I am having fun getting reacquainted with some folks from high school on facebook(Hi old friends! ;) and I thought I might just give a little adoption recap for them. If you know our story then this will be boring...but if you want to know how and why we chose to add to our family through adoption, then read on.
The decision or calling to adopt began a long time ago for me. I was just a "tween" when I read the books, "Little Women", "Little Men" and "Jo's Boys". Those stories tell about one sister who opened a home and school for orphans. The dream to adopt was planted in my heart then. When I was 19 I was a camp counselor in north Georgia for a summer and met a group of young Filipino girls and fell in love. It was that summer that I felt a call to Asian missions and a renewed call to adopt Asian children. When I was 21 David and I got married. I felt the call to missions work and while he was open to that call, He did not feel that we should go overseas at that time. I settled into married life and we began to have children. During all this time I would ask David about adoption. He did not feel led to adopt a child. Years past, still bearing children and still occasionally asking if he felt called to adopt yet. He would tell me that he did not. By this time it was not an area of contention for us, I was just trying to figure out why God has given me this passion that remained after all this time. I wrestled with God about it. I tried to get away from it. I asked God to take the desire away, but everywhere I turned adoption was before me. So I waited and wondered not really believing it would ever happen. It was after 20 years of marriage and many years to grow together that God laid it on David's heart to pursue my dream of adoption. It was a miraculous thing. That was in 2002. At the time our 3 bio children were 15, 12 and 6 years old. In October 2003 we received this photo: This was the first photo we ever saw of "Fu Hui Bing"-Davie Anne Bing
Our hearts were ready and soon our bags were packed. Early in the wee hours of the morning after Davie was placed in our arms I told David that "we were done". I was so thankful for Davie Anne, but the adoption was hard. Placing your dreams in the hands of a foreign government(I know they were really in God's hands, but the process makes you feel completely vulnerable)so I just felt like I could not go through it again. I told him our family was complete and I got no arguments. Later that same day we went to visit the orphanage where Davie had spent the first 9 months of her life. It was a life changing visit for me. There were little Chinese babies EVERYWHERE. I stood looking at all those babies with tears rolling down my cheeks, looking at David I said, "I could do it again." This time I received an argument :) It was just overwhelming to both of us. The idea of going through adoption again was a burden I took on that day and then had to lay down in order to enjoy our little Davie Anne. I knew I was willing to adopt again, but it had to come from David. About a year after we brought Davie Anne home he came to me and told me that we needed to adopt from China again. About 2 years later we received this photo:This was our first glimpse of "Fu Lin Qi"-Eliana Joy Lin. I am so glad that God called us to grow our family by adding these two little girls. It was not easy, but it has been life changing for our family in so many ways. I know now that the journey is so far from over. At our age there are days when it feels impossible. In fact, there are days when it is impossible. Balancing the raising of older children with the younger ones is almost always a daunting task. David and I have days when we feel every bit our ages, but then there are days, like Sunday, when we take these two little girls on bike rides where our calling and our feelings match and we know without a doubt that we are right where God intended us to be. Please know that I do not tell this story to get any kudos from anyone. Seriously. I don't think what we have done is any big thing. I think it would be great if it were completely common to adopt :) I just share because I know that folks don't understand why we chose to do this, especially at this time in our lives, so I offer an explanation hoping to give testimony of God's call and to encourage people to hold onto whatever passion God has given them for His kingdom. I so want to be one of those folks who show up at Heaven's gate with tattered clothes, scraped knees and just generally all worn out saying, "Wow! what a ride!" and I won't get to do that by playing it safe in life. One has to take risks in order to see God work in and through us. Why not share some of your story of faith in the comments...I'd love to hear all about it. Much love, JS
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the fact that there are still TONS of orphans that need homes. China, Africa, and Eastern Europe are just a few of the places that still have children available for adoption. Should you feel led to investigate the possibilities I can highly recommend our agency. Here is their website:www.awaa.org