Then and Now: Caris and Calah

November 26, 2016 cl/cp, Craniofacial, Family Stories, November 2016 Feature - Then and Now 1 Comments

November is Adoption Awareness Month. And our focus is Then and Now… glimpses into the lives of children – children who were once orphaned – who are now beloved family members. Daughters, sons, sisters and brothers who are now blossoming in the love of a forever family…


In 2004 when we first felt the tug to adopt. We completed an application and interviewed with a local agency, even paid a little money if I recall.

Todd and I went home after that appointment and looked at each other… “it’s not the right time.”

In my heart I was saddened… and tucked the idea in the back of my head and heart.

In July 2014, raising a 14 year old and a 12 year old, I’d just completed my Bachelor’s degree and started a new job… we were sitting in church listening to a couple talk about China and orphanages… I heard the Holy Spirit tell me it’s time.

After church that day, Todd and I looked at each other and – at the exact same time – we both said with tears in our eyes: “We are going to China.”

I always heard the paperwork was grueling and the cost excruciating. But there is nothing harder than the wait.

I believe to this day, the Lord does this to make one aware He is in charge… not us.

We reviewed and prayed over file after file, completed our medical needs checklist and completed our home study. We chose files of two precious girls and started all the preparation for them. With all the paperwork complete and in China, we waited and waited. We never would receive LOA on these two precious girls. Our hearts hurt, and we questioned if we were doing what we needed to do. Broken and afraid… our faith grew as we waited and waited.

I had started my Master’s program and was doing some school work when I got a call to check my email. I opened my email and there she was… our daughter.


It’s a feeling I will never forget! Crying and excited, I read her file and knew she was ours.

We arrived in China in November and Caris Faith was placed in our arms on November 8, 2015.

I’ll never forget her saying MaMa and Baba when she saw us, but I will also never forget taking her from her favorite nanny.

Her first months were hard… the anger she had towards me, the jet lag, the grief. But slowly the emptiness disappeared, the hitting stopped. The smile and the laughter have exploded.


In March of 2016 – knowing we would go back shortly after we were home – it happened again…

A call and a file.

A beautiful nine month old baby girl. She would have cleft lip and palate just like Caris.


I knew….

On August 5, 2016 – a little 15 month old girl toddled into our arms and never looked back.

Each of their stories are unique and different.

They come from different places and in time we will learn more, but now we focus on the here and now, praising the Lord for the joy they exude and the faith that has been strengthened.

Most days, there are toys sprawled all over the living room, lots of dirty laundry and two tired parents.


Caris and Calah are worth every sleepless night, sharing beds, and toys being stepped on.

To hear Caris sing Jesus Loves Me, and to hear her say her prayers thanking Jesus for her home… well, God is faithful.

I write this almost one year to the day as listen to a four year old say, “I love my mama and daddy and brothers and sister.”

I hear giggles as Caris and Calah sit in the recliner singing songs and eating a family day cupcake.

Adoption is hard… but so worth it.

– guest post by Michele

One response to “Then and Now: Caris and Calah”

  1. Barbara Travis says:

    I can’t imagine the initial heartbreak you all went through but Oh what a joy you must be experiencing! As you said, God’s timing, not ours. I truly believe adoption is one of the most selfless things anyone can do. I always enjoy reading your posts about the girls and their progress. They are so lucky to be part of your family.

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