Laura and Mark are a loving couple from Texas who adopted their son through foster care. They were so happy and fulfilled with their growing family that they decided to adopt another child, this time from overseas.
Every few months, the foster home would send Laura and Mark new photos of baby Malea. Having not met her in person yet, they “lived and breathed for these pictures.”
It wasn’t long before they traveled to Thailand and brought little Malea home for good.
A couple months later, Laura received a new batch of photos of Malea taken during her last few days in foster care — and this time, Laura was absolutely shocked by how sad and different she looked. It wasn’t the little girl, with a shining spirit and big personality, who she had come to know and love.
So, Laura turned on the camera while Malea was sleeping and recorded a video entitled, “That’s not my daughter!”
You see, these pictures depicted a child with sadness in her eyes. Though Malea was well taken care of in foster care, her spirit simply wasn’t able to emerge in that environment.
She was shuffled from home-to-home and had no stability. These photos served as a stark reminder of how desperately Malea — and orphans in general — needed a loving forever family.
Even though it had only been two months since she adopted Malea, the photos brought up so many emotions. “Orphan eyes show the need for love and family,” Laura says. “We hope we can encourage others to bring babies home who need families”
Laura describes feeling the same way when she looked at pictures of her son shortly before they adopted him.
“The eyes of an orphan, that’s what I see,” she explains. “It’s the eyes of an orphan that needs a mommy and a daddy.”
“Malea’s sleeping right now, but when she gets up I just want to hold her extra tight, and look in her beautiful eyes that have joy in them now.
“In a few months I can’t imagine how much joy is going to be in her eyes, and in a few years I hope there’s a crazy amount of joy in her eyes and her smile.”
Watch Laura’s emotional story below:
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