Why We Do What We Do

In the book of Luke, from the New Testament, we read, “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows” (Luke 12:6-7). In some places around the world, children in orphanages may be considered only as valuable as simple sparrows. But, God, because of His great love, has not forgotten any of them. Though the cause of the millions of orphans in the world may overwhelm us, God knows each one of those children and loves them dearly. Each one of us on the leadership team has a relationship with this God of the Bible. We believe that adoption was God’s idea. We were lost and orphaned, and God sent his son Jesus to provide a way for us to be adopted into His family. And, we desire to have a heart like His. We want to serve orphaned children by serving the families who are going to welcome them home. Our desire is that ONE MORE child will experience the love and belonging to a family and that there would be ONE LESS child living life with no hope.

Mark RaudenbushMark Raudenbush

Mark founded The Sparrow Fund in 2011, having been changed by the adoption of their youngest child and desiring to serve adoptive families. He considers it a joy to pour into mothers and fathers who are so eager to do the right thing for their families. Along with his wife Kelly, Mark has been trained to teach the Empowered to Connect material based on Karyn Purvis’ research and methods for children from hard places (TBRI). He also serves full-time with IECS, a nonprofit that serves university students in China through English training and short-term trips to bring a camp-like experience to Chinese college campuses.

KellyRaudenbushKelly Raudenbush

Kelly has a passion for supporting adoptive families, specifically to encourage and empower parents to be intentional and understand their own hearts more clearly as they seek to care for their hearts of their children. Kelly has a Master’s degree in counseling from Biblical Theological Seminary and founded The Sparrow Fund along with her husband Mark in 2011. She works alongside Mark in his full-time purposeful work in China and works part time as a therapist at the Attachment & Bonding Center of PA, Kelly has a particular interest in (a) encouraging parents who are struggling to attach with their children, (b) helping parents walk with their children in understanding their own stories, (c) helping couples continue to pursue each other and grow together while they parent their children as a team, and (d) training and supporting orphanage staff in China to build relationships with children and each other. Kelly and Mark have been married since 1998 and have 3 biological children and 1 daughter who was adopted as a toddler from China in 2010. You can learn more about their journey on Kelly’s blog.

Grahams couple picMatt and Wanda Graham

Abbey LeamanAbbey Leaman

Abbey enjoys volunteering to help plan and serve during The Sparrow Fund’s training events, fundraise, and maintain The Nest. The adoption of her brother, Joshua, from Korea in 1997 began her heart for orphan care and adoption at a young age. While she and her husband, Ben, were married in 2011 and look forward to having a big family of their own someday, she’s happy to help others as they grow their own families through her work with The Sparrow Fund in the meantime.

AshleyMilfordAshley Milford

Ashley is a former social worker who currently works from home in order to spend more time with her children. She has a passion for advocating and educating families about adoption. She and her husband Mike have been married since 1999 and have three girls, the youngest of whom joined their family through China’s special needs program in the summer of 2010.

Smits couple picMatt and Stephanie Smit

Zach and NicoleZach and Nicole

Zach and Nicole have been married since 2003 and reside in Maryland. They homeschool their four children, two of whom were adopted from China. Zach is a financial advisor, and Nicole is a part-time newborn photographer. Their family has a passion for supporting orphan care efforts, and they love to encourage other families who are considering adoption, in the adoption process, or who have already grown their family through adoption. Nicole is also a founder of Red Thread Sessions, a nationwide organization of photographers who volunteer their time to celebrate adoption. Their family enjoys spending time with friends and lazy summers at the beach together. Nicole blogs about their daily adventures at Living Out His Love.