Love Stories: More Than I Hoped For

April 13, 2017 adopting a boy, April 2017 Feature - Love Stories, Family Stories, foster care, large families, orphanage visit, Sharon 0 Comments

We are so quick to fill in the blanks, aren’t we? We get one part of a story, and we use our imagination to complete the rest.

But it’s too simplistic to do that with the care of orphaned children halfway around the world… to see an image and create a tragic narrative, hear a testimony and judge an entire community, read an account of a single incident and make assumptions about an entire system.

We want to have eyes to see the good.

And there is most definitely good to be found. So this month we are sharing stories that exemplify the good. The lovely. The things that remind us that there is always hope.

Join us this month as we share stories of love in the unlikeliest of places.


I think as adoptive moms, we all hope more than anything someone is watching over our children while they wait for us to come. Someone to hold them, sing to them, whisper sweet thoughts into their hearts. I could tell you stories about each of my children and the blessings poured over them by amazing circumstances.

Today I chose to tell you the story of our son Will Perry. A brave heart warrior who was loved lavishly in a beautiful children’s home, Shepherd’s Field. in Tianjin, China.

{In 2006, Shepherd’s Field Children’s Village opened it’s doors. Shepherd’s Field focuses exclusively on the medical and therapy needs of special needs orphans. The campus has a medical clinic, therapy center, school, the Inn of Eight Happinesses for visitors and guests, the office, and a vocational center. Children at Shepherd’s Field receive the medical care and therapy, with more than half receiving therapy in fine motor skills, gross motor skills, or speech.}

Our son was born in Fuzhou, China and lived with his biological family until his first birthday. He was abandoned as a very sick little boy, taken to the orphanage where there was no hope of surgery, and by some miracle, chosen to be moved to Shepherd’s Field two months later. I actually have a photo of Will being held by his ayi moments after arriving at SF. Look at the expression on his face having lost so much.

Then, exactly three months after that, he received life saving heart surgery in Beijing, China – fully funded by an anonymous donor. He was cared for in the medical wing of Shepherd’s Field for months by Dr. Moody and staff, then moved to live in the House of Peace in a family setting with his ayis and friends.

More than I hoped for.

Will lived at Shepherd’s Field for two years enjoying his life as a loved son. A very unique circumstance for an orphan in China. Tim Baker and his wife Pam shepherded every child as their own, and Will still calls him Baba Tim.

Even as an orphan, he was blessed with a family: Tim, Pam, the Moodys, staff, ayis, and all the children there. Oh, and the many volunteers that went there weeks on end to provide camps and therapies and just play with the kids on the enormous playground there. Some of them have become precious friends because they went as the hands and feet of Jesus to hold Will before I could be his mama.

I still remember the day I saw Will’s face, and first thinking he looked so much like ShayleeJoy. Through the red thread that connects all of us, I learned two things that would endear him to me: he and SJ were both from Fujian province and he lived at Shepherd’s Field where he heard about Jesus every single day.

More than I hoped for.

At Shepherd’s Field all the kids were sponsored by people around the world so they could receive life saving surgeries, have full time staff and ayis living with them, and heat in the frigid cold of northern China in the winter.

Another way they raised funds was creating various things for a campus store which was full of amazing treasures. Some of the children there were very gifted artists so they painted beautiful canvases to sell. One would prove to be the very way God showed us our son.

My husband Scott had recently acquired a rental property full of the previous owner’s belongings. In the midst of the mess, he found quite a collection of art. One piece caught his eye and he brought it home to me knowing I would love it. We proudly hung it in our sunroom to enjoy. It was right about the time I had seen Will’s face for the first time.

We contacted the agency who had Will’s file for more information about him and an update. Are you sitting down? When we received the update, tucked inside was a photo of sweet Will standing under the same painting that was now hanging on our wall. Talk about writing on the wall! There was no doubt he was our son! Thank you Shepherd’s Field for giving us a sign!

More than I hoped for.

There were so many ways Will was loved lavishly while living at Shepherd’s Field including The House of Peace, one of five two-story buildings where children were treated as a family with siblings and ayis. Someone sent me a beautiful bracelet to wear while I waited for him to be in my arms, and I later sent it to Will’s foster brother’s adoptive mom as she waited for Grey to come home.

More than I hoped for.

Another way they loved him was allowing us to send him and his foster siblings little surprises. We sent a birthday party to Will right before we traveled to pick him up, and have photos that will always be treasured.

Oh and the photos, reports, and stories we have of him over the two years we lived there. So much more than we have for our other adopted children. Such a gift. But probably one of the most beautiful ones sent was of Tim and Pam showing Will a photo of our family and telling him he was loved, chosen, and an orphan no more!

More than I hoped for.

In closing, orphan care is not always this beautiful and certainly not so for all of our adopted children – some of our children were in horrid situations. But Will’s story is one of spectacular care. A diamond shining in the smog of northern China. A place where loving care is given every single day in the name of Jesus.

Our family could not have been more blessed to travel there in 2011 and receive the most beautiful blessing: our son, Will Perry.

We were there four days, sharing all the experiences Will had lived for two years. We met his ayis and hugged them over and over, saying thank you for loving him. We held the other children in our arms praying God would bring families to them. We shared meals, conversations, prayers, and praise times with the Bakers and staff. One special girl there, Sara, traveled with us to province and shared in Will’s gotcha day too.

We will always be grateful to Shepherd’s Field, the Bakers, and the ayis who loved our son well. He is the most kind, gentle, loving child I have ever known. If there is a need, he is there to meet it for every single person in our family. We call him our little Francis Chan.

I have no doubt the year he had with his biological mom and dad shaped his big heart to love, and Shepherd’s Field saved his big heart through surgery and care until he was placed into our arms where we will love him forever. A huge thank you for all these amazing blessings!

More than I hoped for.

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