February 21, 2011 Family Stories, heart defect, VSD 0 Comments

by Lyn, mom to Lucas from China with an SN of repaired VSD

I was not one of those people who longed to adopt a child my whole life. My husband Bob and I had two biological girls and thought our family was complete. Adoption had never occurred to us until December 2005. That Christmas, God stirred our hearts, and a few months later we began the adoption process which eventually led us to Addie Jialin, a precious toddler we found through America World Adoption Association’s waiting child program. Through Addie’s adoption and the countless testimonies we have heard through the online adoption community since then – we have discovered that when we are involved in something which is close to God’s heart, like adopting orphans, we get to experience the blessings of hearing from God and watching miracles take place. The entire adoption journey was a pivotal time in the life of our family as we got the privilege of watching God work and then got to welcome Addie into our family in May 2008. We were sure it was a wonderful, life-changing, one-time thing.

We were wrong.

As I continued to read adoption blogs after coming home with Addie, I was touched by families who welcomed not one or two orphans into their home, but four or five or six – and not just cute, healthy infants, but preteens and teenagers. They told story after story of the blessings of being obedient to what they felt God had called them to do.

In spite of the fact that our feisty little toddler had rocked my world, I finally told God that I was willing to adopt again if that was His will for our family. I reminded Him though that He would have to remove some obstacles that were keeping us from qualifying again for adopting from China. The obstacles seemed pretty huge, but we had seen Him perform miracles to enable us to bring Addie home. I acknowledged that nothing is impossible for Him. Less than two weeks after first praying that prayer, it became clear that the obstacles that had kept us from considering adopting again were gone. Somehow, in spite of the poor economy, we met all of the requirements to adopt from China once again. My husband, who had always been more open than I was to the idea of another adoption, agreed that God was calling us to go back to China. So, in October 2009, we applied to adopt a little girl between the ages of 4 and 7. We wanted to get an older child this time, since many couples were in line to adopt infants and toddlers, but only a small percentage of families were open to adopting children older than 3.

But then, a couple of months after beginning our second round of adoption paperwork , God surprised us. Instead of a little girl, God made it clear that He had a boy for us! In December 2009 we received an email from America World listing nine children who were available for adoption. The second child listed was a 6 year old girl with a corrected condition. She was adorable and exactly the age we were interested in. I needed to wait until my husband came home from Bible study before I requested her information, but I felt sure that he would would be interested in her. As I waited for Bob to return home, I realized that the last child listed, a 4 1/2 year old boy with a corrected heart condition, was wearing an orange shirt with “BOB” – my husband’s name – on it! We had been praying that God would clearly show us which child He had picked out for us by causing something in the referral to jump out at us.

When Bob got home I showed him the email. We laughed about the Bob shirt, but then talked about the little girl and decided to email AWAA about getting her referral. Awhile later, Bob looked more closely at the boy in the BOB shirt and started laughing. He said, “Look at his hand! He’s saying, ‘goofball’!” Bob and the girls get very silly together at times. When they do, Bob calls them goofballs. One time, instead of saying it out loud to them, he looked at me, showed me the sign language “G”, and mouthed “goofball”. Since then, they all use that “G” as a way of telling each other they are silly. It’s a strange ritual. In this picture, the little boy was pointing at the camera, but it looked just like he was making a “G”. His shirt said “BOB” on it and he seemed to be looking at us and calling us goofballs, just like one of the family! A little too coincidental – just the kind of thing I was hoping would jump out at us on a sweet little girl’s referral.

After talking about him a little longer, we finally decided that we would check with our social worker to see if it would be OK for a 3 year old girl and a 4 year old boy to share a room, since we didn’t have a separate room to give him. In the meantime, I prayed that God would make it really clear if we should continue to look into getting information on the girl, or if we should ask for the little boy’s referral instead. I had a hard time going to sleep that night, wondering if God was really going to give us a boy. Addie’s room was decorated in deep red, with Chinese prints and characters. It could easily be a boy’s room as well. We had already picked out a girl’s name, but I had told my husband a few days earlier that it just wasn’t sounding right to me any more. Was this because we were going to get a boy instead?! By the time I finally went to sleep, I was pretty convinced that God had chosen this little boy for us. My nicely ordered little world was going to be rocked once again.

When I got up the next morning, I checked the email. Our agency had sent us the referral information for the 6 year old girl. I looked through it, searching for something to show me that maybe my gut feeling from the night before was wrong. When I didn’t see anything, I called America World and asked them the question about Addie sharing a room with a boy. Then I asked them if they’d be willing to tell me this particular little boy’s birthday. I really wanted God to be clear. If we were going to get a boy, I wanted to make sure that it was God’s idea and not just my imagination, so I prayed that God would use his birthday to make it clear that we should review his information. Addie’s birthday is the day before our daughter Megan’s birthday. If this boy’s birthday was close to June 2nd – our daughter Robin’s birthday – I would know for sure. Our coordinator said she’d get back with me in a few minutes. A little while later, I got an email from AWAA saying that although we should talk with our social worker also, it looked like a 3 year old girl and a 4 year old boy could share a room. Then she gave me his birthday: May 30th – 3 days before Robin’s birthday. I asked to switch to his referral.

We accepted the referral for Lang Gang Hai on December 9th, 2009. After several crazy paperwork delays, we finally traveled to Guangdong, China where we met our son, who we named Lucas, on December 6th, 2010.

Unlike Addie’s Gotcha Day, the day we met Lucas was pretty much a worst-case scenario. Lucas was terrified and wanted only to return to the orphanage with the workers who brought him to us. We left the Civil Affairs building with him kicking and screaming for someone to come and rescue him. It was a hard day, but God reminded us through scripture and emails from friends that He knew what He was doing and that Lucas was the child for us. Miraculously, we returned to the Civil Affairs Office the very next day with a happy little boy who was quite content to stay with his new family.

We have had Lucas for 2 months now. The transformation from that terrified little boy to the exuberant, affectionate little boy we now call “son” is nothing short of miraculous. He is smart, funny, and charming. He loves to go places and meet people and try new things. He never walks anywhere; he always runs, yelling “Come on Addie!” over his shoulder. He wholeheartedly participates in whatever he’s doing – whether playing, drawing, fighting with Addie, or riding a tricycle. He bounces with enthusiasm when he’s excited and screams with just as much fervor when he’s mad. The surgery he had when he was a year old to repair his ventricular septal defect was successful and he is a completely healthy 5 year old boy with no restrictions.

Although Lucas is doing very well, it’s been quite an adjustment to add a five-year-old boy to the family! We have spent the last 2 months working with Lucas on issues like how to take turns with his sisters, how to share, how to eat without smacking, slurping and yelling at the table, how to use words to express frustration rather than temper tantrums, and how to obey. Our days have been filled with training, correcting, and redirecting, and at times it’s been exhausting. But Lucas is learning quickly. He already understands most of what we say and is speaking English amazingly well. He is learning what it means to be loved unconditionally as part of a family and what it means to think of the needs of others instead of just fighting for what he wants.

And we are learning what it means to have a son. We are finding out that it is every bit as wonderful as being the parents of daughters, which is proof that when we are willing to trust God – even when He asks us to do something that is outside of our plan – He often changes our desires to match His.

Feel free to visit our family blog here.

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