Adoption is word that has been said, discussed, and considered in our family since we have been married. Noel and I just recently celebrated 17 years of marriage, and early in our marriage we thought it would be how God would grow our family. We experienced a very trying time of infertility, but God did choose to bless us with two biological daughters. Adoption was put on the shelf, and only mentioned occasionally in passing.
Thru the years we saw a few of our friends adopt both international and domestic, but I still pushed back. No, I was happy with our family size. Noel would say if there was need, we would consider it. I was secretly thinking, NO! I don’t want to. I was content with our two girls, and I did not think I could handle adding to that.
In 2005, God moved our family from all we knew down South, to the Midwest. I was the first time for us to move as a family of four. Little did I know this move would be the first of many changes to come. We were in a new church, new homeschool group, new friends, new everything. God also started gently nudging me to start considering adoption again. I just gave more excuses.
God blessed our family in the coming years – paid off debt, purchase a new home, and too many others to count. In July 2010, our family was attending the Southern Baptist Convention in Orlando. It just so happens that that year there was an emphasis on adoption and orphan care. God totally changed my heart while one of the pastors was talking about little girls in Asia and what could potentially happen to them if there is no one who would come to take care of them. I just sat there and cried. While at lunch, I had planned on bringing it up, but Noel beat me to the punch. I told him that I was ready – let’s do it, and our girls were happy with the decision as well. The adoption ball was rolling.
After we got home, we started researching agencies and countries. We were just praying that God would guide. Who did God have for us? We knew we wanted to meet a need in some child’s life, and we also learned about special needs programs for several countries. By August we were ready to submit our application, we applied to our agency’s China Waiting Child program for a SN 4-7 year old girl. Now the hard decision – what special needs were we willing to accept. Both of our girls had experienced health issues – heart defect and hernias. Filling out that sheet we approached with fear and trembling, but we knew God would choose the right little girl for us.
After many months of filling out forms, our home study, and finally being DTC in July 2011, we were matched with a beautiful little six-year-old girl who had been diagnosed with ITP (idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura) and strabismus. Not exactly what was on our list, but after talking with medical doctors, we felt we could handle it. She was born in Zigong City, Sichuan province of China. She was with her family for her first few years, but she was found on the street a few months after the 7.9 earthquake in 2008. We could not image what her life had been like after surviving this massive earthquake, and then likely losing her parents and having to enter the orphanage. Also after seeing her pictures, we knew we needed to go get this girl.