Wednesday, May 26, 2010

God's Plan



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

I’ve sat down to write this letter too many times, but this time I will finish it! Andy and I have a daughter. Yes, a daughter! For those who have followed our 3 year battle to adopt a little girl might be slightly surprised to learn she is from China!

A brief synopsis for those who care! After our 2nd son was born in summer of 2005, Andrew and I decided we wanted to adopt our next child. Blessed with two strapping young lads, we both were drawn to China and thought a little girl would be perfect. We spent 2 years researching adoption, and then began the paper chase! In October of 2007, we were officially in line as a family waiting for a little girl under the age of 2 in China. We were told the wait would be 8-12 months. By the summer of 2008, the wait had grown to almost 3 years. It would 2010 before we would be matched with a child. So we decided to look at other programs.

We stumbled across a new program offered by our agency in Burundi, Africa. We thought about it and decide to go for it! We were now “concurrently adopting,” still waiting in for a daughter from China, but also adopting from Burundi, Africa—a program slated to move much faster. On September 30 we received a match for a sweet 2 year old from Burundi, Africa who was in need of a home. We named her Zoe, and began preparing for her arrival! We were assured Zoe would be home with us by Christmas of 2009. However, in this ever changing world of adoption, things progressed much slower and came to a grinding halt in January of 2010.

With broken hearts, we decided to withdraw our application for our sweet Zoe in Burundi, Africa. The wait for a baby girl from China had grown to 4.5 years from our log in date of October 2007. We were not expected to get matched to our daughter in China until late 2012 or even Spring 2013. We had some decisions to make—not only had we invested 3 years in this process (and thousands of dollars), but our hearts had been broken, and we felt so lost.

We talked about Ethiopia, and felt it was a reliable program, but decided that raising $15K to start all over was not an option for us. So, we would wait for the Chinese government to match us with a little girl from China even though it probably wouldn’t happen until 2012.

Remember, the name of this letter is “God’s Plan”—not “Our Plan”! On April 21 of this year, Love Without Boundaries (a non profit organization working to find homes for Chinese orphans) posted a short story on a child named “Maire.” Maire turned 2 in December and was currently in need of a family. Because so many families waiting for children from China request a child under 2, Maire was going to be hard to place. She was put on a list of “Waiting Children”. We were not familiar with this list, nor ever considered reviewing those children. So God took control. Through a friend of a friend of a friend (yes 3x removed) this short story about Maire found its way into my “in box”. We immediately fell in love and within 24 hours had contacted our agency asking “How can WE adopt Maire?”

A few phone calls and emails later, and we formally requested this sweet child. It was April 28, 2010. The process follows: Our paperwork in China dated October 2007 was pulled out of the long line of families waiting. It was then put in another pile of families willing to consider a “waiting child”-a much shorter line! Our paperwork was reviewed, translated, and then paired with Maire’s paperwork. Then, someone in the government gives their official “ok” if we are a good match. This process takes 4-6 weeks. However, for us it took 10 days. 10 days after requesting Maire, we had the Chinese government’s approval to adopt her! We were shocked, but mostly thankful. We told our families and showed them the newest member! It was the Sunday after Mother’s day. It was perfect.

So here we are on May 26, making this announcement! We have a daughter, and God made her for us. What’s next? We impatiently wait for the formal letter of approval to arrive (Our agency has received it from the Chinese government and is Fedexing it to us today). We’ll sign it and return it to our agency, who then sends it overseas. After the letter is received in China, the government grants us permission to travel to China to bring her home. We’ll set up an embassy appointment in Guangzhou, confirm the dates with our overseas adoption guide, Richard, and then hop on a plane for a very long journey to Loudi, Hunan Province in China. We anticipate travel in late July, but once again, this is God’s plan…not ours!

To tell you how amazed we are at the happenings of the last month would be redundant. I can tell you that, despite my amazement, I am not surprised. We have faith that moves mountains, and that is exactly what God is doing for us…moving mountains. He brought us so far, through ups and downs we never expected or imagined, and through it all, we continued to praise and trust in Him. And this is why. He knew when He placed the desire to adopt on our hearts all those years ago, that on December 23, 2007, a little girl would be born in Loudi, China…and she would be ours.

We write you for two reasons. Of course, we are thrilled at this announcement and want to shout to the world, but we are also asking for your help. We are short of our final financial goal. You may not realize how expensive adoption can be, but the paperwork and people involved are endless and that translates to money. Since applying in 2007, we have been paying toward our China adoption. We’ve had a few fundraisers that have been tremendous in this effort. We’ve also exhausted much of our savings.

It is difficult to think about “The price of a child.” We, of course, feel she is priceless. However, we also have to stop and think, what is the cost NOT to adopt? I can’t imagine God intended for children to be parentless. James 1:27 states “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” When children are raised without parents, without families, without self worth, they become polluted. We cannot bring every orphaned child into our home, but we can bring home Maire. Please help us do that.

Please know that any amount you donate will be tax deductable when made out to Americans Adopting Orphans. You may send your contributions to us and we will forward them, or you may send them directly to the agency. Their address is listed in the margin. Please make sure you put our name (Maire Wells OR Angie/Andy Wells) in the memo.

We cannot thank you enough for your donation, prayers, and well wishes. We know that God’s plan is better than any plan we could ever imagine!
We are proud to introduce you to Maire Wells.

2 comments:

Shelli said...

Mazal tov!

I will put a link to you on my blog: www.hydrangeasarepretty.wordpress.com, and also send your info along to my pals over at "salsa in china" :)

Be sure to read up on RAD (reactive attachment disorder), and be prepared for it to take more than love.

But still! Squee! Mazal Tov, this is great news indeed.

janell said...

Just wanted to wish you the best of luck with your adoption- we used AAO almost seven years ago- they are an amazing agency- we are so thankful for their hard work and effort- we hit alot of roadblocks but they stuck with us and now we have an amazing daughter. Hope all goes well.