Adoption Awareness Month: Our story

Why did you adoptasked an elderly Chinese lady at the playground.

Why not? I asked her back.

She shrugged and said it was not Chinese culture to do such things. I nodded in understanding, but saddened that it wasn’t. This mini-conversation took place a little over five years ago in mainland China. The lady wasn’t mean or snide. She truly wanted to know why I would choose to adopt a child whose ancestors we know nothing about.

Why did you adopt? asked a young mother holding her crippled boy.

You know that I’m a Christian, and well it was God. I really honestly can’t explain it any other way. I answered back not sure how she would react to my response. We had just discussed therapy exercises that Jie Jie was doing. (In case you are new, Jie Jie is my daughter with Cri-du-Chat; Mei Mei is my adopted Chinese daughter). I knew that she was thinking we were crazy for adopting after knowing we had a special needs daughter.

The above, I’m sure, is what most people think when they first meet our family. It may even have been your thought when you read our “About Me” page. I know that would be my first thought reading such a thing about another family. Are they crazy?

Honestly, I can only say it was a God-thing. Before Jie Jie was born, we fostered a newborn orphan for ten months. I was not able to adopt at that time due to my age, and we moved to a new city and couldn’t take her with us. She was almost a year old when we left her with a kind Chinese lady who we trusted. It was so difficult, but peaceful.

It was God’s plan.

After Jie Jie was born, we looked into the adoption process, but a few weeks later Jie Jie was very ill, which led to the mountain of tests and onto the summit of the result: Cri-du-Chat with silent aspiration. Our dreams of adopting were zapped. We really believed that  with her physical needs – and not to leave out the medical bills – there would be no way that we could even think about adopting at that point.

Two months later, back in our city in mainland China, we received the news that the little Chinese girl that we had fostered was taken back to the orphanage. We were mortified and sick. We prayed about it. Uwe asked me what was holding me back with adopting – was it Jie Jie’s needs or money. Jie Jie’s needs were not that “difficult”, we were able to feed her very easily and I was doing therapy with her at home. It was money. He felt the same. We decided right there that IF God was wanting us to adopt, then He’d provide the finances to pay off the medical bills and for the adoptions.

Long story short, God provided for all of those things to happen within two months. The surprise was that this little girl that we had fostered was not the girl God had in mind for us to adopt. In a matter of a few weeks, after we had our home study completed (which was a miracle to get an appointment so quickly), we found out that the fostered girl had been adopted.

Grief, sadness, mixed with anger swept my husband and I. Though, as we searched our hearts and God, we realized that His plan was this: To just use this foster girl as a catalyst to get Mei Mei into our family. (I believe He used it to cause the family who was fostering her to adopt her as well. She was back in their home in about two months time.) **By the way,we had asked this family if they were adopting or not and they had told us “No” in words, but in Chinese culture were telling us “Yes”. A lesson learned in culture clashing – in a later post, maybe.

We never would have seriously considered adopting had the foster child not been taken back. God used that tough situation to move us forward.

So see, I really can’t answer that question any other way. It really was God who brought Mei Mei into our family and I will be forever grateful that He did. I love that bundle of energy and passionate little girl.

The month of November is apparently Adoption Awareness Month. I really hadn’t heard of it until just last week, but what a great idea. There are so many children around the world in need of a home. Don’t worry, I’m not going to pressure you to make a commitment to adopt, but I would like you to at least give it a thought.

If you know you can’t adopt or even foster, what can you do to help these kids out? Ask the local social worker, schools, or orphanages how you can help them. At the very least, you could pray for these children to find forever families of their own.

Your Turn: If you have adopted share your story. It doesn’t have to be an overseas adoption. If you are thinking about it and have any questions, please ask. I will try to answer if I can. Please comment below.

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12 thoughts on “Adoption Awareness Month: Our story

  1. I cried reading your story. There truly was a hand of God in what you have done.
    Now can I ask you to pray for our adoptin process to get on a faster track? And that one of the bigger adoption agencies in Taiwan stops doing everything to make it more complicated for mixed families to adopt in Taiwan.
    Thank you so much for your post.

    • I had no idea that you all were in the process. I’ll definitely be praying for you all. God’s timing is perfect, another lesson I keep getting from Him. I will pray for the process to quicken, and that God will blaze through all the complicated paperwork due to mixed families.

  2. I am so touched by both Uwe and you. I was not as strong. Loong and I wanted to adopt but after we found out about Benjy’s autism, we decided not to pursue our plan. Now I am thinking….

    • I have to tell you that I think you are a pretty strong woman. I just watched you go through a really tough time and saw that strength come through. God gives us what we need at the right time.
      I have struggled with the thoughts of more children. I’m tired and just don’t think I could do it now, but I was challenged just recently by a good friend. She challenged me to be willing if God wants it. Just a month ago, I’d have told you “NO way”, but now I’d say, “I’m willing if it is God’s plan.” He’ll make it clear to you (and to me) if this is the path we should go. That doesn’t always make my feet stop trembling, though.

  3. I so loved your response back! And echo your sadness. We have some Egyptian friends that have run an orphanage in Egypt for years. And while I love the orphanage, I’m always so sad as I look at 15 kids on little potties being potty trained. Egypt does not allow adoption and so it is a wonderful alternative but still that sadness. Also so appreciate hearing stories like yours. For those of us who don’t adopt as well as those that do – yours is a critical voice.

    • Ahh, that is sad about Egypt. I didn’t know that. Yes, orphanages are sad, but at the same time they can be such blessings for those children. I mean, what if there weren’t any…where would the kids go? I’m thankful that they are there, just wish we didn’t have to have them…ya know?
      Thanks so much for stopping and commenting. I really felt encouraged by your words.

  4. Thanks so much for sharing your story – it truly is God! What a blessing. We have just finished our home study and are waiting for a match… we live in the Los Angeles area now and are hoping to adopt (probably a sibling set) through our local county out of foster care. We are trusting God, and are amazed at what he has done in our family already through this process. It has been so long since we have seen you guys (columbia grad school days! wow!) but great to keep up like this. Blessings to your family from ours.
    Ryan & Erin

    • WOW, sibs? That is awesome! I’ve not had any experience with US adoptions and really don’t know anything about it, but know a few people that have. I think the process of adopting can be the most challenging, but really worth it!
      YES, it has been a long time since we’ve seen you last. LA? How fun! I now have someone to call if we get stuck at the airport there. HA! (It has happened once…and it was not a pretty picture)

  5. Wonderful Inspiring story! Our daughter also was sent to us by God. Even as a single God gave me the desire to adopt and love an orphaned child. However when we married, my dear husband was not so sure…. He knew of my desire, but thought it would disappear after we had our own children. It did not. I would occasionally ask him to pray about it, but he would always question is it was within my capabilities to handle another child after the first 2 we were raising. I kept praying, but did not push…. Then one year he decided to do his first 40 day liquid fast. it was a struggle, but God met him each day and i would carefully prepare his broth. Near the end of that time God spoke to him and when he finished the fast, surprised me by asking if adoption was still in my heart and how could we move with the paperwork! Wow! It turns out that it took us some time to finish all that, but in the end over a year later the daughter we received from God has the birthdate of the time of when God moved in hubby’s heart. His plan revealed, His plan for her and His plan for us! It also happens to be the birth-date of hubby’s mother! What a special God we serve!

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