February 25, 2010 leg length discrepancy, limb difference, missing arm/leg 0 Comments

by Karin, mom to Chloe from China with a SN of a limb difference

Years ago, God very clearly led us to start down the adoption road for a little girl in China with a special need that was not considered ‘adoptable’. At the time, CCAA had never allowed a child with this SN to be adopted. We had just returned home with our second daughter from China, and having four kids was sending us over the edge (haha). I had no desire for any more kids!!

But God….

There was no SN list back then and rarely were any pre-id adoptions allowed. However, we knew we were to try. We had a contact in China — at the orphanage where ‘our little girl’, Chun, was living. She was trying to help from the China end. Over the next two years, God led us down many paths — up high mountains, low valleys. There were moments of extreme awe and happiness as a roadblock was removed, only to be replaced with a long dark valley as another loomed in its place. We sought the Lord at every turn and were told to continue on.

We finished our dossier, only to find out that because of the quota placed on agencies that year, our agency no longer had a slot available. (A mix-up — but nothing could be done.) So we had a dossier with no way to get it to China. And the clock was ticking on our paperwork, as you know.

For eight months it sat. In the meantime, CCAA started it’s first SN list. Finally our agency found another agency with available slots and we were able to send our dossier through that agency. But let me tell you… it was a long eight months!!

Our new agency had a director who was — well, less than honest. He kept telling me that our case was going to be presented to CCAA in person… that the person (QS), doing so was on his way to China at that very moment. I would wait on pins and needles for QS to return…. send emails… get no response… finally call and call and call. My insistence for an answer would finally grant me an opportunity to talk with the director — only to be given the cryptic response… “No news this month.”


This went on for months. We could do nothing but wait and pray. All of our friends were praying with us for little Chun and that CCAA would relent and allow her to be adopted. Her paperwork was at CCAA.

During that time a personal friend of mine started some charity work in China. She miraculously — amazingly — was using QS to facilitate the beginnings of her work there. QS was part of a teeny, tiny, never heard of agency… the same agency that we were using!!! She asked QS about our case and he had never heard of us! (So much for him presenting our case numerous times to CCAA like the director had said…. grrrrr…..)

QS eventually presented our situation to CCAA and we were matched with Chun… I cannot begin to tell you the euphoria we felt when we were contacted with the news that we had been matched!! We were beside ourselves!! We were told that our file still had to be given approval by the director there, but that things looked pretty good.

A month later, we were contacted again with devastating news. QS had been told that the adoption would NOT be approved. CCAA would not approve a child with her special need for international adoption.


We were told that we would be getting a referral and that it would not be Chun. Well… I knew that I served a big God who could change hearts and I didn’t want to give up on Chun. She needed a family. I had been praying for almost two years with a Mama’s heart for that little girl. I couldn’t give up on her now.

A few weeks later, our referral came. It was not for Chun.

We were devastated. I don’t know what was worse… knowing that Chun wasn’t coming home, or wondering if I had heard God wrong all those months. Could I really hear from Him? Why had He led us down this path? Had I only THOUGHT He wanted us to try to adopt her? How could we come to the end of a two-year road and not get her?

My heart was broken. What should we do about the sweet little girl we were referred? I wanted her. She was a beautiful 12 month old. She could fill the place in my heart that was so empty and grieving.


While we had waited for Chun, God had given me a name. Chloe. That name was supposed to be for a little girl who was ‘lame.’ Don’t want to make this sound too weird, but all the verses that He led me to were about ‘the lame’ so I knew she had a leg or foot problem. And one day in the fall of that year, I had been so burdened for ‘Chloe’ that I wondered if she had been born then??

The little girl we were referred was not lame. I wanted her anyway. What if CCAA got really mad at us for turning down a perfect referral? Would they just dump our dossier in the trash? We had already been waiting 2 years. Would we walk away empty-handed? How could God ask us to walk away from this precious baby girl?

Our agency was sympathetic, thankfully. Jeff and I prayed earnestly and felt that the little one we were referred was not our daughter. We had to check the box that said we were rejecting the referral. Ohhhhh…. so hard. I thought I would die. How could we reject her? With the rejection, we sent a letter saying that we thought she was beautiful and perfect but we had originally asked for a child with special needs and wondered if they would please allow us to wait for the next waiting child list to arrive at our agency so that we could chose a child from that list?

Thankfully… CCAA agreed to this weeks later.

Three weeks later, we received an email from our contact in China saying that a Christian family in China wanted to adopt Chun. Since they were Chinese, CCAA had willingly sent Chun’s paperwork back so that the domestic adoption could take place. All of our prayers for Chun to have a Christian family were miraculously answered!!! And who would have thought that God would provide such a perfect family for Chun?!?!?!

It was with great relief that we felt released from advocating for her and could move forward with an adoption of a different child.

Our agency was small, as I said. Back then, waiting child lists were fairly small. What were the chances that our agency would get a list with a ‘baby girl born in the fall, who was ‘lame’?”

A few months later, I learned that SN lists had been sent to agencies. Of course… it was a holiday. New Years. Agencies were closed. The suspense was intense.

When the offices opened, I called. Our agency had gotten a list. There were six children on it. I so clearly remember asking, “Do you have a little girl with a foot or leg problem, born in the fall on the list?”

“Just a minute. Let me check,” she said. LONG PAUSE while my heart thumped out of my chest. “Yes. We do! One little girl. She has some missing toes and a leg that is shorter than the other.”

“When was she born?” I asked.

“Nov. 30th,” she responded.

“Put her on hold for us! She is our daughter!” I said.

“Don’t you want to see her picture?”

“NO!! I know she is ours!”

And she was! She was our Chloe.

For all those months, between losing Chun and finding Chloe,
I struggled so much with, “What was that all about? Why did you lead us down those paths…seeming like you were leading us to Chun, and then at the last minute, jerked the rug out from under us? How could You be so cruel?”

His answer came in many different ways — but the bottom few lines are this:

* We are very goal oriented. We think that the goal is the purpose, when actually it is sometimes the JOURNEY that is the purpose. The things we learn on the journey are the things He wants to teach us.

* We need to stay close to Him and listen carefully at all times… not assume that once on the path we know the destination. He is in the driver’s seat and if He wants to change course, we need to be paying attention or we will head off in the wrong direction. So if we start in Florida, and He takes us on all the necessary roads to Ohio so that we think that is the destination, He might keep us on that highway until we get far enough north to turn toward New York. 🙂

I grieved deeply when we lost Chun and the little girl we were referred. Not only did I grieve the losses of both girls, but I grieved what I thought was my relationship with the Lord. It was humbling to say the least. Eventually, He showed me that I COULD hear from Him, but that I should not assume I knew the end — nor doubt my ability to hear just because He changed the destination from what I had thought it would be.

To meet the rest of our family, visit us here.

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