The Newell Family’s Adoption Story
Mike and I were married in 1994 and always wanted a large family. After 3 years of infertility, we discussed adoption. However, he was genuinely worried about his capacity to love a child that wasn’t our biological child. God had His plan and surprised us with our first pregnancy, a boy, followed by 2 boys and a girl (within 5 ½ years!). A BIG family! So, we didn’t talk about adoption for a long time. However, my desire never waned and I continued to pray and leave the rest up to God. As our youngest was heading to Kindergarten, I brought it up to Mike again. This time, he was willing to discuss it. I was hopeful but reserved. We became passionate with China after reading about the Steven Curtis Chapman family, an inspirational family to us. I found an agency and started the paperwork process. Shortly after, Mike asked to switch agencies to America World Adoption. At first all I could think of was all the additional paperwork, but quickly realized his feelings were strong. We left our old agency on October 15, 2008 and started with AWA on October 18th. By April, all our paperwork was over to China (DTC) and we were logged in (LID). We received a referral shortly thereafter, a little girl with a certain special need. After much prayer and discussion with Doctors we decided we could not adopt her. The needs were more than we could handle with the activity level of a family with 4 healthy children. It was very difficult to let her go, but we trusted God and heard she was adopted by another family soon after! God showed us how deeply we could fall in love with a little girl that we’d never held. It was an answer to prayer. On May 5th we received a referral of Pan Jiaqi, a 5 ½ year old from the Yunnan province. She too has a special need, but after discussions with Doctors, we felt like it would be manageable. We began the process immediately and 5 months later, with our 7 year old daughter, we left to pick her up. It has been amazing! God has been clear and evident through our whole process, answering our questions and calming our anxious hearts. God’s miracle was that her paperwork began on October 16th…right in the middle of our switch to AWA. If we hadn't switched we would not have been matched with Molly. We are very blessed. Pan Jiaqi is her name given at the orphanage; we’ve changed her name to Molly. She was left at the gates of a women’s hospital at approx 9 months of age, with a wound/bumps on her right forehead. She was placed in a foster home in a small out-lying town in the mountain countryside where she has lived ever since. We know she helped care for other small children, hand-washed laundry and helped cook meals. There are 600 orphans under the Kunming Orphanage's care, 500 are in homes in these “foster villages”. It is said that they receive much love & attention, which is evident in her personality.
It’s been almost 6 months and she is a pure joy. She is caring, kind, smart and thoughtful. She has quickly picked up our language and talks faster than I can, although she always could get her needs met, even before she could speak English. She has adapted quickly to the rules in our family and seems so content, unless someone takes her stuff! All of her siblings have been amazing with her. The true gift is that God has provided a sibling love among them that can only come from Him. Also, we see the same in her grandparents and other extended family! She will receive surgery for the bumps on her head on May 13th. We are blessed to be living 20 minutes from the hospital and Neurosurgeon’s group that does the most of her type of surgery in the whole country. They believe the bumps on her skull are caused by incorrect healing of the bone from an early trauma. We know that God has been working on this long before when he brought us to the Atlanta area five years ago. We are so thankful and shocked that our insurance company would be covering the procedure 100%. There have been countless miracles and evidences of God’s hand in bringing Molly to us. Our family has been very blessed by her.