Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I've been wanting to write this post for awhile.
But I'm not a writer and the words I put down won't even begin to describe how I feel about this girl. But she's all I think about- and I'm starting to freak myself out about it!

About 2 months ago I started checking different sites on waiting children. I would see her photo and think how beautiful she was. There was something in her eyes that drew me to her. She has no special need- other than she is older.

After about a month of looking at kids (dangerous thing to do!) I would find one and email their picture to Trent. You know....just to get him use to the idea again. : ) Stir the heart. I had already been hinting around that I was ready to bring home our next kiddo.

Well, over time I sent him several. Different ages, boys, girls, different special needs. Whatever caught my eye. I also requested their medical files to look at.

He never mentioned them.

After awhile I couldn't stand it anymore. I showed him who, what, where- any info I had on these sweeties and said, "We need to talk!"

He asked me if I wanted to know what he thought. I told him no, but go ahead. (I thought I knew what he would say.)

He thought we should go get her! She was already my first pick. I was already in love!
I mean look at her! She's in pink! Destined to be mine. : )

You see, when an orphan turns 14 in China, they are no longer adoptable. Many people don't realize the deep and ingrained stigma that an orphaned child often faces. Orphans are often felt to be unlucky or even "cursed," and so they often have many strikes against them when it comes time to go to school or find a job. There are different levels of school in China; many orphaned children are only able to attend the lowest level schools, as parents who are paying higher fees for the better schools don't want their children to have to attend with "unlucky" orphans. Education is so important in the Chinese society, and parents often push their children to try harder and work longer on their homework. Orphaned children rarely have anyone pushing them or encouraging them. To actually make it to university as an orphaned child is a true achievement. And even after graduating, jobs are often very difficult to come by due to businesses again not wanting to employ people who might bring bad luck to the company.

You might ask how anyone would know you were an orphan after you left the institution. There are several factors that make it hard to ever lose your "orphan" status. The first is your hukou, the formal registration that every individual in China has. Your hukou is family based in your home city, and orphaned children often have a "group" hukou that clearly identifies them as not having a family. In the past it was very common for orphanages to use "created" surnames for the children in their care. For example, many orphanages used the last name of "Fu," which directly implies an orphan, or else they used the first syllable of the town or district, like Bao or Long. Isabella's Chinese name was Long XiaoHua. She was from the Longgang District in Shenzhen City. Thus, the surname Long.
Fortunately, knowing the trouble that orphaned children often have assimilating into Chinese society, the government has recently been giving children more common last names, such as Li or Chang.

Almost everything in Chinese society revolves around the family, and great reverence is given to one's ancestors and lineage. Major holidays are big, for at all possible you return to your family to celebrate. For orphaned children who age out of the social welfare system, they often find life very difficult with no family ties.

This girl will turn 14 on November 5. I had 2 months to get my dossier put together. Not realistic. But knowing God works miracles and if she was ours, He would make it happen.

So, the next morning I talked to the agency through whom I had found her information. I told them we had not started any of our paperwork and asked if it was even possible to be able to get her in time? They said China had changed their policies a bit and that a child who has been on the list for more than 30 days can be matched with a family even though they do not have a dossier or homestudy. We would then have 6 months to submit our full dossier following the match.

This was all news to, me so I called a different agency and my friend Lori called her agency to see if this was possible for a child who would age out of the system in 2 months. Neither agency had ever heard of this. The adoption has to be FINALIZED in China BEFORE their 14th birthday.
So, I called the agency that told me I could be matched with her and asked them if I had read their email correctly. They said yes, if she had a family working to get her- she would stay at the orphanage after her 14th birthday until we were able to get there to adopt her.

After a few more phone calls and emails and many emotional ups and downs - knowing it was indeed NOT possible to adopt her at this point- decided to start our homestudy. Lori and I prayed that God would bring her home to us through a miracle. We would finish our dossier and petition the CCAA on her behalf to adopt her. I printed off her pictures and put them in my planner, on the fridge, and Trent put her photo in his pickup: a reminder to pray for her. I even named her! Knowing this would be a huge miracle for us to adopt her, I started praying that God either bring her home to us, find her another Christian family or take care of her in China after she ages out. I literally cried daily for this girl!
One day I checked FB and saw a comment a friend (through the adoption community) made about God moving mountains. I clicked on the link and it brought me to someone's adoption blog. As I was reading I recognized the Chinese name of my girl.
I had to read the blog post 5 different times I was in such shock!
You see, I hardly check my FB. I don't personally know the person I am friends with who had this blog on her comment box and I usually don't click on those comment links.

So! God has answered our prayers for my girl. Another family jumped in with both feet and left for China yesterday to get her. I had a good cry and am still sad that she won't be mine. But I am grateful she will have a family and that makes it all ok. This is God's answer.

The funny thing is-

We were both in China.

At the same time.

Getting our daughters.

In January/February of 2010.
(Why didn't I think of that route?)

God is bigger than two of the biggest government bureaucracies in the world. The way all of this worked out is truly a miracle. God loves this girl more than both our families put together and did what was best for her. Isn't HE awesome?

Please pray for her and her new family for a smooth transition. She will be leaving everything she has ever known to come to a whole new world. A world we think is better for her. But it's a world that won't always be easy for her, at least for awhile.

I can't wait to watch their story unfold...
.... and I hope that one day I can meet my girl.

(Info on Chinese children who age out was taken from Love Without Boundaries)


  1. Gracious I just boo-hoo'd my freshly applied makeup all over my face after reading this. Wow. That was powerful. I can't wait to find out who your daughter is!! Oh, and your Isabella is from the same orphanage as our boys!!! Did you happen to visit the orphanage when you traveled? Did you have a different blog for her journey that I can stalk.....errr read? Any photos of other kiddos or any other info you want to pass along? Pretty please?! :) mommyof4jays@msn.com

  2. Stacy! OMG!! She is beautiful! I'm happy and sad at the same time. I can't wait to see who your next child is. Amazing!

  3. Stacy, that is an amazing testimony to God's perfect timing! I am so excited for you and the growing family! I look forward to following your second journey!

    Cathy Boswell
    (Naomi's Mom)

  4. I was wondering when you would share the "news" that you'd been hinting about! :-) Hugs and prayers to you and your expanding family.

  5. Stacy,

    I just cried and cried when I read this. I am so excited that you guys are adopting again and so happy for "your girl", but so sad too. I will be praying for your next adventure and looking forward to reading about it!

    Michelle Wiger
    (Joshua Guangwei's mom)

  6. Stacy,

    I am so happy to see that this girl does have a family! I just saw her face tonight again on a site that said she had a family and then noticed her birthdate.

    Your daughter is still waiting for you. Hang in there...you will "know" her when you meet her. Everything happens for a reason. We must sometimes journey through things that we don't understand or may hurt us, but then He leads us to the real reason. It will happen when He is ready to lead you to your child.

  7. You wrote your heart out!! Sooo proud of, you!!......and I am now crying!! She is beautiful!!! You prayed her home....

    Love you, Friend!!!

  8. We have a similar story when we were waiting to adopt Elle. I am now FB friends with that family and we watch our "girls" grow. Its been amazing that the other little girl is loving skiing and other activites that her family does - things that we don't do. God guides these sweet kids to their families, your child is waiting for you too!

  9. I am Jennifer Doughty's mom. Thank you so much for the research did about children who age out of the system. It's heartbreaking but makes me appreciate those like you who want to adopt them. What a wonderful testimony! So glad God placed this girl into a home and allowed you to know that. His hand will certainly be on choosing your next child as well.