There are hard truths we have to face in life. One is that many people around the world live in desperation, hardship, and darkness — functioning purely in survival mode. The Tim Tebow Foundation (TTF) aims to be a source of support for these millions considered to be among the Most Vulnerable People. This mission aligns perfectly with ours at InspireMore. That’s why, in collaborating with them, we’ve been sharing some powerful stories from their mission.
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Today, we’d like to share with you the story of how Joan and Loren Olsen’s lives changed for the better, all thanks to a little girl named Scarlet. Years ago, the couple’s friends kept insisting that they visit Back2Back Ministries in Mazatlán, Mexico. This non-profit is a partner of TTF, providing orphan care and more.
Joan and Loren Meet Scarlet
For a while, both Joan and Loren declined these offers. The home was for disabled kids, and they didn’t feel they were up for the task at that time. Finally, their friends told them about a baby named Scarlet. For whatever reason, they felt Joan and Loren should meet her.
But when the couple found out she likely wouldn’t live long, that made the idea of ever meeting her all the more difficult. Still, they eventually did, and it seems she made a lasting impression on Loren from the start.
As soon as Scarlet was placed in Loren’s arms, she began to have a seizure. He kept holding her, doing what he needed to help. This overwhelmed Joan to tears.
Retired Couple Adopts Disabled Toddler
Once the couple was back home, Loren could not stop thinking about Scarlet. He eventually asked Joan about adopting her, but she didn’t feel up for the responsibility or how their lives would change. They had adult children and grandchildren, plus they were already a retired couple. Adopting a disabled toddler wasn’t a part of their plans.
But some of the best things in life are those that can’t be planned. This is quickly what both Loren and Joan earned. Everywhere they went, signs kept appearing, telling them to adopt Scarlet.
In the end, Loren’s words helped convince Joan that this is what they were meant to do.
A Leap of Faith
“I said, ‘God told me if we adopt Scarlet, he’d heal her,'” Loren recalled.
Making this decision truly was life-changing. The couple had to move full-time to Mazatlán, keeping them far away from their adult children and grandkids. Still, they couldn’t be happier about their decision, noting that any difficulties have nothing to do with Scarlet.
“Anything with Scarlet is not hard — the hardest part is not being with our family,” Joan shared, later adding. “A good friend told me that it’s okay to mourn things that you thought were going to be, and that’s really helped me.”
What has also helped is the way Scarlet brings so much joy into their lives. It’s no wonder, then, that her full name is now officially Scarlet Joy Olsen.
A Joyful Future for this Retired Couple and Disabled Toddler
We can never know what the future holds, but Joan and Loren believe Scarlet’s future is brighter than ever, with Dad envisioning the possibility of her one day giving tours of Back2Back Ministries, the place that took care of her until it was time for her to join her new, loving family.
So, although this retired couple never would have imagined adopting a disabled toddler, it turned out to be the best choice they could have made.
That’s because, to make an impact, it sometimes means taking a different path in life. The folks at TTF understand this, and they work tirelessly with many organizations, like Back2Back Ministries, to ensure that the Most Vulnerable People get the help they need.
Before you go, watch this video of Joan and Loren discussing the details of their journey to adopting Scarlet, all with the help of the Tim Tebow Foundation.
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