Wednesday, November 10, 2010

adoption x two (guest post from Renee)

November is adoption month
and I wanted to share one of my most precious friends, Renee.
She and her family wanted to adopt a child from China,
then fell in love with 2 children
and are bringing them BOTH home {very soon!}

I have loved watching their adoption journey and can't wait to meet their girls!

Their baby girl Hope was the original inspiration for the
Hope for Orphans necklace!
A portion of every necklace sold helps bring
their children home!

Here's Renee:

I cannot tell you how many YouTube videos I've watched of parents getting their babies handed over to them on "Gotcha Day" of their adoptions. The sweet, slow, sappy songs, the statistics of orphans woven in, the before and after stories of how their child was and how they are now....I CAN'T GET ENOUGH OF THEM! I am undone by adoption. I am in love with the idea, the stories, the heart, the children. I love orphans. I love people who adopt orphans. I love people who give to people who adopt orphans. I have found no greater cause, no greater passion, and no greater subject to give myself to than orphans.

It all started late one night while I was watching TV when I was about 15 years old. The images of children in orphanages was burned into my mind and the seed of adoption was planted deep within my heart. I can remember telling God that night as a teenager that when I got older I would go over and get one of those children in an orphanage and love them forever! And here I am, about 20 years later, and that dream, that promise, is about to become a reality as my husband and my three children and I travel to China soon to get Lily and Hope and make them part of our family forever!

This past summer I had the opportunity to travel to a special needs orphanage on a mission trip. I can remember the feelings I had when I walked into that orphanage on that first day. Feelings of fear and uncertainty. I felt so alone and so far away from my home. My husband and I had just made the decision to switch to the special needs program due to the ridiculously long wait in the "healthy" child program (we had already been waiting over 2 and a half years and our wait was expected to be YEARS longer). But that night in my hotel room in China I got really honest with God. I couldn't do it. It's one thing to check a box on a piece of paper saying that you would like to adopt a baby with a particular need. It's another thing to be in their world and imagine one of them being your child forever. My heart changed so drastically the second day that I can barely express to you why I was so fearful that night. But I remember thinking that I just couldn't do it.

I surrendered myself to God and said HAVE YOUR WAY GOD. I gave Him my sad, confused, scared, selfish heart before I went to bed and asked Him to change it that night. The next day everything changed. I no longer saw the children as a special need..I saw them as perfect, pure, eternal souls that needed love and attention and affection....and a FAMILY! I wanted to take them ALL home! Every last one of them.

To make a long story short, we are adopting two of those beautiful children! (Lily pictured on the left) That's all China would let us have at once! We have already fallen in love with these two girls. I don't even see them as orphans....I see them as MY DAUGHTERS. In fact, I find myself having feelings of guilt like I birthed them and left them in another country for all this time. And my husband and our three children are equally excited as we prepare to GO GET THEM!

I've heard many people say that adoption made them a better person...that they were the blessed ones, more so than their child. Now I get it. I'm so thankful to God that He adopted me. When I laid in that bed in China that first night all I could think of was how God took me and all my baggage, and imperfections and shortcomings and called me His own daughter. My flesh was speaking louder than my spirit that day telling me of all the problems that I might face with a special needs adoption. And even more so with the adoption of an older child. We had to take courses on changing birth orders, attachment issues, basically describing all the problems that adopting an older child could bring. We heard it all. But nothing mattered to us but saying yes to these two children that God had put on our hearts.

I've found that when you humbly give yourself to God in reckless abandon, you know what? He changes you. And He gives you grace and provision that you didn't have before. We are not the least bit scared. We have so much joy and peace when we can tell others around us are scared for us! Ha! My husband and I just look at each other and say ARE WE CRAZY? DO WE KNOW WHAT WE ARE GETTING INTO?! Yes we are crazy! Crazy in love with God and these girls. And willing to spend the rest of our lives loving and serving them!

There's no better place to be than in the will of God. There's no greater peace that when you step out to do something you feel confident He has called you to do. We are ready for this wild ride. We wouldn't have it any other way.

ReneƩ (with family above)
Jesus is Lord of all


p.s. the reason I have mingled in these yummy cupcake pictures
with Renee's post is that she had
a God idea to make "Hope"cakes and "Lily"cakes
to raise money for their adoptions!
(Hope and Lily are the girls names they are adopting!)
They are PROFESSIONAL and just simply
melt-in-your-mouth AMAZING,
and if you live in the Tulsa area
you really HAVE to try them.
They are $15/dozen
(you can donate more if you would like to, of course)
and they are better than any bakery, I PROMISE you!!!

Contact us to order,
you can pick them up at our store- (918) 935-2731


Brittney @ britandtheboys said...

What an amazing story! Thank you for sharing. I will be praying for Renee, and her family-old and new- during this journey of love and blessing!

kjovus - my life with books said...

YAY! Thank you for sharing such a wonderful story. My kids are adopted and I can't help but feel like every adoption is a miracle. I know thats what ours feel like. I wish the best to HOPE and LILY - that they can come home soon.

I am having a national adoption month giveaway on my blog if you want to check it out (and your friend RENEE) it is at

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Wonderful post! It's amazing how much people are willing to give to improve the lives of others.

I know it's not the same, but this month I am resucing a puppy. I am not ready for children but I am still trying to help :)

Shannon said...

Adoption is wonderful. I haven't done it yet but been waiting like you for many many years. We have a LID with China of 7/6/06 and boy this wait has throw us for a loop. I have two biological children - and one of them is a Lily too! They will be so much older than I thought they'd be when their sister joins us. But despite the agony of this wait, I know that I have a daughter in China and I have had her in my heart for 5 years now. I feel so lucky to be on this journey for our third child as adoption is an amazing amazing thing. Good luck with your two girls. How lucky you are!

chinamommy said...

Oh i LOVE this post!!!! I knew when I was 8 that I was going to adopt a baby girl from China (never wanted to give birth). In 2004, I was handed the most amazing little 11 month old girl that I'd been waiting for my whole life! She's 7 now and it has been the most wonderful AMAZING journey with this child I was always meant to mother!! Oh, I feel all weepy with joy!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful story. We are waiting to adopt our princess, and I love reading other adoption experiences!

aoi said...

Great post, thank you so much for sharing. I will be praying for Renee, family and the girls! It really touched my heart and that I will be asking our Lord to change my heart as well...after all, God adopted me and took me that day just the way I was, with imperfections and faults. This post was a God-sent to my heart tonight. Love to you all!

Katy said...

I was very moved by Renee's story! When I started reading and she said that those images of orphans she saw in her youth had stuck with her, my mind went instantly to a picture my husband showed to me several years ago. We have a 4 year old son with Down syndrome and a few years ago, my husband came across this website (or other media) telling of those with special needs in Eastern European orphanages and one in particular that was horribly mistreating to it's children. He showed me the picture of a toddler boy with Down syndrome with one leg tied to his crib and his arms bound to his side (presumably to make him 'easier to care for'). We both cried when we saw how those with special needs are sometimes treated in other countries (not all bad of course)- pushed aside because it's percieved they are too difficult to care for out of ignorance or uncaring...whatever it is, both are sad reasons.

Our hearts broke as we imagined our own special needs son being treated that way and how we couldn't imagine any child not recieving the love and one-on-one attention that we shower our special little boy with. He still caries that picture with him to this day. Hopefully some day we can find a way to support or help good agencies out there that rescue these children or at the very least educate and reform their living conditions substantially.

I definately identify with the idea of leaving it to God. The news of our son's special need was very, very difficult in the beginning, but every moment since those hard early moments has proven that God just send us Grant to teach us or help us - He sent us this special child to BLESS us. He was meant as a gift - pure and simple - and that's exactly what every day is like with him.

Sorry for so long! I was very moved by this story! Thanks for sharing and I hope and pray you get your sweet miracles home soon! You will be so lucky to have each other!

Amy ReneƩ said...

Thank you all for being so sweet about my story! I feel so encouraged and supported. We are expecting Hope's RA very soon and maybe I can post a photo of her as well! I would love to keep up with your adoption stories too.

Rachel said...

This is amazing!!! God bless you all, I just found your stories such an inspiration :) thank you so much

Lori said...

Thank you for posting Renee's story. Loved every word -- I, too, found myself with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. I have three wonderful daughters adopted from China, and each one's adoption was a miracle. I have no doubt but that God had His hand in each one coming to me. They are the joy of my life. I wish Renee and her family all the best as they take this journey.

Anonymous said...

What a great and inspiring story! I would love to order cupcakes to help support the cause. I was curious if there only certain flavors we can order? Does she have a website for her cupcake business?

myenchantedgardens said...

Really? Have you thought about the trauma adoption causes? Done any research? Have you left the line open in case your children want to search for their birthfamilies?