for the young people who were not adopted.
2014 through 2016 were years of transition: We relocated to a small village on the outskirts of Beijing where I managed the communications and logistics for more than 100 volunteers who come to New Day Foster Home each year. I also taught English in their local outreach program, and we fostered a toddler. My two older daughters and my foster son went off to college, and the time seemed right at last to pursue the dream of serving older orphans.
In July of 2017 Kristen and I moved south to a new city to serve with International China Concern in Hengyang, Hunan Province. I am very excited to finally be following the call that started back in 2005 to help older orphans, those whose chance for adoption has passed, navigate the difficult transition from youth to adulthood. I am so thankful for the opportunity to serve in this place, for every person who supports and encourages us in this work, and most of all for a loving heavenly Father who has brought me here for a purpose.
This blog is, I realize, an exercise in self-centeredness, as if our doings and my musings are of any interest to anyone but me. It's also a mental health exercise for a single mom living in almost complete isolation from the world I know. The internet is my link to sanity on more days than I'd like to admit and while blogging does seem an awful lot like talking to myself, somehow it is a socially accepted version which may save me from the funny farm. Come along if you dare!