Wednesday, April 13, 2016

What would you do???

What would you do if you adopted a child and found out that child had a sibling that was left behind?

What if no one else would adopt this sibling because of his special needs?

What if your child asked you constantly when this sibling would come home?

Would you leave him waiting forever for a family?

...or would you run to him?

Hannah's adoption came as a bit of a surprise to us.  We had planned to adopt from China again, but then we found out about a baby in New York City in need of a family because of her special needs, a baby that fit ever so perfectly in our family, our little Elianna.

We were elated to have such a special blessing and felt no hurry to adopt again anytime soon.  However, because we had filled out a form to view waiting children with a Chinese adoption agency it wasn't long after we adopted Elianna that we received an email about a baby girl they felt would fit perfectly in our family!

We hesitated...

...and then we prayed.

We prayed that God would give us an answer about HIS will for our lives and for this child waiting in China...

...and then He answered.  Clear as day I was given this answer.

Christians like to talk about what they have done "for the least of these."  The thing is, God's word doesn't just talk about what we have done for the least of these, it also talks about what we did NOT do for them.

Sure, we had already adopted 4 waiting children, and we had plans to adopt more in the future.  We were doing our part to help the least of these.  We were certainly doing more than most people!

But this child needed a family NOW, not in the future, and she had been presented to us.  There were only 2 choices.  We could choose to adopt her, or we could say no.

We prayed for God to give us a clear answer, and He answered with this verse:  "Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me." (Matthew 25:45)

If we said no to that precious child, a child that had been presented to us completely unexpectedly, we weren't just saying no to her, we were saying no to HIM.

And so began the process to bring home our little Hannah.

What we didn't know when we said yes to Hannah is that she was not alone in the world.  She had been moved from her orphanage as a tiny baby to a new foster care group home for medically fragile babies that was far away from her original orphanage.  There she bonded with another little boy who was from the same province as Hannah.  Before they could even sit on their own they were constantly together.

Whether they were indoors...

or outdoors...

at meal times...

and at play times...

...they were always together.

It was a small facility where the kids were cared for in an environment that resembled more of a family than an orphanage, but there were other children there.  Nonetheless, it was clear these two had a special bond for each other, a bond that was greater than between the other kids.

 It was clear who Hannah's favorite was...

Obviously the feeling was mutual...

They were even known to have the same facial expressions...

They were always near each other.  In pictures of Hannah, there he was in the background...

In pictures of him, there Hannah was in the background...

Though they were young, Hannah understood that he couldn't walk or make much use of his arms, and so she became his little helper.  Whether it was bringing him toys to hold or caring for him when he was sick, she was always there for him.  

Thus it's no surprise that when we brought Hannah home she never stopped talking about "Fei Fei."  When we gave her a picture of him and her together she started carrying it everywhere with her, even sleeping with it (and kissing it before she went to sleep!).  She asked us daily, multiple times each day, when Fei Fei was coming home.

To Hannah, Fei Fei was her brother.  No, they are not biological siblings, but neither are any of the 8 children here in our home.  Those of us in the world of adoption know it is not our genes that make us family, it is our love for one another.  Hannah and Fei Fei loved one another as brother and sister from the time they were babies.  In their life without parents they became family to each other.  When we adopted her we took her away from the strongest attachment she had in the world.  No wonder she longed for us to bring him home.  

In the same week we adopted Hannah Fei Fei was moved to a new facility in an entirely different part of China.  I can only imagine how traumatic it must have been to have Hannah pulled away from him and then be moved to a new place.  Over the 2 years since we have brought Hannah home he has seen many more friends go away to be adopted while he continues to wait.  He is now 5 years old.  He understands he can't use his arms and legs like the other kids, and few people are willing to adopt children who can't use their arms and their legs.

Still, like any other child, Fei Fei longs for a family of his own, and he remembers his "sister" Hannah.  Because of their bond, it was only natural for him to see her family as his own. When first shown a picture of our family he said, "She is AnNa (AnNa was Hannah's name in China).  This is my mommy.  This is my daddy."  There has never been any question in Fei Fei's mind, or in Hannah's mind, that we are his family.

Adopting Hannah was an unplanned journey.  Adopting Jacob (Fei Fei) is another very unexpected part of that unplanned journey.

But how could we leave him behind?

If you would like to be a part of the wonderful journey of reuniting Hannah and Jonah as siblings forever you can make a donation by clicking here.

"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you."  -John 14:18

"Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." - Mark 9:37

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