She had spent the first three, almost four, years of her life in cold metal crib in a Serbian orphanage, waiting for her mommy and daddy to come for her. When an American woman, a wife to a US Embassy employee, came to visit her orphanage one day, the little girl stole the woman’s heart as she pleaded for this woman to find her mommy and daddy.
The woman thought surely someone in America would adopt this precious little girl who was born with severe congenital heart defects. Surely some doctor in America could fix her broken heart. The woman advocated for the little girl. Several families committed to adopting her, but each time, each family backed out once they found out her heart condition wasn’t compatible with life.
Meanwhile, God was working on the hearts of a family in Texas whom He had hand-picked to be this little girl’s forever family. He had opened their eyes through a dream, a nightmare that ended up being reality. The family prayed for God to show them exactly who God wanted them to adopt…they knew it was an urgent matter.
God showed them the photo of this precious little princess, the very princess who had been begging for her mommy and daddy to come rescue her. The family knew without a doubt God was asking them to adopt her, regardless of the severity of her heart conditions. And they wouldn’t back out.
In a matter of months, the family was approved to adopt the little girl. On October 6, 2010, in the small town of Subotica, Serbia, the little girl met her forever mommy and daddy in the lobby of her orphanage.
The little girl placed her hands on her mommy’s face, looked her in the eye, and said (in Serbian), “I love you, Mommy!” She then turned to her daddy and said (in Serbian), “Daddy, I like chocolate.” The little girl had already stolen her parents’ hearts, before they even met her, but tears streamed down their faces as they held this precious treasure in their arms.
On October 8, 2010, the little girl got to celebrate her 4th birthday with her new mommy and daddy at her orphanage in Serbia. She was a VERY happy little girl, and her parents were overflowing with joy.
Her parents gave her many birthday gifts, which the little girl opened delicately. She treasured each gift as if she’d never opened a package before, which was no surprise since orphans don’t get gifts. Her favorite gift was the jewelry, although her parents had no idea she loved jewelry so very much, this is what God told them to bring for her.
The little girl would no longer be an orphan. She was chosen and treasured, and she knew it from the day her parents walked into that orphanage building.
Her name would be selected by God: Christyn Joy Patterson, although she would think her name was “Christyn Jewelry Patterson”. She would be called Chrissie, and her name would mean “One who holds Christ in her heart, full of joy.” She would live up to that name more than her family ever imagined.
She would sleep peacefully, snuggled in the love of her new mommy and daddy.
She would climb into her mommy’s suitcase, eager to cross the ocean to meet the rest of her family in Texas.
She would instantly bond with each and every family member. It didn’t matter if it was her first day home—she knew without a doubt that each person in this family was meant for her.
She would discover love.
And more toys.
And even more toys.
And she would radiate JOY to every person she would meet.
She would quickly become the princess of the family, and rightly so.
She would say, “This is MY Daddy and MY mommy.”
She would make many fabulous memories, too many to display in photos. (Click HERE to view a slide show of Chrissie’s life as a Patterson.)
And God would even orchestrate Christian doctors to care for Chrissie and her heart condition, doctors who were willing to encourage Chrissie’s family along the way, doctors willing to take a risk, doctors willing to fall in love with a little miracle princess.
Chrissie’s family would throw her an unforgettable princess party on the night before her open-heart surgery because Chrissie LOVED parties.
It wasn’t a birthday party, as she had celebrated her birthday in Serbia just six months prior, but the little princess wanted everyone to sing her happy birthday. So they did. And she wanted candles. So they gave her some. And she wanted so badly to blow out her candles. Only she didn’t have enough breath, due to her heart condition, to actually blow, but that didn’t steal her joy.
Little did anyone know that would be the last night Chrissie would spend in her home on earth.
On April 19, 2010, Chrissie underwent massive open-heart surgery. She died that same evening, but God brought her back after 20 minutes.
Then she died again a few days later for an hour, but, again, God brought her back.
On May 19, 2010, Princess Chrissie left this earth to eternally dance with Jesus.
Her forever family would never be the same, but they would always serve and love the same Jesus. They would start a ministry in memory of their beloved daughter, Boss Your Heart Orphan Ministries. They would do everything in their power to help orphans in their distress, according to James 1:27. They would vow to honor their daughter and keep her legacy alive. While they miss their daughter greatly every single day, they cling to the hope and promise through Jesus Christ that they will one day be reunited again in Paradise.
But while they wait for that day to come, they continue to daily help orphans on this earth, in memory of Chrissie.
This year, in memory of Chrissie’s 7th birthday, the Patterson family is hosting a virtual birthday benefit so that everyone can participate! They’ve chosen a specific orphan ministry that is dear to their heart, a ministry they feel honored to support in memory of their daughter.
This year’s online Boss Your Heart Birthday Benefit, in memory of Chrissie’s 7th birthday, will benefit
The purpose of Village of Hope is to provide family, faith and a future to the least of these by providing holistic orphan care to special needs orphans, primarily focused on those living with HIV/AIDS in a family style setting. Each family style unit will consist of house parents as well as 6-8 children in the home. Our hope is to create a family unit as God intended- a family to provide life- long support as well as teach the children to have life values. The goal is to avoid institutional living and prevent children from being thrown out on the streets when they are 18. Because adoptions are closed in Guatemala there is little hope of the children ever begin adopted into families of their own. One part of our vision is to develop relationship in the Guatemalan Evangelical churches, to come along side of them, educating them on God’s heart for the orphan, as well as open their eyes to the gift of adoption.
Did you know that Village of Hope—Guatemala is a brand new ministry, starting from the ground up? (Click HERE and HERE to view the blogs of the two American missionary families who are living in Guatemala, building the village brick by brick.) They started with nothing, and they have watched God faithfully build this village. It has taken, and will continue to take, much time, dedication, and hard work, but the missionaries and non-profits behind Village of Hope—Guatemala are 100% committed to caring for special needs orphans in Guatemala. VOH will undergo licensing with Guatemalan authorities this fall, and they will need to have toys and educational items and play equipment as part of their licensing. Right now, they have nothing in this department, so they need OUR help!
Did you know that YOU can make a difference in Guatemala right now, from your computer? Yep, it’s true. Chrissie’s family is hosting an online BOSS YOUR HEART BIRTHDAY BENEFIT to bless Village of Hope—Guatemala with toys, educational items, and play equipment!!!
VOH missionaries and teams have been working so very hard to get the village ready, but there’s something they’re desperately in need of—TOYS!!!!!!
In early 2013, special needs orphans will call Village of Hope—Guatemala their home. If these orphans walked through the doors of VOH today, they’d find faith, family, and future, but they wouldn’t find much FUN because Village of Hope—Guatemala has nothing for the children to play with—YET! We plan to change that, with your help!!!
Remember those photos above of Chrissie playing with toys? Well, we want ALL of the orphans at Village of Hope—Guatemala to have that same kind of fun! VOH will provide faith, family, and future, and we want to help them provide FUN as well, in memory of a very special princess who loved to have FUN!
And, besides, what better gift to give at the celebration of a 7-year-old’s birthday party than TOYS?!?!
So, spread the word and pray, pray, pray, cuz we want this virtual birthday benefit to be BIG, as big as the love and joy our princess shared with us! (Well, nothing could be that big, but we’re still praying for BIG!)
Now, let us share the details with you. It’s really simple:
- Purchase a toy online by clicking HERE. This link will take you to the Amazon wish list for Village of Hope—Guatemala. When you purchase toys directly from this Amazon wish list, when you check out, you will see the option to have the toys shipped to my friend Gina, who will then ship ALL of the toys directly to Village of Hope—Guatemala. Think BIG—gather your small group buddies, Sunday School class members, neighbors, Facebook friends, and your family to pool your money together to purchase sturdy toys that will withstand much lovin’ from many special needs orphans. Perhaps you could donate a toy in honor of a loved one as a Christmas gift? Think out of the box and let’s bless the socks off the orphans who will soon be living at Village of Hope—Guatemala.
- You may donate your gently used toys, in a good condition, to Village of Hope—Guatemala. VOH will need good sturdy toys that will hold up to the love of many children. Thrift stores and garage sales often have fabulous toys at fabulous prices. If you’d like to donate gently used toys, you will need to ship the toys directly to my friend Gina, and then she will ship all of the toys directly to Village of Hope—Guatemala. Click HERE to contact Gina for shipping details (or email her directly at email@example.com).
- Donate money directly to Village of Hope—Guatemala, in memory of Chrissie. Tax-deductible donations may be given directly via the Chip-In gadget below. Our goal is to raise $7,000 because Chrissie would have turned 7 on her birthday this year on earth (October 8, 2012).
- HURRY, Chrissie’s virtual birthday benefit is only ONE WEEK long! October 8, 2012-October 15, 2012. We’ve got 7 days to raise $7,000—that’s $1K per day. God can do this! Spread the word, pray, donate! Help us help orphans in memory of Chrissie. Thank you!!!
- Oh, and we’ve got some fun “party favors” to throw in. See details at the end of this post.
Party Favor Details:
- We’ll be giving away a few items as party favors. Here’s how you can be entered in the contest to win one of these fabulous prizes:
- Share Chrissie’s Boss Your Heart Birthday Benefit on your Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. Leave a comment here to let us know. (One entry per share, leave a separate comment per share please.)
- Donate. Leave a comment to let us know you donated. (One entry per donation—it doesn’t matter if you donate money or a new toy or a used toy, just donate. :-) Leave a separate comment for each donation please.
Thank you so much for praying, sharing, and donating in memory of Princess Chrissie. Since we don’t have our daughter in our arms to hug this birthday, our hearts are feeling the hugs of the support from all of you. We are most grateful.