Adoption is something we had considered for many years. We had been a foster family for children when we were 1st married, and a few years later we kept newborns until they were adopted. With each child we had in our home my husband and I knew adoption was a definite possibility.
My husband was a Pastor and completed his Doctorate degree, we had 3 children and life set in fast and furious. After pastoring the same church for 12 years, we moved to a new town and church. Our 2 daughters were in college, and our son was beginning High School. That's when we began to hear Gods whispers....
I told my husband, " I'm not ready to quit being a Mom! Let's start checking into the adoption we have been talking about for the last 25 years."
Surely we could take one little child with us anywhere in the world that we might want to go.
We began looking into the process. We found out that because we were 47 and 50 years old, we could not get the twins I was hoping for, and we would be matched with one 'waiting child'. We knew we wanted an older child, and we began praying for just the perfect one He had for us. Our family and friends did not all approve of our decisions, because of our age. But we continued the pursuit feeling confident that this was God's plan for our family. I secretly continued to pray for 2!
We completed all the paperwork and waited and prayed. Finally the day came! We received a phone call asking if we would consider adopting a sibling group! A 5 and 7 year old brother and sister from Taiwan!! We were completely stunned and overjoyed!
We were just a few weeks away from our oldest daughters wedding when we found out we would be traveling to Taiwan on Oct 12. We scrambled to finish wedding plans and prepare for our new son and daughter.
On Oct 9 our story took a very tragic turn.
It was Friday, and my husband had gone to run one last errand in the next town, before we were to leave on Monday.
Our suitcases were packed and sitting by the door ready to leave. After he had not returned for several hours, I received a phone call that would forever change our lives. My husband had been killed in a car accident when a man fell asleep at the wheel of his vehicle, and hit my husband head-on.
My first thoughts were for our children in Taiwan. Because of the legal adoption process in Taiwan, our adoption was 100% complete. My husband and I were the legal parents of our son and daughter, although we had yet to meet in person.
We again began to pray for God to show us His plan. It became very clear: our children were waiting in Taiwan. They had lost their first parents, and now their new father. But they still had me and their new siblings who loved and wanted them to join us just as soon as possible. In fact, the Chinese government told me to come and get them on December 25!! Our family agreed that this was Gods Christmas gift!
So my 15 year-old son and I flew half way around the world; and on Christmas afternoon, we held our 2 new children in our arms for the first time! We arrived back home on January 1st.
They did not speak any English and we did not speak any Mandarin Chinese.
I started Mason in 1st grade within 2 weeks of getting home. I also enrolled Molly in a Mother's Day out program. I knew 3 people who spoke Mandarin Chinese, and I called them often during those first few weeks! By mid-March, they were speaking completely in English; it is incredible how quickly children learn when immersed in a new environment. We were very much still grieving the loss of my husband, and they grieved the loss of everything they had known. But, somehow it all worked together for the good! We bonded as a family, in spite of all the loss in our lives. Every day brings new adventures, laughter and much joy!
Learn more about adopting from Taiwan
This article was contributed by Gladney Center for Adoption:
Founded over 130 years ago, The Gladney Center for Adoption is a premier, Hague accredited, adoption agency with international and domestic adoption programs. With adoption programs in Asia Gladney is able to help parents adopt children of all ages. In each region that we work, we are excited to offer International Waiting Child Programs to help children who may be older or have a medical need find a loving family and a permanent home. Gladney is able to work with families residing in all 50 U.S. states and provides individualized casework services to each family throughout the adoption process.