Boogers. Sword fights. Mud, trains, and cars. Our lives weren't always so filled with so much fun and so many extremely loud days. When we started the adoption process with America World in 2012, we were open to either a boy or a girl with mild medical needs. Little did we know what God had in store for us! Prayerfully, we looked at different files of some precious children. My husband never had peace though, so we returned those kid's files. It was tough and I shed many tears. I tried hard not to be mad at God, and at my husband too. I learned to trust more in David's leadership, and I had to stay in the Word often to keep my trust in God. It was a trying time of faith for me, but oh how God is faithful! After this went on for awhile, I saw a picture of a little boy with his tongue barely sticking out on the Waiting Children page. I was drawn to him, and I asked my husband what he thought. His file said he had a congenital heart defect, and it seemed to be minor. My husband was interested, and so we requested more info.
Per the doctor's request, we asked for an update on his heart, and we got some shocking news. His heart was in bad shape. It was scary to me and I assumed that my husband wouldn't want to proceed because he was pretty strict with his medical need list. I also was getting used to him not having peace. David said he was getting the green light from God though, and that he knew Everett was our son. Humbled, I cried happy tears. God did indeed have a plan and He had not forgotten me, my family, or our future son! God was about to give David and I a whole lot more laughter and joy to our lives by giving us Everett.
When we started the process, we already had two children at home, a boy and a girl. When we brought Everett home, our son Bentley, who is a three years older than Everett, had a hard time adjusting from being the baby to being the middle child. I honestly think his adjustment would have been harder if I would have given birth again. Since Everett was already 19 months old, he could at least play some, so he was fun to interact with although Bentley was hurting inside. That first week though God did provide David and I extra alone time with Bentley and it helped. Our oldest cried a lot though those first few weeks while Everett soaked up attention. Everett really didn't have a hard adjustment period at all. He responded very well to the love. We knew though that Bentley was adjusting to the new baby. So, we had friends praying. This was yet another opportunity for God to show His faithfulness, and did He ever! Now, Bentley will pray almost every night and thank God for his little brother. Shortly after Everett was home he asked if they could share a room. He says he is thankful for someone to tackle. My boys are the sweetest thing to watch play together. They wrestle, play with legos, pillow fight, and they follow each other around. It's obvious they have a strong bond. My daughter is a little mommy to these boys, and likes to boss them around and make sure their shoes are tied correctly. She also likes to read them books and have tickle fights with them. These three kids make our home lively.
I never knew I would be the mom of three wonderful blessings. My daughter is beautiful on the inside and out, and my boys are rowdy, fun, and loud. There is never a dull moment around here. Everett keeps things interesting. We recently gave Everett's testimony at our church, and he came up on stage with my husband and me. Everett put his hand in the back of his pants and kept pretending to throw something out. This was in front of our entire church! I whispered to him to stop, but of course he didn't. I asked him after we got off stage what he was doing and he said he was pulling rubber duckies out of there! Who knew? Everett is amazing. He's loud, stubborn, obsessed with cars, and is everything a little boy should be. Oh, and as for his heart, he had life-saving heart surgery this summer. Six weeks in the hospital, he got the exceptional medical care he needed at John Hopkins. He is now doing fantastic and we are so grateful God brought this little boy all the way from China to us, so we could be his mom and dad. He is one of our biggest blessings. Boogers and tickle fights. Cars and mud. Sword fights and trains. We wouldn't want it any other way.
by Charity Hodges
America World adoptive mother
If you are considering adopting a boy from China, visit our Waiting Children pages to see children who are currently waiting for a family like Everett was. APPLY HERE or fill out a free PRE-APPLICATION.