Adopting a child can be an emotional, costly and stressful process for any family – especially when parents seek to bring home hard-to-adopt children. However, the experience becomes more manageable when Connected Hearts Ministry gets involved.
Founded by Misty and Brandon Hudson, the North Augusta-based ministry focuses on finding forever homes for children that often are overlooked for adoption. They include children older than age 5, sibling groups and children with special needs.
The Hudsons adopted their 11-year-old daughter, Maya, from China three years ago. “When we went through the adoption process ourselves internationally, we saw how expensive it is to adopt,” says Brandon.
Since the Christian nonprofit organization was founded by the couple four years ago, it has provided families with more than $300,000 in adoption or medical funding for 40 children in the United States, India, China, Latvia, Bulgaria and Africa. Children that have found forever homes through the ministry include those with birth defects and medical conditions ranging from brain cancer to hearing impairments.
Families must work through an accredited adoption agency to receive assistance from the ministry, which offers four programs – advocacy, family sponsorship, medical sponsorship and foster care.
To fulfill its mission, the nonprofit relies on help from individuals and on partnerships with businesses and churches. Some local partners include Hargrove Inspection Services and Hargrove Pest Solutions in Evans, Genesis Church in Martinez and Therapeutic Interventions of Georgia in Augusta. Last year the ministry also partnered with In Focus Church, First Baptist Church of Augusta and a MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) group to fill more than 160 duffel bags with essential and personal items for children entering foster care in Columbia, Richmond and Aiken counties.
“A lot of the children we’ve been able to help come from dire situations,” says Misty. “We’ve been so blessed by the local community, and we’re blessed to see these children lead fulfilling lives.”