When Christian pop musician John Waller takes the state to perform his new single, "Orphan," Friday, Feb. 21, in Dover, he hopes the song will inspire listeners to help raise funds for international adoptions on Delmarva.
The Atlanta-based Waller said he is making the trip north to help his friend, morning show host Bill Sammons of 88.7FM The Bridge, cover the costs -nearly $30,000 - of adopting a Latvian orphan.
Both men said they always wanted to adopt children and have worked with a Colorado-based, nondenominational organization, Project 143, to host orphans from China, Latvia and Ukraine and facilitate their adoptions.
Waller said he dreamed of adopting his daughter, Anna, the inspiration for his new song, before he ever met her. When he learned Anna had two siblings, the Wallers decided to adopt all three children.
“We hosted Anna and her brother for the summer and decided to adopt,” Waller said. “Then we found out they had another sister in a different orphanage, and we just could not reconcile going to meet this 12-year-old girl and telling her we were going to adopt her siblings and leave her.”
Waller said his family's rapid expansion - from five to nine children in less than a year with the adoption and news his wife, Josee, was expecting their youngest child, Israel - has been an unexpected challenge, but one that is worthwhile.
After hearing Waller’s story and learning statistics about the human trafficking and sex exploitation that are common fates for older orphans and especially girls, Sammons said he and his wife, Julie, decided to look into international hosting through Project 143.
One adoption fell through, but in December, the radio host and his family met Lola, a teenage Latvian girl, and they immediately began the necessary paperwork to they can adopt her before she ages out.
Time is tight because Lola will turn 16 in March, so Sammons said they have worked double-time to arrange for her adoption.
“My wife and I both feel like she’s our daughter,” he said. “A child living in foster care is not going to have a lot of opportunity when they age out.”
The concert featuring Waller’s “Orphan” and other songs from his new “Life is a Gift” album is scheduled for 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 21, at Dover Pentecostal Church, 4462 West Denney's Road, Dover.
For more information, call 302-678-3837 or visit P143.org