Today, we celebrate an important day in my family's history. 11 years ago we stood in a conference room with 8 others couples in a civil affairs office in Guangzhou, China anxiously awaiting 'the moment'. We were all about to meet our daughters. My wife and I had been waiting and praying to become parents for nearly 15 years, so this moment was undescribable. There were children from two different orphanages meeting their parents that day. We all waited for what seemed like hours (some waited much longer than others), but then they announced our names.
From across the hallway, a nanny was bringing a very familiar little one to us. Luo Wan Er, an orphan, was about to become Maylia Rose. As she placed our daughter into my wife's arms, I remember thinking how much bigger this moment was than I had ever expected. For past 15 years we just wanted a child, but God used that moment to reveal Himself in a new way to me. It was one of those times in your life that you know had been ordained by God. All of the questions and struggles through infertility brought us to this moment in time and we have never looked back. God is so good!
Just 70 days earlier we had received a call from our America World Family Coordinator, Katherine, that we were matched with our daughter. Moments later we received our referral photo and there she was; my daughter who was 6,000 miles away and waiting for us to bring her home. For just over 2 months, we thought about her and prayed for her day and night.
That was 11 years ago. Today, we celebrate with our son and daughter all that God has blessed us with as a family. Adoptive families know this day well, whether you call it "Gotcha Day", "Spirit of Adoption Day" or anything else, we celebrate along with 8 other families who we are blessed to have celebrated that day with in Guangzhou, China.
For the past 10+ years, I have been blessed to be a part of America World Adoption. So much in international adoption has changed over the years--long waits, unexpected bumps in the journey, financial hurdles, politics and more. The one thing that has not changed are the children who are still waiting for a family. If you feel God leading you down that road to adoption, don't let those fears keep you from taking those steps of faith. If God is calling, He will provide. There are so many children who are currently on our Waiting Child list who are waiting for a family. Many of these children can be adopted very quickly.
If you don't feel led to adopt, you are still called to care for orphans. Take an ACT Mission trip to an orphanage. Sponsor a child who may never be adopted. Host an older child from another country in your home for a few weeks. Contribute financially to assist orphans who are waiting. Be A Storyteller for a child who has no voice.
These are great ways to make a difference in the lives of ophans. They are ways of celebrating life. And today, we celebrate! Won't you join us?
Director of Public Relations, America World Adoption