It’s really difficult to say exactly where our adoption story begins. We are parents of four children and grandparents of one. Our family seemed completely complete 13 years ago when we adopted our precious daughter as a newborn through an open adoption and circumstances in our lives that were totally unexpected. Having four beautiful children eight-years-old and under seemed like a perfectly full and very blessed family. Expanding our family again wasn’t on our radar at all.
As the years passed, we had a growing interest in SE Asia. Several families intrigued us with their work there. It was as if we were hearing “China” every direction we turned. God used this period of time to impress on my husband’s heart that we were supposed to reach out to the people of China, but we had no idea what that was to look like. My husband began piddling with learning Mandarin and looking for opportunities within his company to work in China. All doors were closed, and so we prayed, and again years passed.
I didn’t really understand why my hubby had such a passion for the people of China. I was supportive of this, but didn’t feel the same passion he did. Then one Sunday at church, acquaintances of ours announced there was going to be a meeting for those who felt led to ministry in SE Asia. The short of that story is my husband sent me (instead of himself) on a trip to SE Asia, and my world was completely rocked. One visit to Asia soon turned into three trips for me and two for my husband. Our last adventure to Asia was with an organization our church has partnered with to serve orphans. Our 17-year old son and our 12-year old daughter were a part of our team. We wanted to go help relieve the heavy loads of the nannies and show the love of the Savior to sweet children and those who cared for them.
Experiencing life in the orphanage challenged my faith. There were so many babies there without mommies and daddies-so many older children with needs I see all the time in America. These children I was meeting needed moms and dads to care for and love them. I know God tells us to take care of orphans in their afflictions, but how could one week really make a difference? My mind was in turmoil as I began to weep and pray over the things I was witnessing. These were beautiful children with many different medical needs, and some without medical needs, all craving our attention-all with one thing in common. They all had no parents to hold them, kiss their boo-boos, play with them or give them that special attention that only a parent can give.
After a few days in the orphanage, my 17-year old son began to ask us if we could adopt a little girl who seemed smitten with him and my 12-year old daughter. We kind of laughed about the idea and assured him we couldn’t just take a kid home from China with us. Something of such magnitude involved a lot of prayer first and a lot of paperwork and mostly, a lot of money that we didn’t have. Not to mention, our family was completely complete, and we even had a new grandson a week before we boarded the plane for China!
Well, we left that orphanage leaving behind pieces of our hearts. We returned to our home, shared our stories, showed our slides to our church family, and asked people to pray and seek the Lord concerning adoption. We advocated for some of the children as the orphanage leaders had requested. As we also prayed for the children we met, there were some that I could not get off my mind. The 8-year old little girl who seemed to want to be little sister to my own children, and a 10-year old little boy who wanted to dance with me. My husband and I decided if we could find these children and adopt them, we would.
Fast forward-- now our dossier is complete, visas are in process, and these two beautiful children know they have a mom and dad coming to get them, and we can hardly wait to see them again. Oh, the things I long to share with them about all our God has done. Our story continues to unfold, and for now we know our China is coming to us.
by Linda Vaden