Archive for March, 2017

The miracle of “Quinn!”

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

Quinn on the left, Ru on the right – foster sisters, best buddies, and now, with families only a few minutes apart.

The girls riding on the playground together.

The girls singing karaoke together.

The girls passed out on the way home from a special visit to the zoo.

First of all, for background info, you all know we’re in the middle of adopting two more kiddos, who, for the purposes of the blog I’m calling by parts of their Chinese names for now. Ning is an 8 year old boy we’ve been matched with since the fall (read about that here). Ru is a 6 year old girl we just accepted a match with in January (read about that here). We are super excited to get these kiddos home!

Well, shortly after accepting the match with Ru, we learned something very significant about her. We had seen that most of her pictures were taken with another little girl, but we just assumed they were there on the same day to have their files made ready. That was true, but it turned out this wasn’t just another little girl, this was Ru’s foster sister. They’ve lived together for several years, and we were told they were “best friends,” “inseparable,” and “just like peas in a pod!”

Well, when you adopt, one of the first things you realize is that your new child, while gaining a family, is losing everything they’ve ever known. It’s the hardest day of their lives, frankly. They are losing their home, their country, their language, all their relationships, everything. And while we know as adults that it’s for something better, for permanence, for a family who loves them, it’s still devastating. Watching Noah go through grief for his foster family, something so natural, and yet so hard and so undeserved (no child should have to lose everything they know just to have parents – the world is so broken!) was one of the hardest things I’ve done, and from his perspective it was just excruciating. Knowing that Ru has a foster sister that she loves and has grown up with and that she might have to lose her too was just devastating to me.

We were already matched with Ning and Ru, so by law, we couldn’t even consider bringing “Quinn” home – two is the limit for China. So we decided instead to advocate for her and post her on our Facebook page hoping to get her matched. You see, these kids can end up anywhere. She could have gone to Spain or Sweden. She could have ended up in a non-English speaking home, so that even if we could track her, the girls wouldn’t be able to communicate well if they lost their Chinese. Each agency gets a certain amount of time to advocate for a kiddo, and if they don’t find a family in that time, either the file gets pulled and you don’t know what happens to the child, or the file gets sent to another agency who could be placing anywhere in the world, and we would never know. If we could get her placed with our agency, at least we knew she would be in the US somewhere, and we hoped our agency would help us send a message to the new family and hope they would allow the girls to stay in contact.

So we posted the picture of the girls together, and a plea on Facebook on Feb. 16th:

Okay, guys, calling on you to share and like and pray again so we can get this to as many people as we can. The girl on the right is our new daughter we are in process for, Ru. The girl on the left is her best friend in the world and her foster sister, “Quinn.” Quinn needs a family, and she’s only got a couple weeks left with our agency to find one. She’s been described as sunny, happy, and “an absolute riot!” The team who met her said she kept them laughing all day and was such a sweetie. Could you be her family? Could you help us find them?

We asked for shares and we got them! Almost 12,000 people saw the post and I started getting messages. I ended up talking by phone with 4 different families. The first call was from a family who lived fairly near us. They turned out to be too young to qualify to adopt from China, but that got me thinking. Perhaps I wasn’t being bold enough in my prayers just to ask that Quinn be in the US and that we would know who the family was. Why not just ask for exactly what we hoped for? We started praying for a Christian family in Ohio who would be open to a relationship with our family, and that they would be homeschoolers – something I thought would be so helpful because Quinn has some learning needs which will be compounded by changing languages at her age.

The second family asked me a lot of questions, but had never really considered adoption before. They were curious about the whole process, and trying to get their minds around what it meant, but I got off the phone thinking they were probably not going to proceed – it was too sudden. I thought maybe God was preparing their hearts by opening them up to the idea of adoption for the future. It was too bad, because otherwise, they seemed perfect. I talked to another family who had considered adoption for a long time, but didn’t know if they were ready to move forward with an older child. And I talked to a family who had adopted several children and weren’t really in a position to go back at that time, but were broken-hearted at the thought of the girls losing each other, and so they were praying over it. Unbelievably, every one of these families lived not only in Ohio, but in our hometown of Columbus. None of them sounded ready to commit, but at least they made me hopeful that someone would be.

Fast forward just two days. The mother from the second family sent me a brief message saying that they had decided to put Quinn on hold while they prayed. I was surprised, but so excited. They seemed like a perfect family, but I knew they had never even thought about adoption before. Then, the very next day, I got this message:

Well, Jennifer, we’ve decided to move forward to adopt Quinn! I’ve spoken with [the agency] and she is going to be sending us the First Steps application packet. Ummm… wow. We are very excited, our kids are so excited… and we’re stunned at ourselves. Lol!

We ended up meeting for coffee shortly after that so I could give her the low-down on the process of adoption through China. We learned all kinds of things! One, they are strong Christians, and they actually go to a church here where Nathan and I have so many friends and connections! It turns out that we have many, many mutual friends. Two, they are homeschoolers! Three, she has been bringing her kids to the VBS I work on for years, so she actually already knew who we were. And four, they live only about 10 minutes from our house! Just unbelievable!

She told me that when she saw the picture and read Quinn’s story, she just couldn’t get it out of her mind. At first, she thought God has just told her to pray for the situation, but as the day went on, she wondered if it was something more. She brought it up to her husband and kids the next day and they told her to call me. She said they had never considered adoption before, but had been praying for a specific ministry from God for the family, and they just knew this was what they were being called to. Later, her husband told me, “We saw Quinn’s picture and immediately felt such a peace that this was what was meant to be. It was not that we felt called to adoption in general, but that we had been called to this particular little girl.”

Well, I was sitting there with her at coffee, not wanting to be too pushy, but I was thinking (but not saying aloud!), “I hope they are open to playdates and sleepovers, and maybe we could come and meet them at the airport with Ru when they bring Quinn home” and etc, etc, and telling myself not to freak her out. And then she said, “I can’t believe the girls can have playdates and sleepovers and be at each other’s birthday parties! We would love to have you come to the airport!”

So, so fun. Isn’t God good?! Only He could have orchestrated something like that. I’m just praising Him all day long! We are several months ahead of them in the process, but I am so excited that when we go to get Ru, we can tell her that even though she is leaving Quinn for now, she will see her again in just a few short months. We will get to bring Quinn the book of her new family, and she will know not only that she’s being adopted, but that she will see Ru as soon as she gets here. God is good all the time, and all the time, God is good! I love that He has placed these little girls in families, and also that He has let them keep each other. Praise God!