senior Economics class, I planned to adopt from China. That class marked the first time I had ever
heard about the Chinese preference for boy children and what families can be
driven to do because of cultural and governmental pressures. My high school best friend good naturedly
teased me all year about wanting to “Save the Chinese babies”!
time after that. I was married young and
had a baby by the time I was 25, but that marriage was not conducive to
adoption. For one thing, we didn’t have
any money – I’m talking dirt poor. For
another, my husband wasn’t drawn to adoption the way I was. The marriage ended for reasons that had
nothing to do with adoption, after eight years together.
with the idea of having biological children and would, in fact, rather
adopt. After some discussion we agreed
that we wanted to have one bio child together and then adopt. You know what
they say: Unfortunately biology didn’t cooperate with us
for a couple of years, and we decided to pursue adoption in the meantime. We investigated all our options and although
China was our first choice, we were not eligible to adopt from China because we
already had a child in the home. We
preferred to do international adoption for our own personal reasons, so we
chose a program in Russia as our second choice, completed and mailed a slew of
paperwork, and sat back to wait on our home study appointment. And then I got pregnant.
And I really, really dislike
being a part of it because it’s an insult to those who are enduring infertility
and I can say that because I did endure infertility. Nobody wants to hear that if you just relax,
you’ll get pregnant. Or if you adopt,
you’ll get pregnant. Seriously.)
baby. Sensory challenges made it hard
for her to sleep and eat, and it wasn’t until she was around two years old that
we came up for air and started to consider our options for another baby. While we both wanted to adopt, it seemed less
expensive to “make” another baby on our own.
So that’s what we tried to do.
but two heartbreaking and painful miscarriages within a few months. One Sunday in November 2003, we saw a notice
in our church bulletin about an adoption information meeting being held by the
same agency we were planning to use the first time around, and we decided to
go. There were quite a few families in
our church who had adopted children around that time so we had plenty of
support and first-hand experiences available.
was an adoptive parent herself. We asked
her about adopting from China and if it was true that we weren’t eligible. I’m not kidding when I tell you I got chill
bumps when she told me the adoption laws in China had recently changed and we
could absolutely adopt from there. We
went home with an adoption packet that night and started the paperwork.
questionnaires only slightly less invasive than a colonscopy, our dossier went
to China in July 2004. I discovered a
lovely online community of people who either had or were in the process of
adopting from China and they answered my questions and “held my hand” during
the waiting. Meanwhile my husband and I set
up the nursery, had a baby shower, and chose a name: Quinn (meaning “intelligent”) Eliana (meaning
“The Lord answers”).
changed forever. After one of the
shortest wait times in the history of China adoption, we had been matched. Our baby was waiting for us in the Qiannan
orphanage in Guizhou province. (People asked
us if we named her after the orphanage and the answer is no, but I see it as
just one more piece of evidence that God’s hand is all over this adoption.)
the side, like she’s totally uninterested in the camera. She looked nothing like I expected, but once
I saw her I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her. It grieved me to think that she was living in
an orphanage all those weeks between referral and travel, and she had no idea
she had a family on the other side of the world who was longing to me
et her and
bring her home.
in my arms in a meeting room in Guiyang.
She is growing and changing fast, and some days it’s hard to see that
little baby in her maturing face. I
won’t lie to you and say it’s always been rainbows and unicorns, but it’s not
always like that with any child, no matter how they came into your family. But when I look at Quinn I see a living,
breathing reminder of how God’s timing is so much better than our own. We adopted when God saw fit for it to happen,
and God worked it out so that our family
would be matched with this baby. She fits into our family like she belongs
here, which she absolutely does. In many
ways she is more like me than either of her sisters.
they ever think about her. I wish that I
could tell them that she’s healthy and happy.
I’d like them to know that she’s a gifted athlete and very intelligent,
because she probably inherited those talents from them. One thing that I liked about adopting from
China is that there was no chance of contact with the birth family and
ironically I now wish I knew something, anything,
that I could tell her about them.
school best friend and emailed her to let her know that her words to me all
those years ago were prophetic. Because
in God’s plan, nothing is wasted and everything can be used for His glory. Even a high school Economics lesson.