Deep thoughts tonight as I remember this girl...and now, seven years later, see the beautiful, sweet, loving, amazing person she is. My daughter. It's hard to believe that is her in that crib. I see God's hand on her life and all He is doing in her, and it is not because of me, it is Him. She is thirsty for His word. She is an incredible gift. She is advancing God's kingdom already. She has dreams and passions. For the Lord. For the orphan. For the unsaved, and for the lost. So much wisdom and deep understanding at such a young age. I have seen this all come up out of her little soul so early on, I thought it was a phase years back, but her passions and her purpose just grow stronger. She is a radiant light for Jesus. She is mission minded. She has so much love to give, and if you just spend one day out with her...she gives that love to those around her in the most admirable ways. It is a gift, and something I do not possess, but I learn so much from her, and admire the person she is. I love her so much. She has dreams and aspirations, and none of them are for her gain, but for God and those she wants to bless. Incredible. I am not here to brag, just here to describe what can be uncovered in the life of an orphan turned daughter. The love she has to give, she shares freely with everyone. I can't wait to see all the Lord will make of her life, as she lives for Him. I am so excited to see it all unfold.
Today I saw something that brings me profound sadness. I visited a website of an adoption agency and clicked on a video of a little girl who is currently available for adoption in China. What I saw brought back memories of my first few days with my sweet Lilyann, pictured above. You see, neglect and institutionalization changes a child. It changes the brain. Connections are not made when they need to be. When nurturing doesn't come as it should, a baby goes through the normal cries from it's crib, no one shows up to help, and the baby actually goes through a rage cycle and then literally gives up when time and time again their cries bring nobody to their side...to feed them..to hold them...to cherish them. Neglect and attachment disorders set in. The metal cribs in the picture are the typical ones you see in many Chinese orphanages. They are bare. There are no toys. There is nothing soft to cuddle up to. The children begin visually zoning in on their hands as they move their fingers around in an attempt to find some sort of stimulation. It becomes their only means to stimulate, and occupy themselves in an environment of neglect. Then when someone comes along, and actually holds them, and attempts to play with them, there is no smile, and their hands go back up in front of their face...as they don't understand what someone giving them attention even means and their brain doesn't process it as it should. I saw this with my daughter those first weeks in China. I gulped down my fears each day as I heard the thoughts in my head saying "she may never snap out of this, then what??" Uncertainty. Unknowns. Yet, I knew in my heart the Lord brought us together. We brought her home. She still did not register our facial expressions at 16 months of age. Flat affect, hands in front of her eyes, tuned out to the world. Little by little, as we nurtured her, fed her, cared for her and played with her, she began to smile. Connections were being made in her brain. Healing was taking place. Caring for the orphan has been the most incredible experience ever.
Back to what I saw today. The little girl is close to four years old, I believe. She is more than precious, but appears fragile in every way. She is sad. It appears to be an extreme case of neglect. Hands trying to move in front of her face when others want to talk to her. Her own little world seems more comfortable to her, yet she tries to comply with what is asked of her. I so wanted to do anything I could to reach into that video, scoop up that little girl and hold her, love her, care for her, with the nurturing, affection, and attention she so desperately needs. She seems so lost and alone, and so sad. I hope and pray a mommy and daddy come for her soon. Please join me in praying for this little one who is on my heart tonight, and for the millions of other orphans out there who also need a mommy and daddy to come for them.
We are a christian adoptive family! God has pieced together our family in a way that is more beautiful than anything I could have imagined! We have adopted internationally, as well as through the US foster care system, but most importantly we have all been adopted by God! Ephesians 1:5 says "God decided in advance to adopt us into his own family by bringing us to himself through Jesus Christ".
We live on a small hobby farm, and homeschool our six children. Life is full!
My first miracle born in 2001. After giving birth to her, I realized that being a mother was the best job out there, and children are a miracle and precious gift from God. She is a true country girl at heart. Horses are her passion. She is an amazing big sister to her 5 little siblings!
Adopted from China in 2007.
Her sweet spirit fills our home with beauty and love. She is our little dancer, and introduced me to the world of recitals, dance practices, tutu's and ballet! Most of all, her love for Jesus shines bright, and even at her young age, she has a passion for orphan care and missions. These are subjects she talks and prays about on a daily basis! Can't wait to see where the Lord takes this girl!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
God's surprises never cease to amaze me. He is Laney's full sibling who came to live with us in Nov. 2011. Our son since the day he arrived. This is the sweetest boy you will ever meet.
Adopted from U.S. foster care November 2011.
Words cannot describe the joy this precious pumpkin brings to our lives! Another sweet miracle fromt the Lord. She was our first foster baby, arriving at the age of 7 weeks. We were blessed to adopt her in November of 2011. She refers to herself as a princess, and is also a lover of kittens, books, and dancing. I guess many more dance practices and recitals are in our future, lol!
Adopted from U.S. foster care, July 2013.
She was our second foster child who came home from the hospital at one week old. She livens up our days with her endless energy and strong will! It has been such a joy to see her and Austin have the chance to be together as brother and sister, and they definately have a bond that makes my heart smile!
Adopted from U.S. foster care July 2013. What a surprise it was to see that the little boy I pictured in my mind, who only the Lord would know, was actually in need of a forever family! Another miraculous gift from the Lord. He arrived at 4 mos. of age in Oct. 2011. Cute as can be with a contagious laugh and smile.