Blog

  • A Surprising Visitor

    I’m not much of a movie crier. I think I can count on one hand all the movies that have made me cry, including Charlotte’s Web. (The part where she dies alone always wrecks me.) However, I sob through every adoption story I can get my hands on. (I highly recommend http://www.thearchibaldproject.com/ if you want to binge watch some.) The part where the family meets their new son or daughter for the first time makes me gush tears of joy with and for them. I can barely see the mom and dad hugging their usually sobbing child through my own puddle. I personally think it is one of the most beautiful miracles on earth, to go from alone to known, lonely to forever loved.
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    After years of watching these amazing stories, I naively assumed that the emotions surrounding adoption were isolated to joy, excitement, and steadfastness. Once a family chose the road to adoption, they felt nothing but elation at the thought of welcoming their child home. My heart leapt with delight as I hoped that one day this would be us.
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    Fast forward to July 2017. We knew ever since we lived in China that someday we would adopt from China, however had to wait until we met all the qualifications. I had researched adoption agencies and had already requested information from CCAI. It was a stable time in our lives and we were ready to begin this journey. Full throttle ahead! And then...China changed its qualifications that exact week and we were stuck waiting another six months until our daughter turned two and a half. A lesson in patience that I was not so thrilled about!
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    During the six months of waiting, I had high hopes of researching, planning, and preparing. I had lists of things to do to make paperwork later on go more quickly. However, as each day went by, I could never get the ball rolling. I’d always come up with some excuse as to why I couldn’t sit down in front of the computer and dive into this mysterious world of adoption. During the waiting months, we would start talking about the adoption and our conversations would spiral downward into frantic worry...
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    How are we going to pay for this? What if we adopt a child with more significant needs than we can pay for? 
    What if we lose our house, jobs, everything? What if we can’t give our daughter the attention she needs too? What if life never gets back to “normal”?
  • Adoption: A "Plan A" for Our Family

    "Can't you make your own children?"

    "Is your daughter really yours?"

    "Isn't it a lot cheaper and easier to have your own kids?"

     

    We've quickly learned that no question is off limits when you adopt and especially in regards to the family planning department. We know that people are naturally curious about adoption and genuinely want to understand more about. But sometimes the questions can be just painfully awkward, as well as inappropriate for our children to hear. We never, ever, ever want to our son to feel like he's "expensive" or "not ours." (Personal tip: Don't ask an adoptive family a question in front of their kids that you wouldn't want someone to ask you in front of your kids! Please and thank you!) That being said, we do want to answer people's questions as honestly as possible, because we truly believe that if more people understand how adoption can be a beautiful part of their family's "plan A," then more and more precious children will have forever families.

  • 5 Ways Adoption Messes Up Your Kids...and Why That's a Good Thing!

    "We'd like to adopt, but we just don't want to hurt our biological kids."

    "We think adoption is great, but maybe when our kids are out of the house.".

    "We know adoption is Biblical, but we're just not sure how our kids will react."

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    If we had a dime for every time we've heard these, we'd be able to fund our own adoption. But, if we had a dime for every time we personally have worried about how adoption will affect our children, we'd probably be able to finance a hundred adoptions. So, if these serious concerns have flittered across your brain and put the brakes on diving whole-heartedly into the wonderful, mysterious, difficult world of adoption, we are right there with you.

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    When I see my two precious children finally playing nicely together (51% of the time, at least!), I get anxious thinking about adding a third to the mix. How will they react? Will having another child tear their adorable best buddy relationship apart? Will one become attached to the new sibling while the other might not? What if this next child messes up all the hard work of bonding and attachment we've worked on for months? Ugh, yep, we're right in the boat with you.

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    But, the funny part is that I have to actually remind myself that this is deja vu. I was worrying about this same exact thing last year: Would my daughter attach to her new brother? How would he treat her? What if he hurts her? What if we can't give her the attention she needs? Wouldn't it just be better for her to have a biological sibling? 

    What are we doing to our child?! Are we crazy, irresponsible parents to bring a completely foreign child into our house?!

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    And I can't help but smile now. I can't help but laugh to think that we "messed up" our daughter by adding our son to the family through adoption. They are more alike, from their dislike of bread to their love of dogs, than they are different. They play, and yes, fight, just like any "normal" siblings do. Thank God, by His grace, He carried us through our first adoption and now our daughter is completely "messed up"...and oh, are we thankful for that!

  • The Dreaded Birthday

    What did you do for your 14th birthday?
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    Did you have a party, cake, gifts? A singing family surrounding you with love on your special day?
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    Honestly, I don’t remember my 14th birthday (I must be getting old!), however I do know without a doubt that I was enveloped with love, support, and most assuredly a chocolate cake and ice cream on my special day.
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    I know this isn’t the case for everyone and I am very blessed to have a loving family who has always been there for me. There are so many precious souls who go year after year without their special day being celebrated. And some, like those sweet ones in China, view birthdays with fear. Each year brings them closer to that dreaded birthday: fourteen. If they do not have a forever family by age fourteen, then they can no longer be adopted.
  • Why Special Needs?

    “Who is my neighbor?”
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    If you’ve been around church for any length of time, you’ve probably heard this question before. A self-righteous man was trying to trap Jesus by asking Him what are the greatest commandments, to which Jesus responds with love God and love your neighbor. The logical question to follow this is, of course, “Well, then who is my neighbor?” Jesus doesn’t give a one-ling zinger to smote this cocky dude, but instead brilliantly illustrates his point with a story, what we usually refer to as “The Good Samaritan.”
  • Why a Boy?

    “How did you adopt a boy? Aren’t all the orphans in China baby girls?”
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    Probably the biggest misconception about adopting from China is that Chinese baby girls are being only abandoned, and, therefore, are in need of being adopted. That was true many years ago, however today, most Chinese children in orphanages today are ones with “special needs,” ranging from heart defects to albinism, hearing or vision impairment, and a plethora of other qualities that make them “fearfully and wonderfully made.” (Psalm 119:134)
  • Why China?

    Typical grocery-store-line, Chick-fil-a-playground, or anywhere-else-we-bump-into-strangers talk these days goes something like this:
    Our daughter to random stranger, “Hey, I am a big sister. I have another brother or sister.”
    Kind stranger smiles (and tries to glance unsuspectingly at my stomach), “Wow, that’s nice. Where is he or she now?”
    Our daughter, matter of factly, “In China.”
    Kind and now confused stranger gives perplexed look at me, “Huh?!”
    Sometimes they just move on or we exchange a brief conversation:
    Me, trying to put the strangers mind at ease, “We’re adopting a little boy or girl from China.”
    Much less confused looking stranger, “Why China?”
    Me, sheepishly: “Because we used to live there.”
  • The BIG Why?

    When we tell strangers, family, and friends about our adoption, usually questions come up as to the where, why, and when. However, the number one ...
  • Why CCAI?

    Although I knew a bit about adoption and orphans in general, my idea of getting from the beginning (wanting to adopt) to the end (bringing your ch...
  • Why Adoption?

    “Can’t you have your own kids?” . Believe it or not, when we tell strangers we are adopting, whether a new co-worker or the lady at the Aldi c...
  • Why "Hao Bao Bao"?

    “Hao” (pronounced “how”) is one of the first words we learned when we tumbled off the air-conditioned plane into the steamy summer heat of Wuhan, C...