PINEVILLE – When Lexi Lane* initially began brainstorming the topic of her senior high school project at Pineville High School, she knew her focus would center on orphans in another country*. She never dreamed how this project would impact her life and many lives around the community.
What she received in the process was a return to her roots overseas and seeing first-hand the love of Christ on display through the lives of special needs orphans in the country. Lane said she wanted to go back to see her birthplace, to understand more about the culture, but also to help an orphanage in some way.
Lane’s life began in a rural area in the country. Adopted at 14 months old, Lane has no memory of what life was like as a baby. When the time came for Lane to choose the topic of her senior project – which is required for graduation – she thought of her desire to give back to her country in doing something for orphans there.
Lane’s mom, Pam, started the process by contacting an organization that helps unite families with orphans from around the world. Sean and Pam Keith adopted Lane.
Lane was then directed to a childhood advocacy organization. Starting in May 2014, she began raising funds for a trip to work in the orphanage and funds to help the orphanage itself. Lane carried out several events to raise money, such as waiting tables for tips, placing jars in local businesses and holding fundraiser nights at area restaurants.
The most amazing part of raising funds was seeing how people responded to the project. She raised over $2200 with gifts from individuals. One little boy gave $20 from his piggy bank. Lane has many stories of support from people she didn’t really know but people whose hearts were stirred by God to contribute.
Lane, Pam, Leslie – Lane’s sister – and Katie Priest traveled to the organizationn in November 2014. For the next two weeks, they spent time loving on the children. They had the opportunity to help a paralyzed girl practice walking, sing with the children, and teach some American Sign Language to a deaf boy.
Before going on the trip Lane bought an $400 air purifier for the orphanage because of the terrible problem of pollution in the city. She also went shopping while there to buy manipulative toys to help the children use their motor skills. She bought puzzles, blocks, and a baby toys.
Children they met included a boy paralyzed from the waist down to his feet to another child who had cerebral palsy and was deaf. Some of the children have already had their problems corrected and they are just waiting for adoption.
The experience taught Lane lessons she couldn’t learn while sitting in the classroom in Louisiana. Through the experience she realized how truly blessed we are. Lane learned about different foods and different ways of living. She traveled by bus, subway and taxi. ”
Now that the project is complete, Lane hopes to speak about the experience and be an advocate for adoption. She will continue to share information about the children and hope to see someone adopt a child from the organization.
*Name has been changed for security purposes