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Edmond boy raises money to aid his home country

Last year, Edmond 8-year-old Austin Evans raised enough money to send 17 children to school for a year. This year, he hopes to raise even more.
by Heather Warlick Published: October 30, 2012
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/articleid/3723614/1/pictures/1870015">Photo - Austin Evans, then 3, plays ball with his new adoptive father Bill Evans at the ophanage in the Vihn Long Province of Vietnam where the boy lived the first few years of his life. Austin. Austin says his only real memory of being at the orphanage is of playing with a ball in his room. Austin is now 8 and raises money to send kids from that area to school. Photo provided. <strong></strong>
Austin Evans, then 3, plays ball with his new adoptive father Bill Evans at the ophanage in the Vihn Long Province of Vietnam where the boy lived the first few years of his life. Austin. Austin says his only real memory of being at the orphanage is of playing with a ball in his room. Austin is now 8 and raises money to send kids from that area to school. Photo provided.

When Evans visited the Dillon International website, she found photos of many Vietnamese children who needed homes and parents.

She saw a photo of Austin and said she just knew that he was meant to be her son.

“He looks like me, doesn't he?” Bill Evans joked when his wife showed him the photo of their future son.

The couple agreed to “start over” and adopt Austin but had to wait a year for the adoption to be finalized.

Vietnam is not presently open for international adoptions with the United States, but Dillon International continues its humanitarian efforts there.

There are many children, especially older ones, in need of adoption from other countries in the agency's Waiting Child program, said Susan Serrano with Dillon International.

Presently, Dillon International and affiliated Buckner Adoption and Maternity Services offer inter-country adoption programs in China, South Korea, Haiti, India, Hong Kong, Colombia, Ghana, Ethiopia, Russia and Honduras, Serrano said.

For information on adoption, go online to www.dillonadopt.com.

Today, Austin is an active 8-year-old — full of energy, loves sports, especially karate and golf.

He's a purple belt and can drive a golf ball 150 yards straight, his dad said.

But Austin is wise beyond his years in that he feels a sense of thanksgiving for his lot in life.

Austin says he knows he's lucky to have been adopted by such a caring family, and he is proud that he is able to help children who are not as fortunate.

His parents say they hope to instill in their son a spirit of giving back to his community.

“We're not in this life to be alone, and we're not in this life to hoard. We need to share,” Bill Evans said.

by Heather Warlick
Life & Style Editor
Since graduating from University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Staff Writer Heather Warlick has written stories for The Oklahoman's Life section. Her beats have included science, health, home and garden, family,...
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How to help

For information about the Flapjack Fundraiser, to buy raffle tickets or to donate directly to the cause, email austinschangeforchildren@

yahoo.com.

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