DIANE LYNN ELLIOT
My interest in the global orphan crisis issue started many years ago with a trip to a remote Siberian hospital for terminally ill children, and later to an orphanage in Mexico. Seeing these small snapshots of the great need touched my heart. Years later God opened the door for more involvement. As I dug into books and blogs what I found was that in response to the crisis most authors pointed people first to adoption, then offered a few suggestions for general orphan care. The unfortunate reality is that with more than 163 million orphaned children and only a few hundred thousand completed adoptions globally a year, the crisis can not only be solved through adoption alone, not to mention that for many of us adoption is not an option. I was married at 20 years old I found out a few years later that my husband and I couldn't have biological children. Although discouraged, it didn't change my desire to parent. I felt that I was born to be a mother regardless of the biology. Unfortunately, through many very difficult and confusing years, I came to understand that my husband didn't feel called to adopt. I was devastated and felt lost. Thankfully, that isn't the end of my story. God healed my heart, strengthened my marriage and started me down a very unexpected path into both business and ministry. I went back to school and got my BA in Communication and my MBA in Global management. Professionally I went into several areas including meeting and event planning, business management, writing and eventually photography. But my real passion has been global missions and now the plight of the global orphan. I grew up in a Christian home and became a Christ follower when I was young. I always knew that God had a "different" path for my life, I just didn't know how non-traditional it would look. When I was only 18 years old I went on my first mission trip to St. Vincent in the Caribbean. Working in evangelism, discipleship and children's ministry this experience opened my eyes to the needs of the world and set my trajectory towards a God-focused world view. In addition to being involved in domestic ministries I have been to 20 countries with at least half of the countries attending or leading student and adult missions trips, working with building projects, evangelism and discipleship with children, youth and adults and a few emergency relief projects. The fall of 2010 was a difficult one for myself and family and we lived through the devastation of losing a young nephew to cancer. It was in the midst of the drama that I started exploring the possibility of writing a book about orphaned children with Moody Publishing. Living through the personal pain and loss of my nephew deepened the passion for the orphaned child even more. A strange connection it seems, but I realized that unlike the support that my nephew and his family experienced through this difficult time, an orphaned child is alone in this world and in good times and bad has no one to love or advocate for him or her. I decided then that I wanted to help to spur others on to get involved in helping to advocate for orphaned children. Since that time I have immersed myself in traveling to see the orphan crisis first hand, shooting photos of beautiful orphaned children and writing the book that I hope will inform and inspire you. Published by Moody Press in the fall of 2012, the book called the Global Orphan Crisis, Be the Solution, Change your World is the story behind the orphan crisis and will give you the tools that you need to become part of the solution. Diane and her husband, David, a general building contractor, live in Wauconda, Illinois with their Alaskan Klee Kai dog named Kody, who Diane trained to be an animal assisted therapy dog. Diane, Dave and Kody spend much of their free time in the mountains of Colorado where they hope to live someday.