They have nine weeks to get to their daughters before they age out and will never know the love of a family! Both girls HAVE to be legally adopted in China before they turn 14. Just one day after their birthday, and it will be too late.
A lot of money? Yes, absolutely!
I believe that together, as the body of Christ, we can help this family to cross the finish line with BOTH of these precious teenagers. Neither one of them will be left behind, nor will they ever be forsaken.
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Shared by Diane McCaslin.
Mark and I have nine biological children. Now at forty seven years old, we are adding two precious aging out girls from China to our family through adoption.
About two and a half years ago, when our youngest daughter was three months old, our oldest daughter, Victoria, began to share stories of Chinese adoptions with me. She had done a research paper on China and stumbled across several blogs. She came to me and asked if we could adopt. Secretly, I had always had a desire to adopt. But I answered, “Oh Honey, I would love to, BUT Daddy and I have had our children. We’re moving beyond that stage. Maybe that is something you will do when you grow up.”
Yes. That’s what I said, but in my heart, I was thinking that I wished I were younger, and wealthier, and more organized, more of anything that would make me feel like I had something to offer an orphan. The truth is, all I could see were our shortcomings.
Then, in the still quiet corners of my mind, God began to impart His wisdom to me. I had everything an orphan needed. A family. A Mom and Dad. A home. Brothers and sisters. Love. God. A desire to love another. And more importantly, I realized it wasn’t about me. It was about millions of orphans in the world who really need a family. In my comfy stay at home mom living in the wealthiest country in the world view, I had somehow thought I didn’t have enough. How wrong I was.
We have everything to offer an orphan. And I am the child of the Most High God who promises to give us all that we need to follow Him.
So we chose to walk by faith, and follow the One who is able to provide everything we need along the way. “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” Phil 4:19.
We saved as much money as we could, and knowing we would have some more when our taxes came back in February, we stepped out in faith and committed to a precious young girl who would age out of China’s adoption program in September.
I can’t really explain my feelings exactly, but in my mind, I wanted to adopt two children at the same time. Perhaps, I thought having another adopted sister would help in the girl’s adjustments, or perhaps it was the deep conviction of knowing we could do more and wanting to open our lives to two. Or maybe, it was just God sharing His desires with me, but I clearly felt called to bring home two girls at the same time.
We saw Eliza’s photo on a waiting child list and just knew that she was our daughter. We sent in our Letter of Intent and received Pre-Approval about two weeks later, and began to work to bring her home.
We shared our desire with our agency, and began to look for our other daughter. We requested a few files, but we just didn’t have a conviction that those precious kiddos were ours.
As it turned out, our agency refused to support our desire to adopt two children. They are a very conservative agency, and rarely approve families for two. Our social worker did approve us for two children, but our agency refused to honor his decision and downgraded his report to only approve us for one. Their reason was that we had never adopted before, and we were bringing home an older girl.
We were heartbroken.
Even so, we tried to accept that decision and began to think about going back again for another as soon as we got home.
Then, on April 12th, I saw her.
My Facebook friend, Lori Cross, had posted a photo of sweet Melanie (now our Evangeline) on her wall. The moment I saw her and read about her story, I just knew she had to be our daughter.
Evangeline had recently lost her best friend, Emily. Emily been adopted six months before, and her new mother, based on Emily’s pronunciation of her name, had asked her agency to find her daughter’s best friend’s file. They were able to find it, and Emily’s new mother began advocating for our precious Evangeline right away!
We immediately went back to our agency and asked them to reconsider.
Still, the answer was no.
We tried to accept no for an answer. We tried to tell ourselves that perhaps that was God’s answer.
And we waited.
EVERYDAY, I prayed for this precious girl who had lost her best friend. I asked Jesus if it was His will, to bring her home to us.
Then, on May 6th, I finally was able to trust God enough to advocate for this precious one I believed was our daughter. I posted her picture on my wall, and asked if anyone might be her family. It broke my heart to post her picture, but I knew if she was our daughter, God would still bring her home to us, and if she wasn’t, there wasn’t much time to find her a family.
The very next day, on May 7th, I saw a video made of Evangeline by an advocate. I cried and cried. I will never forget the morning I showed her video to my husband.
He had come down from upstairs ready for work and needed a shirt ironed. I took the shirt and said, “Please watch this.” Then I went to iron his shirt. When I came back, he was sitting at the computer crying.
We just knew we had to do whatever it took to bring her home.
We wrote to our agency again. This time we told them we knew this was our daughter. We were going to bring her home somehow. Would they please reconsider, and help us bring her home? If not, would they release Eliza’s file so that another agency could help us bring both of the girls home?
Again their answer was no.
They would release our waiting daughter’s file, but we would leave with a home study that only approved us for one, and they did not believe there was time because of Eliza’s birthday in September.
Again, we were heartbroken.
This time, I picked up the phone, and called every agency I could think of. I told them our story. I asked them if there was any chance. Every agency I called said without a home study, we would not make it to China in time.
Except for one. Lifeline Children’s Services. They made no promises, but at least they were willing to help us.
We left our old agency, and lost Pre-Approval for our Eliza. We had to re-apply to China for Pre-Approval for Eliza when we applied for Pre-Approval for Evangeline.
We lost ALL our fees.
And we waited.
On June 4th, we received Pre-Approval for BOTH our precious girls.
What an awesome God He is!!!!
We began the process all over again, but this time with an empty bank account and only three short months to complete the adoptions. We found an agency willing to do our home study quickly, and by faith, began again.
Our dossier for Eliza is now at the Houston Consulate, and will then go to China. We are waiting for our updated I800a for Evangeline, and when we receive that, we will update our dossier for two.
Before I close, I just wanted to share the girl’s special needs with you.
Our Eliza had two holes in her heart that were repaired when she was little. Although we do not know for sure, we believe her heart to be pretty strong.
Our Evangeline has Spina Bifida and a badly repaired clubbed foot. We expect that she may need her spine de-tethered as she is having issues with incontinence now. We want so desperately to help her with this in whatever way we can. She will also need to have surgery on her foot as it was very poorly repaired. We are hoping Shriners will help her with this. We live very close to Philadelphia and are able to give her the medical care she so desperately needs.
We need to travel by mid September as Eliza ages out on September 18th.
We only have ten weeks before we must travel, and are still over $30,000 short for agency fees and travel expenses. We have applied for grants, but all grants require completed home studies and many require certain percentages be paid before they will consider the applications. Since these adoptions are being so hurried because of our girl’s ages, and because it takes about three months to hear back from the grant agencies regarding approval, our applications will not even be considered until we return from China.
We are trusting God to move the mountains to bring home our girl’s before they lose the opportunity to ever have a forever family.
We are so thankful and humbled by your prayers and support for our family as we seek to be faithful to our precious Lord and love His children.