How we came about adopting 10 children from China, all with special needs, shows what can happen if you are open to listening to God’s calling for your life. It has made me realize that my life is not all about me but rather living out God’s will. And it has made me, and my entire family, a much more Christ-centered person.
My husband, Rob, and I had never even thought about adoption. We already had a houseful of biological kids: two boys and two girls. But when our youngest was five, the Lord started laying it on our hearts in various, but separate messages, to get involved with adoption.
Rob had a coworker who had adopted a child from China, and would come home telling me stories about their experiences. And when I was reading my Bible one day, I saw the passage in James about taking care of the orphans and widows. That jumped off the page at me since we weren’t doing anything along those lines. But I didn’t take it as us necessarily adopting a child; I thought we were supposed to help someone else that was going through the process.
We had never talked about the two of us adopting, but one night, everything changed. A family from our son’s soccer team came over to our house, and they had adopted a child from China. We were fixated on that child and their wonderful experiences. Afterwards, Rob asked what I thought about us adopting, and I said I wouldn’t be against it. We committed to pray and fast about it to see if the Lord wanted us to pursue this. It became so evident to us both that this was His plan for our family. That’s how our journey began in September 2006.
We never felt called to adopt domestically but rather drawn to an international adoption. And 10 months later, we found ourselves in China adopting not one, but two children, both two-years-old and with special needs. Having these kids adapt to a new life in a new country with people that spoke a new language was incredibly difficult, made harder because we were out of practice raising tiny children. But the Lord was gracious and merciful, and totally changed our hearts on what was important in life. Acclimating our new children to our country and family was challenging but incredibly rewarding. We said if the Lord led us to adopt additional children, we would listen and obey, something we are all instructed to do as Christians. A year later, we were again flying to China, this time to adopt two more children.
We kept getting clear messages from the Lord about expanding our family. And we kept obeying. In a seven-year period, we made eight different trips to to China, and adopted ten precious children.
All ten of our adopted children have special needs: a heart condition, cleft palates, radial club hands, damaged lungs, cerebral palsy, seizure disorders, and one was born deaf and another with just one ear. This may seem overwhelming, and honestly at times, it is. But the good and the reward of being blessed by these kids far outweighs the challenges. And through it all, we see God’s grace. Whatever challenges get put in front of us, God gives us the grace to somehow take care of it.
We have learned that the things in life that are truly worth it are hard. And what we are able to do for these kids—raising them in a Christian home—will have eternal consequences.
Our adoption journey has also changed the hearts and the lives of our biological children. They were always so excited to welcome and love on a new brother or sister. And they, too, have learned that life is much more than just taking care of your own personal needs.
Adoption is at the center of God’s heart. After all, every believer has been adopted into God’s family. If you are considering adoption, don’t let the financial fears or the overwhelming responsibility scare you. God is going to find a way for you to provide for your child, and expand your heart to care for that child with His abundant love.