I have had two special families that I am friends with that have recently walked through adoptions and their stories are the ones that I am speaking of above. The first you can read of here. We'll call them the "Bonks". The Mama is a sweet friend of mine who is everything she presents herself to be in the blog: a thoughtful person who is committed to her faith while being a complete goofball who can win a contest of stuffing powdered donuts in her mouth. And she absolutely adores and gives her life to her family. She unfortunately moved away from me almost 2 years ago but has remained that go to friend when I just need to know someone has my back in prayer. Anyway, back to the original post... This family has been through the ringer when it comes to domestic adoptions. As a friend knowing their God given desire to provide a home for children who need one, it has been painful to see the devastations their hearts have had to face. But in the last week they have been able to finalize the second of the adoptions for two kids they have fought relentlessly for. They raised these two for over a year, from when they were both days old, knowing the whole time that the birth families could be given the kids back at any time. It seemed impossible at times for both kids' situations but two miracles happened and they are now in a forever family. These kids weren't wanted and weren't even taken care of before they were born by their birth families but they will never know that. Instead, they have only known life with a family of their two parents and their big brother who completely adore and want them. They both have incredible stories of defying predictions made about them because they have parents who love them and provide them with the relationship they need. And they are a hoot to keep up with now on the blog.
The second family's story can be read about here. These friends are in China as I write this with their new little girl! I met this family, the Longleys, about two years ago and quickly learned about the desire God had put in their hearts to provide a home for a little girl from China. They have waited for a long time for a daughter and their long standing commitment and sacrifices to bring her home is incredible. Several months ago they were presented with Yu Niu Jiao. We now know her as Katie Joy. Katie too was a child that wasn't given a chance in life. She has lived in an orphanage in China since birth and she had her two year birthday this week. The Longleys are over their right now to meet her, complete the adoption and bring her home to a family and church family that is excited to welcome her. In one day she went from being one of many kids that stayed in a crib all day to being a part of a family that has dreamed of her. The stories from their time over their have been unreal. She has not hit most developmental milestones, such as sitting or walking, due to her living conditions. I have a two, almost three, year old. Two year olds should be able to run, jump, laugh, respond to people. It is heart breaking that those are the conditions for countless orphans across the world. She doesn't know how to eat solid foods and had spent so much time on her back that milk had caused painful congestion in her little body. She didn't know how to be loved. But her story has already changed! After just a few days she is army crawling to chase a ball. She is laughing. She is responding to medication to heal her little body. She is being adored by her daddy, mommy and big brother.
Those are amazing stories in themselves. But what is really cool is that the stories get even better. Both families have been able to be an example of unconditional love to people who don't see that. The Bonks did a domestic adoption through a foster to adopt program. They interacted with countless people in the social services realm. People in social services don't typically meet families like the Bonks, rather they see the worst of the worst when it comes to families. Few understood the heart of the Bonks, that they didn't have alterior motives or wouldn't quit when it got hard. They showed goodness and compassion to birth parents. The Bonks were treated ugly by some, but remained kind. They showed a broken system that a family could love kids even though their birth families had chosen not to.
The Longleys have done an international adoption in a country that refuses God. In their few days there, the Longleys have been able to demonstrate unconditional love, a concept that is completely foreign to these people because that is something that is only of God. Because of Katie's needs, the people in China assisting with adoption advised the Longleys to wait until Katie's medical evaluation to finalize the adoption so that they could have the freedom to walk away. That was not even a consideration for the Longleys though, she was their daughter already in their hearts. Their commitment to be Katie's family regardless of her needs was so moving to the workers that it has opened the doors for them to question what was different about the Longleys. As Gene put it, God has more plans for their trip to China than just picking up Katie.
These three kids have been given a second chance at life because loving, sacrificial parents chose them and had a steadfast commitment to bring them into their family. And through that God has been glorified. Sounds pretty incredible doesn't it?
For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.
It is. We all have been given a second chance. We are all wanted. We all have the chance for the unacceptable love that is forever. By a loving and sacrificial Father who has chosen us and has a steadfast commitment to bring us into his family. Now that is an amazing story.