For 4 years we had gone back and forth with the idea of adoption. Should we? Shouldn't we? Maybe? I don't know? I'm game, but he's not. He's game, and I'm not. Life is comfortable... but is it too comfortable? Is comfort the goal of a Christ follower? All of these questions were CONSTANT until October 2016. That's when everything changed. But let me back up a little because there's a WHOLE lot more to this story, so I hope you'll bear with me, because the details are just as important to our decision.
Prior to October 2016 I had been following my friend's adoption journey of their little guy they brought home in 2015 from China. Every time they made an announcement, I had a tug on my heart. And I firmly believe that God was pricking it. Then another friend announced her foster-to-adopt plans and God tugged on my heart again. Over and over this would occur in conversations with friends or adoption journeys that would take place. That constant tugging...
The summer of 2016 was a season of wrestling for me. It was extremely busy. Too busy. Our calendar never seemed to slow down and I felt like something was getting ready to change. But didn't know what. We had finished our first year of homeschooling, which went great and I was planning and prepping for our second year as well as trying to balance a crazy busy summer season for my business. I literally entered fall completely fried and needing something to give. I had no clue what was about the happen. Or maybe subconsciously I did but didn't want to admit it, because that still small Voice kept bugging me, "Hey, remember that idea? Yeah, that one." Because honestly, I was good with my one. I was content (or so I thought I was) and we were moving along in life...
we were at church and I looked to my left and there was my friend, the one who had just recently adopted their little guy from China. And man did the stirring happen even more. Meeting Knox, seeing his little face. It hit me harder. And it's not like we aren't around friends who have adopted. There are SO many families at our church who are living out James 1:27 and have adopted or who sponsor children or go on missions trips and help orphanages... Our Pastor has adopted two brothers from S. Korea. Our close friends have adopted... It's not like we aren't aware of the need. Because, there is a HUGE need for good families to open up their homes and hearts and welcome these little ones in. Jerry and I have sponsored 5 children for over 12 years. We know there's a need. But could we really do it? Did I really WANT to?
A few weeks later my friend Janay and her amazing 4 kiddos came over and she told me they were in the process of adopting their second from China. I asked her a TON of questions about the process, of which she graciously answered them all. (And please know, you can ask me any good-intentioned question! I am an open book on this process.) She told me about the orphanages and all of the little ones still waiting. STILL WAITING. Especially those with special needs... My heart basically shredded. I held in tears and listened as she told me about her own God-designed adoption journey.
That night, I posed the question to my husband again... "What do you think about adoption? I don't want to go through this life thinking 'Why didn't we try?' I think we should fill out the application to at least get more information on the process. What do you think?" And in good male fashion, Jerry responded. "Okay." :) He's a man of many words. LOL
So that night, on October 6, 2016, we filled out the initial application and our world was FOREVER changed in the most miraculous of ways.
I'm sure y'all have a TON of questions, so I am going to try and answer as many as I can with the Q&A below from questions I have already received. But if you have any other, please don't hesitate to ask in the comments!
Why did you choose China? Honestly, God directed us to China. For the longest time I always thought that if I ever adopted, it would be from Africa, since that is where I lived as a child. But God pointed us to China, of which the reasons have become more clear as we've been on this journey. But International or Domestic, there are millions, YES - millions of children who need GOOD homes. And our child happened to be in China.
Why are you adopting? Could you not have another one? Extremely personal question, but people want to know and I honestly don't mind answering. No and Maybe?? I don't know. Besides, does it really matter? When Brooklynn turned 2 we started trying again to have another baby. We tried off and on for 3 years and when she turned 5, I got rid of the crib, which was closure for me on us having another one biologically. But I truly believe it was because God was preparing us for this moment in our lives right here, for which I am grateful for!
Will it be a newborn? NOPE!!! I love photographing newborns!!! But our age range is between 10 months - 3 years of age. In China, newborns are not adoptable. When a Child is abandoned, they spend 9 months trying to locate family members or the parents to claim the child, no matter what age they are placed in the orphanage.
Will it be a boy or a girl? Either. But the majority of children who are waiting to be adopted from China are boys. (And everyone says, WHAT?! But I thought...) Yes, in the early 1990's when the One Child Policy began, there were a LOT of girls being abandoned and adopted, and still are. Many favor girls for various reasons, leaving boys as the "undesirable children" for adoption. Especially children with special needs. It's heart breaking. We did not choose whether or not Brooklynn would be a girl, and in adoption, we did not choose whether to adopt a girl or a boy.
On November 13, 2017, Tristan Wenyan Newell joined our family! Click HERE to read about our time in China.