My husband was adopted domestically as an infant. As high school sweethearts, I heard him share his personal testimony several times. His testimony centered around his physical and spiritual adoption. “For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love, he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One he loves.” (Ephesians 1: 4-6) Witnessing first-hand the beauty and symbolism of adoption, we both felt called to adopt one day.
We had our first daughter as my husband began medical school. I was able to stay at home through medical school and residency and we were blessed with three more children. After residency, we had a series of miscarriages that led us to begin to research adoption. Wondering if the “one day” had finally arrived? We wrestled with God’s calling to adopt and in August of 2011 finally committed to beginning the process to adopt from China.
Soon after beginning our home study, we were surprised to find out we were expecting our fifth child. We were thrilled the Lord was blessing us with another biological child but heartbroken to pause the adoption process. In every detail, the Lord showed us that He was in complete control and His plan was much better than our own. Just a few months after having a healthy baby boy, I knew the Lord was still calling us to China. I prayerfully shared my sense of urgency with my husband. He agreed that we should contact our agency and restart our adoption process.
A few months into our adoption process we heard of a foster home in China. One night, I showed my husband the blog and a few of the orphans living at this foster home. One little girl with a congenital nevus stood out to him. We fell instantly in love with her mischievous smile and joyful glow. Even as a physician, he didn’t know much about a congenital nevus. Over a period of time, we researched congenital nevi and found some of the scary “what-if’s” that could possibly go along with this condition. We felt like she was our daughter and shed lots of tears over the uncertainties of her special need. Reading words like Congenital Melanocynotic Nevus, Melanoma, Neurocutaneous Melanocytosis, Neurofibromatosis, tissue expansion, and plastic surgery are scary as you research and consider the special needs your family feels capable of handling. Usually adoptive parents only have days to weeks to make this decision. Looking back, I am so thankful that the Lord gave us this extended time to process and research her special need.
During this time period, some of our closest friends from medical school suddenly lost their one year old daughter. She had no symptoms and they had no indication that she was suffering from an aggressive form of brain cancer until she went home to be with the Lord. We traveled to her funeral and the Lord broke my heart. Adoption is a miraculous leap of faith. Even if God calls one of our children home to Him, He is still good and faithful. He showed us that this precious orphan is more than her special need. More than all the scary medical terms. She is a daughter of the King and she needed a family. There is nothing left to fear. Jesus has conquered death.
As we prepared our dossier, we wondered if the Lord was calling us to adopt this specific little girl or preparing our hearts for another child. One September morning, our social worker called. Miraculously, she offered her file to our family. We already knew she was our daughter so we quickly said “Yes!” and submitted our LOI. Entering the dates on our adoption timeline, we realized that we began our initial application the very same month that she was born in a remote village in Inner Mongolia. So amazing to see God’s hand and timing in every detail!
We travelled to Inner Mongolia in March of 2014. Our daughter was more amazing and beautiful than we ever imagined. Her file did not mention that she had satellite nevi, but through our research we knew that this was very common with a large nevus. Our daughter has been home 9 months now and is 3 years old. She is so smart and loving. We couldn’t imagine our family without her. Her face/scalp nevus is considered to be large. It covers almost half of her scalp and tapers across her forehead. She also has approximately 25 small satellites (the largest one being the size of a half dollar). Some of her satellites are on her spine so we are getting an MRI of her brain and spine next month to rule out NCM (Neurocutaneous Melanocytosis). Otherwise, her special need has been a non-issue and easily managed. We are extra careful in direct sunlight. We always put sunscreen on her and a hat to cover her scalp.
Through much prayer and discussion, God has given us peace in the decision not to pursue surgical removal at this time. We will continue to follow with her Pediatric Dermatologist every 6 months and reevaluate if there are any medical changes. So grateful we walked in faith and said “Yes!” to special needs adoption and “Yes!” to our beautiful daughter.
–guest post by Carinda B.
Waiting Children with Congenital Nevus
Wren was born March 2013, is a darling little girl, who is listed with WACAP. She can say simple words, though she can’t say a whole sentence clearly yet. When caregivers teach her a word to say, she will practice one syllable at a time. If it’s a difficult word, she’ll keep practicing until she gets it! Her caregivers report her cognitive development is normal and that she is curious and tries to understand what is happening around her. She’s an active little girl, who is always playing with other children, and knows to share toys. Currently she can walk all on her own, and loves to be on the move! When she enters the activity room she gets very excited, running from one side to the other to explore! If she sees a ball she can pick it up with two arms, throw it, and then chase it down! She especially enjoys playing with stuffed animals or inflatable toys. She has a giant congenital nevus from her knees to the middle of her torso, on her front and back, as well as several smaller nevi on her limbs and scalp. This bright little girl needs a family to cherish and encourage her! There is a $2000 Promise Child Grant available to families who qualify to assist with the costs of this adoption.
This little guy was born December of 2013, he is social and enjoys interacting with adults. He can say “dada” and is active and outgoing. He is diagnosed with congenital melanocytic nevus and indirect hernia of the groin. He likes “dancing” (swaying to music) and can walk while holding on to chairs. His caregivers describe him as a clever cute boy. He is listed with Hand in Hand Adoptions. Contact them for more information.
Beautiful Kayla was born in August 2013 and is the social butterfly in her orphanage. She’s often found standing up in her crib when it’s bedtime and chatting with all the other kids. If a familiar caretaker walks by, Kayla calls them over and reaches out to be cuddled. This sweet little girl needs a permanent family to always be there when she reaches out! She is listed with WACAP, contact them for more information.
Tony was born at the end of August of 2009. He has bright eyes and a “cleverish” mouth according to his caregivers. He is a clever (which in China means bright and smart), skilled child who is very sensible. He shares his toys and will pick up toys for the other children and comfort them when they are upset. He would make a wonderful brother. He is a polite child and will greet people on his own. He likes outdoor activities, playing hide and seek and listening to music. He has multiple nevi scattered on his face and on his body. Other than the nevi, he is HEALTHY! Tony can walk, run and jump with one foot independently. He can go up and down stairs while holding on to handrail. He likes to play with toy phone, stringed beads, and blocks. He is described as shy, smiles often, likes to play games with other children. His mental development normal. There is a $4000 Promise Child Grant available with WACAP to families who qualify to assist with this adoption, however Tony is ON THE SHARED LIST so he can be pursued by a family or single mom working with any adoption agency.
Known as “Y-Y” and born in 7/2013, this toddler girl is described as being a little shy and lovely. She is fond of watching TV, holding on to an object while she sleeps, comprehends when others speak to her and enjoys being held by others. Her favorite activity is to play hide and seek. She has a nevus that covers a large portion of her forehead and face but has no developmental concerns. Please reference 215-03 to learn more about “Y-Y”. Eligible families may qualify for a grant through LSS/CH and Brittany’s Hope Foundation. She is designated to CHSFS, contact them for more information.
Please contact the Advocacy Team for more information on how to begin the adoption journey.