My name is Emily Ohlinger and I am married to a wonderful man- Jim Ohlinger. We are both 23 and were married in October of 2011 in the BEAUTIFUL Outer Banks of North Carolina.
Since getting married our little family has expanded- we now have two puppies and two kitties (they are teaching me patience on a daily basis- I am a little embarrassed to admit that the dogs are really giving me a run for my money!)
I am fortunate to have found my husband at such a young age and not a day goes by that I am not thankful for all he does for me. We met through a mutual friend, dated for 4 months, got engaged and then we were married 5 months after that (we didn't waste any time- when you know you know!)
Jim and I both love children and have known since the beginning that we wanted to have children. We decided early on that we wanted to pursue international adoption before having biological children. We are beyond thrilled to be expanding our family and doing what God has called us to do.
I was 12 years old when I first stepped foot in an orphanage. My dad who is a pastor in Tacoma took me with him on a mission trip to Costa Rica- I don't remember much of the trip, but I do remember the faces of the children in that orphanage. I remember begging my father to bring a child home with us- not understanding that it isn't that easy.At the age of 15 my dad took me on another mission trip- this time to Thailand. The orphanage we visited really left an impact- I will never forget walking into the room of toddlers and being approached by a little boy who couldn't have been over the age of 2. I picked him up and held him for a while and decided that I would put him down to go interact with the other children. As soon as I sat the little boy down he began slamming his head against the [cement] ground so I quickly picked him back up and he immediately stopped crying. I thought he just wanted to be held by someone so I passed him to another gal in our group and as soon as he got in her arms he swung his head around into a bookshelf and began screaming again. I grabbed him back and again- he was just fine. The workers had to basically pry him off me- I felt so beyond bad- the worker looked at me (I was basically in tears) and shesaid "they are picked up and put down so many times- they just want someone to pick them up and never put them down" my. heart. broke. At the age of 15 (still with no understanding of adoption or the adoption process) I could not understand the hurt that those children were going through. In that moment a part of my heart changed- I wanted to try and make a difference. At the age of 21 my dad asked me if I would want to go to Africa for 2 weeks after graduating college- I was beyond excited. I had no idea what to expect and to say that trip changed my life is an understatement. It was there that I watched a child pass away from malaria- I watched the mother sit over her child devastated because of what had happened. I struggled in that hospital the short time I was there- but I began to understand adoption a little bit more. I had known from a young age that I wanted to adopt but I thought that adoption was all "happy"-someone coming in and giving an orphan a home (please don't get me wrong- I think that this is AWESOME) what I came to understand in that hospital is that adoption stems from a long line of loss and sadness- either the sadness of losing your parents, or the sadness of a parent giving up their child. I came home from Africa feeling a little empty- feeling like I could be doing more- I knew there was such a need, but I didn't know where to start. I decided to go back to Africa at the age of 22 and stayed 7 weeks at an orphanage. I was able to work with the amazing children, meet new people and fall in love with the country of Uganda. After I got home I got married- my husband and I had already talked about adoption and he was completely up for it. We weren't quite sure on the timeline but decided in March of 2012 to begin the process by scheduling our home study. We really have no idea what exactly to expect with the process- it is one GIANT adventure for us but we are very excited to see what God has in store for us.
John 14:18 " I will not abandon you as orphans, I will come to you."