The Dobelstein Family

We have had a heart for adoption for as long as we can remember.  As we were married and had our first two children biologically, we continued to ask the Father when it was time to pursue adoption. He continually told us simply to “wait” until just a few years ago. We live and work in North Africa, so we were unsure of how to begin the process. Because we are connected with Lifeline through our home church, we simply contacted Lifeline with our thoughts. They were incredibly encouraging and helpful from the very beginning. They walked us through the ins and outs of the adoption process as well as prepared us for as many possibilities as possible before we could bring our little one home.

In the beginning, we were open to adopting from just about anywhere, but as we looked at certain limitations that come with living in Africa, we settled on China. At times, it seemed we would be waiting forever until we received a Waiting Children email newsletter from Lifeline, and the first little girl on the list just captured our hearts. We immediately emailed Lifeline to get more information, and we were matched to our sweet Hannah Frances before we knew it. The waiting seems almost insurmountable when there is a sweet face engraved on your heart that you cannot wait to hold in your arms. However, the Lifeline team did everything in their power to bring our little girl home as quickly as possible. She was also part of Lifeline’s new foster care center in China, so our hearts were at peace knowing that she was being loved and cared for by our brothers and sisters in Christ on the other side of the world. We knew that the Father would bring her home in His perfect timing.

Our journey to China was incredibly smooth, and we felt amazingly prepared for all that was ahead. Lifeline’s teams work hard to insure that your time in China is centered on you and your child beginning your bonding and healing process. They take care of all of the details so that you do not have to worry about these things. They provide countless opportunities for you to simply spend time with your child as you get to know one another. There are certainly challenges in those first days as your child grieves and your life as a family is forever turned upside down. However, Lifeline was and still is with us every step of the way.

As we returned home with our daughter, we had some incredibly rough months dealing with grief and attachment. Lifeline’s post adoption team walked with us through every moment. There were several days when a conversation with our post adoption caseworker was what helped us stay encouraged and press on in helping our daughter rather than breaking under emotional stress. They were able to show us how to help when we simply did not know what to do. The post adoption team made our transition to a family of 5 so much smoother than it would have been otherwise. We are forever grateful to Lifeline for their service and commitment to serve the Father in caring for orphans and helping them find their forever families! We cannot imagine life without our Hannah Frances!