In anticipation of AGCI’s 25th anniversary in 2016, we’re digging through our archives for stories of hope from the past. Written by an AGCI adoptee, Sofia’s story is her own Signature of Hope.
Hope, I believe, is a gift from God, something we can hold onto if we are feeling distressed or wishing for a better tomorrow. However, many of us in the Western world hope for things that the rest of the world doesn’t. Like hoping we are on time to school, or we hope that we get an A on our English test, or hope that there’s at least one parking space open. But the hope of God is a hope for the many people who are struggling and suffering in our world. The same hope many orphans have that someday they will be adopted into a family that cherishes and adores them. Being a former orphan myself, I have been touched by the Lord in a unique and special way.
God began working in my life when I was born on October 31, 1994 in the small town of Lom, located on the Danube River in northern Bulgaria. The only orphanage that accepted younger children was the orphanage in the town of Montana. I am so grateful my biological mother gave birth to me and through God’s grace was able to give me a second chance at life. After visiting my homeland of Bulgaria last spring, I was able to see my orphanage in Montana and see where I was born, allowing me to really understand where I came from and how much adoption has impacted my life.
I had not known what to expect when we arrived at the orphanage. I was able to meet the orphanage director—the same woman who had accepted me into the orphanage when I was a baby. It was an incredible feeling to see her and hug her after so many years apart. I could only remember her from photographs and videos, but she remembered me immediately. Later that morning some nurses came in and they were so happy to see me. They all hugged me and some of them even cried. In this intense moment, I felt at one with these people who had cared for me and loved me when I had no one.
Seeing the orphans there made me feel unified with them as well. We all shared the same past and the same situation. I loved them so much and felt as though we were connected in some spiritual way. I was able to hold one in my arms and I was so grateful and hoped for these children to have an amazing chance to be adopted and live a wonderful life like I did. It was very hard to leave and know that I might never see them again.
After that very emotional and life-changing visit to my orphanage, we drove for about half an hour to the seemingly deserted town of Lom. Just walking to the hospital, I felt uneasy. But also, knowing my birth mother had walked into the same building and had given birth to me in that exact spot made me feel closer to her than I had ever felt—a spiritual unity. My family and our guide Petko were quiet and so was I; the entire city seemed to be silent during our visit. But it gave me the perfect atmosphere to just think and take in what I had seen. Forever from that moment, I would be grateful for what my mother had done. Forever from that day forward, I would have closure and unity with her. Never before had I thought I could be that close to her. After that visit to the hospital, I felt like I had just met her. At last I felt unified with my biological parents. At last I felt one with my past and present. And most importantly, I felt unified with the Lord as I began to feel a call upon my life.
Although many people do not understand adoption, or do not understand the lives of orphaned children, God does. He is the reason we can still hope for the millions of children who desperately need families. Now I hope to make a difference in this world, and hope I can repay the Lord for all he has done for me. As a junior in high school, I want to continue to become educated about the world so that I can have a positive impact on the lives around me. I hope that other adopted children will be inspired to help those in need. They too were once vulnerable and seeking love and care, and God rescued them.
– Sofia Wilson (2012)
- Learn more about Sofia’s story in her Signature of Hope video.
Today, Sofia’s family continues to be active orphan advocates. Together, they are preparing a mission team to return to Ethiopia at the end of the year. They plan to expand the library at Hedasse School, create a feeding center for low-income students, and make repairs at Wyrea Daycare Center.
To learn more about adoption through AGCI, click here.