By Tara, mom to Ava Lan from China with cleft lip and palate
I had wanted to adopt a child for a long time, even after having 3 biological children. This was a desire God had placed in my heart since childhood. My husband, however, had no interest in adopting at first. I prayed in the summer of 2007 that God would change his heart if He wanted us to adopt (sound familiar to anyone?). After a couple months, my husband told me to go ahead and research adoption. After some research on adoption, we learned about the “waiting children” in China. In China, a waiting child is a child that is harder to place because of a special medical need or because of age. Through this program, we were led to a precious 3-year-old little girl with cleft lip and palate. When my husband took one glance at her picture, he was sold and said, “Let’s adopt her.” He explained that when he saw Lan’s picture, he didn’t want to “rescue” her or “help an orphan”; he just wanted to be her daddy. This was such a surprise to me because now my husband was the one leading this journey. He was the one who “chose” her and made this adoption happen by saying yes to God’s leading. We quickly turned in our application to the agency and began our paperwork.
It turned out that God had another surprise in store for us as well because just 3 months after beginning the adoption process, we found out we were pregnant. That would mean we’d be having a baby right around the time we would be traveling to China. Talk about overwhelming news!!! When we realized that we would probably travel in May or June and our baby was due in June, we decided that I would not be going to China and that my husband would take our oldest daughter (age 6) instead. During our adoption process, I kept praying for God’s perfect timing because I didn’t want to be having a baby while my husband was in China. They traveled in May 2008 to get Ava Lan from China and our baby boy was born one month later!
Ava was 3 ½ when she came home from China and she turned 4 last month (November). She has been home just 7 months and is doing so well. She just continues to amaze us. She is sweet and fun and smart and has a great sense of humor and laughs easily. She has a calm, playful personality despite her past (3 ½ years in an orphanage). She still has scars from the neglect she suffered as a baby, but God is truly the Great Physician and He is healing her. We are so very thankful.