Home, Finally

After 2,187 days in an orphanage, 5-year-old Matthew finally comes home to his family. Read the Leese family’s letter to the donors who made their son’s homecoming possible.

February 19, 2018

Dear Contributing Donors:

The first photo the Leese family saw of their son, on the RainbowKids photolisting.

We want to express our thanks for your part in making our adoption of Matthew possible. Today marks two months since Matthew officially joined our family in Guanxi, China. We are still in awe of God’s faithfulness to connect us with this precious child from over 8,000 miles away and to provide so generously everything we needed to make the journey. Back in December 2016, after welcoming our fourth biological child who was just 10 months old at the time, we began to look at profiles of waiting children in preparation to start the official process when our youngest turned one. After inquiring and applying for a child with no listed special needs, we were saddened when another family was selected. I was praying in the wee hours of the following Sunday morning, asking God for clarity on our next steps when I heard the name “Russell” and then went to sleep in peace. When I woke up, I went back to the RainbowKids.com site and searched for the name. Our son’s profile came to the top and I had already saved it the first night I found the other child for whom we had applied. However, “Russell” had a diagnosis of cerebral palsy and a potential liver condition. Since his profile was listed with Holt, I emailed them right away to inquire and received his file the following day on his 5th birthday. My children suggested that we sing “Happy Birthday” to this child we didn’t even know yet and we made a video as God planted the seeds of belonging in our hearts.

Matthew, home for 62 days!

Though his file held many unknowns, my husband and I prayerfully agreed to take steps in obedience to learn more about “Russell” and God-willing, bring him home as our son. We weren’t sure how the finances would come together or how his special needs would affect our family’s lifestyle and our future, but we prayed through the fear and kept moving forward one step at a time. One year later, we were packing to leave for China to bring him home and gave him the name Matthew, which means ‘gift from God.’ He is an absolute treasure and has the most innocent laughter. I have a video of his first laughter with us as he ran freely in a park with his new brother chasing him. Since then, we’ve learned that his CP is mild and mainly affects one hand. He has some vision problems that are likely connected as well, but we are encouraged to be going to a specialist to get him the help he needs to thrive. It is clear that God knew exactly where Matthew should be and we are eager to see how God’s plan continues to unfold for his life. He amazes us every day with how quickly he is learning and how he can be so affectionate and caring.

Matthew with his siblings celebrating Chinese New Year!

Matthew spent over 2,000 days in an orphanage waking up without the anchor of a family. With your help, we were able to impact the world for this one little boy, and as one of the Holt China staff told us, to give Matthew the gift of hope. Thank you for partnering with our family through Holt to make a difference in the lives of these precious children.

With gratitude,

Leroy and Jessica Leese

Help another child like Matthew come home. Give a gift to the Special Needs Adoption Fund!

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