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Waiting to be Chosen: Benny

July 22, 2017 0 Comments

Precious Benny was born March 2015 and is described as an active toddler who loves to explore and interact with his surroundings. He smiles often, and looks at you when you talk to him. He enjoys listening to music and watching cartoons.



Benny is diagnosed with beta thalassemia and severe anemia. Caregivers report he needs transfusions every 40 days or he loses his appetite and cries more often. He is small for his age, but his motor skills and cognitive abilities are reported to be fair. As of September 2016 he could crawl very fast, stand holding onto support and walk with one hand held.



His fine motor skills are good; he can reach out to grab toys, put a block in and out of a cup, and put a cap on a bottle. He has a few simple words in his vocabulary, and follows instructions from his caregivers. Benny likes playing with other kids, but is shy around strangers. He is closest with his caregiver.

Sweet Benny needs a family who will get him the medical care he needs to be healthy and strong! WACAP is offering a $2,000 Promise Child Grant for qualified families. Email WACAP for more information!

Walking His Road

July 21, 2017 0 Comments

It was Memorial Day 2012 the first time my husband, Robert, told me he wanted to adopt. We lived in a delightful little suburb of Dallas and had spent the afternoon watching our three young boys play at the splash park. We were all hot and sticky as we drove home and he said, “I’d like to adopt a little girl.” I was shocked. I told him I was all done with children… our youngest was just 6 months old at the time and sleep was finally returning to my life, I was not up for adding another tiny human.

“Will you pray about it?” was his response to my avid rejection of his idea. I think I said yes, but I was thinking “Not a chance.” Life was starting to feel easier. I was afraid of change.

I was afraid I didn’t have what it took to adopt.

In October of the same year, as we folded clothes in our living room, he said it again. “I’d like to adopt a little girl.” Unbeknown to me, the Lord had been working quietly in my heart and this time I considered it. We talked about it. We prayed about it. We got excited about adding a girl to our family. And then we got stuck on the finances: how would we ever get started? We were paralyzed into inaction.

We had no idea how to come up with that sum of money.
We doubted.
We stopped.

On Christmas Eve, my parents gave us a generous monetary gift. As we pulled away from their house to go home that evening, Robert whispered, “Now we have enough to get started.” And it was from that moment on that the Lord has consistently, over and over again, shown us that by following Him and listening intently to His direction, He will guide us along the way He has prepared for us. It won’t be easy. It won’t make sense to the world sometimes. But it will be His way and it will be blessed because we will walk with Him as we go along the road less traveled. The road He has prepared for us.

Our adoption process was full of stops and starts and redirection. We were blessed with a surprise pregnancy, a job change, and a move across the country before we were finally matched with our daughter. With every road block or delay, we would pray again: “Should we be adopting? Is this really the right thing to do?” and again and again, the words of Paul came back to us, “…my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me…” (Acts 20:24) The Lord was faithful to whisper (and sometimes shout, in His own way) that this was a work He had put before us, that we had a daughter in China and we would eventually have her in our arms.

Then, in July of 2014, we saw her face for the first time and both of us knew without a doubt that she was ours. In October of 2014, I traveled for our Laura Cate and I knew before I left China that I would be back again.

Laura was born with a cleft lip and palate. In the world of China adoption, hers is considered a “minor” need. And, truthfully, we thought it would be minor as well: a few surgeries and some therapy for her speech. For our Laura, her needs are not what we would consider minor. Her delays are greater than we anticipated and her emotional and attachment needs are also ongoing.

She has been home almost two years now and has five words we can understand. She communicates more with gestures and noises than with words. She is slow to attempt to speak… every word and phrase learned is a great victory that comes after many, many weeks of work. Emotionally, she is fragile. She needs constant reassurance that we are permanent, and when she lacks that assuredness, she seeks love and attention from inappropriate people.

However, our Laura Cate was also born with a smile that will light up a room and a contagious giggle. She is a timid soul who will watch cautiously from the safety of mommy’s side before deciding whether or not a new activity is fun. She is a tiny little thing that works hard to keep up with her sister. Her fine motor skills and reasoning are off the charts. She can beat her sister and brothers in puzzles and puts together a great train track. She loves Sofia the First and swinging at the park. She delights in swimming and hates to be cold. She carries purses around everyday, filled with that day’s little random assortment of treasures.

We love her deeply.



With our sweet Laura, the Lord has again taught us that our easy path is the wrong path. I am deeply ashamed to say, if I had seen only her needs, we would not have brought her home.

We would have said it was too difficult for us.
It was too daily.
Too hard.

But, in God’s infinite grace and wisdom, He put in our lives a beautiful girl, created by Him and for His glory, for us to care for and love. He has changed our hearts that we might see children are not defined by their needs but by the fact that they are children of the Lord and deserve a family who loves them… a family to fight for them, teach them, cheer for their victories, and mourn for their losses.

When Robert and I decided to go back to China to adopt again, we felt less fear. Because our “minor needs” adoption had turned out to be a lot different than we expected, and because we saw how the Lord graciously provided all we needed to care for our sweet girl, we knew He would continue to do the same as He led us to another child.

We adopted our Howie in April 2017. His special need was labeled as hydrocephalus. Ironically enough, we got him home only to find out that he just has a little bit of a big head. His brain is perfectly normal. He is a healthy three year old boy with no medical needs at all. He still has some emotional needs that come from living in an orphanage for the first three years of his life but, medically, he is very healthy.

We are so thankful the Lord gave us the courage to say yes to him… he is such a sweet addition to our family! His rough and tumble nature fits right in with our other boys.



People always ask us if we will go back again and, until just a few weeks ago, I thought we would. We had started talking about going back for another daughter and had even submitted our Medical Checklist to do so. However, with the new CCCWA regulations, our family no longer qualifies for adoption from China because of our family size. The news of the new regulations was a blow for our family. However, we continue to look forward and know God has a plan that is perfect and good. If and when we decide to adopt again, it will just have to look a little different than what we had planned. I am not sure what the new plan will be, but I know God knows and He is working quietly to prepare our hearts for His road ahead.

For now, I am not trying to figure it all out. I am letting go and letting God handle it. Currently, we are in the middle of another big move to a new city and state and we are looking forward to settling into our new home.

As we settle, though, etched in our hearts and minds are the memories of transformation for our daughter and son as they went from orphans to precious children and siblings. The Lord’s road may be less traveled but it is filled with joy. And though we may feel ill equipped, He is always there, providing for and equipping those He calls to act.



We will also never forget the faces left behind, the rooms full of tiny beds and those tiny beds full of waiting children. We will continue to say no to the easy road… for it was down the Lord’s winding, beautiful road that we said Yes to adoption, Yes to our daughter and Yes to our son. And were blessed a thousand times over.

We can’t wait to see what is in store further down His road.

– guest post by Amy

Even Still

July 20, 2017 3 Comments

“We must learn to realize that the love of God seeks us in every situation, and seeks our good.”

- Thomas Merton



Sometimes things just don’t make a bit of sense. 

Sometimes, often actually, God allows things to happen that I don’t get.

Sometimes, in the story, rules change, and I’m confused.

Sometimes, in my story, things hurt, and I’m frustrated.

Sometimes I find myself groaning, “Why God, why?”


But, even still, I know…

God is not cruel.
He does not intend harm.
He is loving and good.
Always.

All I can do, when I’m confused and battered up, is chant this that I know to be true. Years of living has certainly tethered my heart to Jesus, but I can’t yet claim “unwavering faith”. God’s sovereignty over all life’s bruising twists and turns is truth in my mind, but my heart sometimes is yet convinced. Sometimes I doubt Him for a bit. How could I not? This world is filled with so much hurt. But, in His kindness, despite my waver, His goodness settles me all over again.

///

Even…
When governments make rules that make no sense, that harm children and blister our hearts.
When a family willing to say yes to adoption is told no.
When a family has an adoption file in hand, a child already in their hearts, but is told, “No, rules changed.”
When a family holds vigil by a broken-hearted son’s hospital bedside, praying with hope for a medical miracle, but the healing comes not on earth, but in heaven.
When children linger on waiting child lists.
When a newly adopted child wants nothing to do with being loved.
When a daughter with layers of medical trauma needs yet another IV.
When a traumatized boy rages, all these years later.
When the surgery has complications.
When the test results aren’t in our favor.
When teens join eager families, but their world is spinning so wildly out of control that they fight love.
When my own little medical needs daughter’s body stops functioning post-up and scrub draped nurses race her hospital bed into the OR at midnight due to renal failure.

///

Even still, God is not cruel.
He does not intend harm.
He is loving and good.
Always.

Sometimes, when life isn’t how I think it should be, when suffering wounds my heart, all I can do is chant to myself that He is good. Reminding myself, willing myself, to believe that He is good, even still. He made us some promises, didn’t He? In those moments, the best I can do is step out a door and let the sun soak life into my skin and allow the breeze to still me. Under the blue of the sky, evidence of Him cannot be denied, and it is there where I can consider His ever present love and sovereignty.

///

He’s the one who rains unexplainable peace in OR waiting rooms.
He’s the one who fills hearts with hope when all hope seems lost.

He’s the one who amasses prayer armies.

He’s the one who sends gentle angels in nursing scrubs.

He’s the one who fully and forever heals broken bodies and promises heavenly reunions. 

He’s the one who promises to someday “wipe away every tear”. 

He’s the one who paints rainbows. 

He the one who washes the earth with rain.

He’s the one who tells the sun to burn unending light.

He’s the one who siphons joy back into wounded hearts.

He’s the one who stirs hearts to fight for those who can’t fight for themselves.

He’s the one who calls more and more new families to say yes to adoption.

He’s the one who pumps passion and the crazy kind of love into the adoption community.

He’s the one who sends the servant-hearted nanny into the orphanage.

He’s the one who sends the friend who “gets” what orphanage behaviors can do to a home. 

He’s the one who placed the spunk and fight in the Chinese-American daughter whose hand holds mine. 

He’s the one who turns night to merciful day, dark to light, mourning to joy, over and over again.

In all things, He is calling me to Him, whether I like the story, or not. He pursues me, and you, in life’s winters and its springs. In its harshness and its hopeful abundance.

///

When God allows hurt, I might be confused, but I refuse to believe that He is cruel. He’s promised to be our refuge, our stay in the storm, and to work it all out for our good and His glory. So even when I have to chant it to my own heart, I trust His goodness, even still. He sees things that I cannot. He is ever and always at work within governments, adoption agencies, hospital rooms, families and hearts. Yours and mine.

God is not cruel.
He does not intend harm.
He is loving and good.
Always. Even still.

“And by accepting all things from Him, I receive His joy into my soul, not because things are what they are, but because God is Who He is, and His love willed my joy in them all.”

- Thomas Merton





Trusting My Instincts

July 19, 2017 1 Comments

My husband Derrick and I had been married for almost eight years when, in the summer of 2015, our path to parenthood ultimately led us to adopt from the China Special Needs program. Up to that point, we had never considered what life would be like for our growing family outside of the “typical” narrative. …Read More

Cool Hats and Shaggy Haircuts: Adopting a Child with Microtia

July 18, 2017 1 Comments

(Let me start by saying I are so far from an expert on the topic of microtia and atresia. Just know that I am a loving mother with a son who happens to have this special bonus feature, not an ENT doctor.) When my husband and I filled out a medical checklist in February of …Read More

Still Connecting: What Attachment Looks Like Years Later

July 17, 2017 3 Comments

I think as moms, we would all say we are passionate about connecting to the hearts of our children. For me — children have always been my heartbeat. Children influenced my major, my career and later led to my putting my career with children on hold—to be a stay-at-home mom. I know this is a …Read More

Waiting to be Chosen: Liam

July 16, 2017 0 Comments

Liam was born in August of 2012 and is listed with AAC. When AAC staff first met Liam in May of 2016, he was shy and quiet. But it didn’t take too long for him to open up and show them how amazingly bright he is! When given the choice of toys to play with, …Read More

Unexpected Beauty

July 15, 2017 1 Comments

I sat in my Thursday morning Bible study, sharing my confusion and fears with my prayer partner, Shawna. My husband and I were certain that God had called our family to adoption shortly after our biological daughter, Campbell, was born in 2011. By the time she was 15 months old, we had submitted our dossier …Read More

What If It’s Me?

July 15, 2017 3 Comments

There are so many thoughts, feelings, theories and truths regarding attachment, and navigating them as an adoptive parent is no easy task. Attachment has been one of the most difficult parts of our adoption journey, however not in the way that most people discuss or assume. As parents preparing for adoption we read books, attend …Read More

In Grief and Joy: Why We Need Each Other

July 14, 2017 8 Comments

“Connection is the energy that is created between people when they feel seen, heard and valued – when they can give and receive without judgment.” – Brene’ Brown …… Long after the helium in the balloons from the airport homecoming is gone; long after the meal train has dried up, the cocooning has subsided, and …Read More

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