Our China families know these stairs well and the families in this photo begin arriving home today from China with their children! We rejoice with them all as they spend their first Christmas together. Congratulations to all!
We wanted to share some great news with you direct from our China staff today--these 3 beautiful children have forever families! Today, we received Letters of Approval for three America World families who will begin planning their travel to bring their children home. Congratulations to everyone!
We continue to celebrate the Season of Hope and what a better way to do so than to celebrate these 4 beautiful children who now have forever families! Praise God for creating something so beautiful when hope seemed so far away for these little ones!
Congratulations to all of these families! Please pray for them as they prepare for their travel plans to bring their children home soon.
"She took right to both of us, and she's just such a joy. We are so thankful that God chose us
to be her forever parents. Our boys absolutely adore her, as well. Everything has honestly gone
so much better than we had anticipated or prepared ourselves for, and we're just continually
grateful for all of the prayers that were said--as this is a true testament to that."
America World welcomes home these 12 families who recently returned home from China with their beautiful children! Congratulations to everyone as you all begin these new chapters in your lives.
If you are considering adoption from China be sure to visit our China program page to learn more.
As we enter the Season of Hope leading up to the DAY of Hope we are celebrating by sharing beautiful, hopeful stories. Today we want to introduce you to Julie Massey, a One Orphan Storyteller team member and a waiting China momma. This story speaks to the wait and what she is learning in the process.
Allowing God to Fill you Up
by: Julie Massey
My time with God this past Wednesday morning was just a sweet time. I could feel His presence and comfort. God led me to a specific passage that I’ll explain how later on in this post. This was very different from how He usually leads me to just the right verses. This adoption process is very emotional at times and creates all kinds of feelings that are just hard to understand and even verbalize to others. But I am so humbled that God has allowed our family to go through this even if it’s the hardest thing in my life that I have gone through. I struggle often but I try my best to live by the verse in Proverbs (18:10) “The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe.”
We approached 100 days of waiting this week. Almost 100 days since we have been "logged in" and could have been called and matched with our child. I woke up that Wednesday morning feeling emotionally drained and very lonely in the “wait.” The first sentence I wrote in my journal with tears coming from my eyes was “Just would love some encouragement today.”
That morning before Josh left for work, I told him that I just didn’t know what to read in my Bible. I feel like I always go to the same books that I’m familiar with and that God has used during the past several years when I said, “Yes” to going on a mission trip to China. I wanted to read something different that morning.
After Josh left for work, I turned to the table of contents in my Bible. I said a short prayer of God please show me where to read that would give me encouragement to get through this day of loneliness. When I opened my eyes, 2 Thessalonians stuck out to me and was the first thing I saw. As I turned to it, I thought to myself-“Maybe I have underlined verses in the past that maybe would minister to me this morning.” ONLY GOD!!! He answered my prayer IMMEDIATELY! I felt like He was saying, I’m still here. I have you waiting a LONG time on your child and waiting to even know who your child is, but I’m still here, it’s not time for you to be matched, I’m faithful and can still answer your prayers in different ways while you wait.
That morning I read what I had underlined from a previous quiet time. God led me to verses I had underlined just like I was hoping for as I was turning the pages in my Bible. I read 2 Thes. 2:13-17 (Stand Firm) God even took me to scripture that used the word, “encouragement/encourage” TWICE ( vs. 16-17 NIV version). That’s exactly the word I used in my journal of what I needed. He filled me up that morning. We should never feel lonely because we have God. People can fail us, but God’s word never changes and will never fail us. We need to run to him always! I’m talking to myself about this and have to constantly remind myself of this.
I encourage you to read 2 Thes. 2:13-17 below:
13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers and sisters loved by the Lord, because God chose you as firstfruits[a] to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings[b] we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope,17 encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
So from this I will…..
-Stand firm in the teachings I have learned.
-Stand firm because I know I am loved by God.
-Stand firm because He chose me (an imperfect person that messes up daily) to be saved.
-Stand firm in the fact that I was saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit.
-Stand firm because I believe the truth.
-Stand firm because He called me that I may see the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
-Stand firm because of His love and by His grace gave me ETERNAL ENCOURAGEMENT (unfailing comfort) and good hope!
-Stand firm because God can ENCOURAGE my heart and strengthen me!
Whatever you are going through, allow God to encourage your heart. Be still with Him and He will meet you where you are. There is no way our family could get through this adoption process without God and His word. When you run to Him, you are safe. I wish I could say that I am daily running to His word, but I’m not as much as I would like to. But when I do, He fills me up!
I am praying that God will fill you up this week. Wherever you are in the wait.
We are celebrating with the Copeland family, as they have been home from India for four months with their sweet boy. He’s brought such love and joy to their home with his big smile, and his affinity for wearing bow ties and dressing like Daddy!
We’d like to share the below blog post written by Amy DiMarcangelo. The DiMarcangelo family is in the midst of their India adoption process through America World. We hope this encourages all of our families in various stages of the wait across our adoption programs.
THE PAIN AND PURPOSE OF WAITING
Looking at my life as a whole, I’ve had very little experience when it comes to waiting. I don’t know the pain of unmet desires for a spouse. I don’t know the pain of infertility. I don’t know the pain of waiting for a deployed parent to come home or the pain of waiting for a steady job. But I do know the pain of waiting for adoption.
I remember the exact moment that I first experienced a strong desire to adopt. I was 17, in India, and sitting on a concrete floor. A young girl, Sunita, usually so playful and rambunctious, sat on my lap weeping. In her broken English she cried, “Me no have parents.” My stomach was in knots, and my waiting began.
My husband was completely on board about adoption when we got married. However, we were really young newlyweds and needed a few years until we could meet India’s age requirements (at one point that was 27, now it’s 25). During those years of waiting, I had two beautiful sons. They are such gifts, and to a degree they distracted me from the wait (having my second prolonged it a little bit, as it’s recommended to not start when you still have a newborn). Yet it didn’t erase my intense longing to adopt. Finally, on my 27th birthday, we filled out our application.
The process to adopt from India typically took 2-3 years. Outside of some frustrating delays during our home study, the timeline has been moving as expected. On June 28th, we received the referral for our daughter. As any adoptive parent can attest, the joy we felt that day was surreal and overwhelming. But then time slowed down. Somehow the past 10 weeks have felt longer than the previous 11 years.
The wait after accepting a referral from India is 12-18 months. So far, it seems close to unbearable. There are days that I wake up and almost feel physical pain like my heart is being crushed. On other days there is a heavy lump in the back of my throat, refusing to be swallowed and begging for the floodgates to open. The difference between waiting for a hypothetical child, and waiting for your child is incomparable.
I have a daughter! A daughter who is half way around the world. I have already missed her first smile, her first steps, her first words. When she’s sick, I can’t hold her. When she’s sad, I can’t comfort her. I don’t know her favorite foods. I don’t know what scares her or what makes her laugh. There is nothing I can do for this little girl that I love so much.
The wait feels so arbitrary. We were matched, it was approved, why another 12-18 months? Yet I know that God’s plans are never arbitrary. That His ways are beyond my comprehension. And I know there is purpose behind the pain of waiting.
Some purposes are easily recognizable. I know that as I wait, God is teaching me to trust Him more deeply. I know that as I cry and yearn to hold my child, God is reminding me that His ever-present, ever-loving arms are holding her. I know that as I desperately pray over her, God is reminding me that I only have the illusion of control over my sons, and that I should be praying just as desperately on their behalf. But with as important as these lessons are, I think He’s teaching me something deeper. Countless circumstances can teach joy amidst trials and trust amidst heartache. But there are unique lessons that can only be found in waiting.
As I experience the pain of waiting for my daughter, I am reminded of the One for whom my soul truly waits. I am waiting for the King of Glory, waiting to dwell with my Risen Savior. Caught up in this life, I too easily forget the ultimate unification for which I wait. I’m often too distracted to feel the yearning that resides in the depths of my heart for the Only One who can satisfy my soul. The daily trial of waiting for my daughter, has been a daily reminder that I’m waiting for my Lord.
I can’t even begin to imagine the heights of emotions I will feel when I finally take her into my arms. Yet I do know this: the overflow of joy culminating after years of anticipation, will be but a glimpse of what’s to come. When I finally see Him. Someday, it will be to His arms that I run, and it will be His nail-scarred hands that hold me. Someday, I will finally be face-to-face with the One who paid the greatest price to welcome me into His family.
- Amy DiMarcangelo
Thank you for sharing your heart, Amy. We can’t wait until the time comes to post a “Welcome Home” blog to celebrate your family!
Due to changes within India’s guidelines and processes, timeframes for India adoptions are on a trend of decrease. The current estimated process timeframe for new families coming into the India program, is 18-24 months and decreasing.