I'm going to ask this, and please don't take it as rude...
Do you really think it's fair to her, TongJiao, to make her wait even longer for a family simply because you want her and will have to wait until after Charlies home to officially do much of anything? Why should she sit in an orphanage longer, when another family could have possibly wanted her, and just not been as quick to move as you were, or didn't find her until moments before she was removed? A family that is paper ready for her, and could possibly pick her up in the Spring/Summer verses having to wait until the fall/winter? That just makes her suffer longer.
Another thing, quite frankly, she's an older child... What ever happened to thinking about the children here in the good ole US of A who live in foster homes, group homes, institutions, etc... all waiting for a family... All who could easily be in your home within weeks or just a very short few months? I'm curious what makes your family think the children of china are so much more important or special than the children of the usa?
Isn't God good? He burdens all of our hearts with different things. Isn't is great that people are drawn to all different places in the world to care for orphans? God calls some to Russia, India, Ethiopia, Taiwan, Korea, and the list goes on. Our family feels burdened for all of the orphans of the world. They ALL deserve families. NEVER have I said that orphans in China are "more important" than those of anywhere else. However, God has clearly called OUR family to China and we are thankful to have precious children from there. It sounds as though YOUR family has adopted children in the USA who are in foster care and need families. How many children have you brought home? Just wondering.
As you have mentioned, quite frankly, Tong Jiao IS an older child. Unfortunately, families do not flock to adopt older children. Often, older children are on lists for close to a year before a family comes forward to adopt them. Before Grace was on our agency's list, she sat for close to 3 months on another agency's list with not one family willing to bring her home. Even now, out of the 40 + files from the list she was on, only a handful of kids have been matched, and she is the oldest of those kids. I can assure you that if there had been another family interested in her file right away, our agency would've allowed them to review her file first. However, there weren't any other such families. Yes, maybe another family would've come forward 6 months to a year down the road, but they might not have even been paper ready. Oh, and by the way, she's not suffering. She's been with a loving foster family for NINE years. She looks so happy and is so healthy and we have no reason to believe that she is suffering. In the grand scheme of things, summer vs. fall/winter really won't make much of a difference. What DOES matter is that our sweet girl has a FOREVER family. And pretty soon, she will know that.
I'm going to ask this, and please don't take it as rude...
Actually, it IS rude to leave a less than nice comment and not even sign your name to it. If your comment was truly sincere, you would not have been afraid to sign your name.
I'm just saying.
Well said Emily. May God Bless you family as you follow him.
Well said! You are an amazing person.
God bless your family for answering His call.
Nice response, Emily. You clearly know how to present yourself and make a good case for the fact that we are all burdened differently for those in need. I'm so thankful that your family has ANSWERED His call! That you all LISTEN to Him! That you all are not afraid to ACT when He asks you to! That you "put your money where your mouth is", so to speak. Good for you for speaking up, and for, these little ones - and big ones!
Amen Emily. Your response was eloquent and true. Sorry you had to deal with anonymous and their judgement of your precious family.
Way to go Emily!
Well said Emily (and Pam ;)
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. James 1:27
Praise God for your family. Praise God that your family has the call, the heart, the desire, the passion, and the means to see that FOUR of the 143 million orphans in the world will have a forever family. If there were more families out there like you, orphans ALL over the world would have families to love and cherish them.
It is a shame that there are those who choose to stand in judgement of who, why, when, where and how YOUR family should do things even when it is clear that HE is the One who said "who" you were to adopt. HE is the One who said "why" you were to adopt each one of your precious children. And HE is the One who says "when", "where" and "how".
"For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man's spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. The spiritual man makes judgments about all things, but he himself is not subject to any man's judgment: "For who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him?" But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Cor. 2:11-16
Keep on keeping on my dear family. To the outside world, the ways of the Lord make no sense but for those who follow Him, the choice is clear! Love you!
Good on you Emily. We love and support your family.
There is only One who sits on the Judgement Seat.
I, too, am thankful that The Lord burdens all of our hearts differently. I am SO thankful that Grace is YOURS and that you can send her packages & letters & pictures and let her KNOW for the FIRST time in her life that she has a forever family. Sisters & brothers. A Mom & a Dad.
Yeah, I think that God will use the remainder of Grace's time in China to prepare her heart, to give her more memories to store away to tell you some day. I don't think one.single.day is being wasted. Grace is covered in prayer every day that the ocean separates you.
And I think that's only God.
Emily, you rock!! =]
My question to anonymous would be, if all children are just as equally important, why NOT the children of China?
Sometimes we get so passionate about where the Lord is leading us, that we can't see where the Lord is leading another. I am guilty of that myself too many times.
Praying for you all!!
Hugs and Blessings to your whole beautiful family!!
Very well said Emily. Jesus is smiling right now knowing you and your family are his hands and feet. Blessings!
very well said Emily. you handled that beautifully.
Oh my goodness, Emily!
"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." ~ Jer. 29:11 (of course!)
As if this whole thing is up to you (or your parents)! God's will be done--that's all--and that's exactly what you're doing!!
Love and blessings to all nine of you!!!
You are wise beyond your years, emily! Great response. So thankful for families like yours who put their faith into action! Praying for you all!
You tell them! Your family is wonderful and precious! Grace (and Charlie btw) is going to LOVE y'all!
Wow! God has led your family to adopt from China...why would anyone question GOD'S leading on your family?!?!?!
I have followed your blog since before AnnaClaire came home...and I have to agree with this mystery person...It is UNFAIR Grace has to wait for HER family - YOU!! Her family is waiting and just as Charlie and all the other thousands of orphans that are waiting should NOT have to wait, they do because of paperwork and red tape! Charlie and Grace should be able to come home together to their family that loves them and is waiting to have them here! Breaks my heart to think of all those kiddos waiting and waiting when families are wanting them to come home so badly!! And yes, there are children everywhere waiting for their family....and each family is called to THAT child - not a particular country! They are ALL children - born in the US, CHina, Russia, wherever....they all deserve homes...and thank goodness there are so many people that have heard that call to bring them home!! Hurry home Charlie AND Grace!!!
I must say, you handled that one with grace and dignity. Well said. It would have been so easy for you all to be offended and lash out but you very sweetly and honestly stated your views and beliefs. You cannot deny what the Lord is calling you to do. May the Lord continue to be with you and direct you in all things!
"My question to anonymous would be, if all children are just as equally important, why NOT the children of China?"
I didn't say that people shouldn't adopt from China. This family has already adopted two from china, and they are off for two more. That's four children. Four children right here in the USA could of used a forever home just as well.
Adopting from china takes homes away from children that are waiting right here in the USA. I'm seeing more and more blogs with people adopting older children (8+) from china, and children with special needs from china... Okay... Great. I really do think it's wonderful you're lead to adopt.
However, whats wrong with adopting waiting children right here in our own country? Are those children here less important than the children from china? Families are waiting YEARS to adopt from china, and yet, children here in the USA continue to go without a mommy and daddy to tuck them in at night.
Now, before you bash me, understand, I have adopted five children myself. All from the foster care system. All were waiting children. All had some type of special need.
I just want to know why not the USA? Are families so afraid of children finding their birth families, or even *gasp* having contact with the birth families? There are closed adoptions you know...
It's a curious question, tis all.
As for not signing my name? I don't use GMail. I don't Blog. I don't have LJ, Wordpress, TypePad or AOL. I don't use any of the free servers. However, let's satisfy everyone here...
I'm wondering why you married your husband when there were probably dozens of other single women who could have benefitted from having him as a life mate? Why did you choose to get pregnant to have children instead of adopting? Why did you choose to be a nurse/teacher/accountant/whatever when your state surely needs compassionate social workers to help foster kids find their forever homes?
The answer, of course, is NONE OF MY BUSINESS! While it is interesting and often awe-inspiring to hear how each family is called by God to their children, it is as inappropriate to make judgments on those decisions as it is on the questions I raised above.
Thankfully you asked someone with as much grace and courage as Emily so you could get such a wonderful and true response.
May God bless you and your foster children.
Emily, never doubt that what your family is doing is of God's will. I am sooooo excited for you all. Your mother was in my mothers in waiting swap group before you brought AC home and I am so thankful and grateful that there are families like yours that are willing and able financially to bring more home. I know that I would, but finances do not allow. I LOVE reading your blog and I think you are a blessing to those who read it. God WILL bless you as you grow older and "probably" adopt children of your own from China. Continue on your mission...those children deserve a family like yours.
Well said Emily and Pam. What a great response to an often asked question that we might all get from time to time. We just love your family and your willingness and outright joy to follow God wherever he leads!
Love from another family who felt the strong leading of God back into China even when our agency said we should look somewhere else. But how could we when our son was there waiting for us. Good thing God knew the answer before we did and led us back again.
Hugs - Janet, Kevin, Ted, Philip, and waiting for our Eli
I am so sad comments have to be like that .. people have to be like that ...
your response was gracious and true. Bless your sweet family for taking steps of faithfulness most would not consider. I agree when it looks the most confusing to the "world" it is usually the most in line with HIM!
Your family is a shining light for all those around you. I have followed your blog weekly and it has grown my heart for many changes in my family. Please don't let one person change who you are or what you stand for.
Well said Emily! I hope your family is doing well. :) I am so excited for y'all!!
Great response! I agree, we are called differently and for different purposes. Those reasons are God's alone and we (humans) cannot pretend to understand God's will.
Can you hear me applauding and cheering you on from this side of town???
Go on girl!
May all of us adults be able to respond with such grace and dignity when we'd rather lash out at such a comment. And may more of us families take steps to bring home as many children who have no home to raise them in loving, Christian, forever families. This commenter reminds me of one that I read a few years ago on Ni Hao Y'all. It's not fair to hide behind the name "anonymous."
I can't wait to see Charlie and Grace at home with the rest of your family, what a homecoming that will be!
Dear Beth Ann (or whoever you really are,)
Why not the good ole USA? For our family, we have been specifically called to China. God woke my husband up 6 years ago and made it clear that we were supposed to go to China and bring home a little girl. I never had any intent to adopt again, but a little face of an older child (6) caught my eye and I couldn't get her out of my mind. I began praying for her and that she would find a family, but after over two months, God clearly showed us that we are her family. Is she taking the place of a child from here, no. If it wasn't for her, I wouldn't be pursuing another adoption. So isn't it great that an orphan is going to get a home, a family to love her, access to medical care that has been unavailable to her, a chance at a life full of love and laughter, a bed to call her own?
I am thankful for families like yours who have a heart for domestic adoption, but I'm thankful when any heart is open to adoption no matter where the child comes from. It's awesome to see how God's amazingly large number of people can come together with their different burdens and impact the whole world, not just the good ole USA
Well said Emily!
To Beth Ann- It is wonderful that she has adopted 5 children from our foster system. We all have the passion for children and the calling to adopt in common.
We also have been called to adopt from China. The Lord just hugely moves our heart and lets us know that is his plan for us. For me I think adopting from our foster system may be an option in the future. I am drawn to it. I said "I" not "we", so hubby would have to be drawn also, in order for it to be a go for our family.
It has nothing to do with fear of birth parents- it's all about where God guides us!
HI there Emily, You did a wonderful job answering the question about USA vs. China. We have also gotten the question since we are adopting our 4th child from China. Our daughter that is currently waiting for us is 12 1/2 years old and so many people tell us that they think we are crazy for adopting that age. But God leads us to China for all them and found our daughters for us.
Just wondering if you knew the statistics of domestic vs. international adoption here in the US?
In 2009, 12,753 international adoptions took place in the US. 3001 were from China. ~ adoption.state.gov
While the US does not keep the same kinds of stats on domestic adoption, it is estimated that "the annunal number of infants adopted domestically (EXCLUDING foster care and relative adoption) range from 25,000 - 30,000 - more than ALL international adoptions combined" ~ Adoptivefamilies.com
With the inclusion of children adopted from the foster care system, estimates show that the US adopts 70,000 US children each year.
Adoption is a deeply personal decision for each family. Where to adopt from and how to go about that is formed in the hearts of those who desire to be the parent the precious childen who desperately need homes.
I am thankful that 70,000 children in the US have been adopted this year. I am thankful that you and your family had the call to adopt five of them and I know what a blessing they must be to you.
Could you imagine waiting for two of your children to come home, longing for the day that they would be placed in your arms and then have someone tell you that you shouldn't be adopting them because of their own personal feeling about domestic adoption? I have a feeling you'd probably have a very strong reaction to that.
We are all entitled to our opinions but it is clear from Emily's blog that she and her family have been called to China. They love their children, the ones who are home and the ones who are still waiting and I feel it was a bit insensitive of you, in light of the passion this family has for China, for you to voice such strong opposition to the adoption of Charlie and Grace.
We as adoptive parents should be supporting one another, not trying to tear each other down because of our differences in opinion on domestic vs. international adoption.
And, as a mom of one of those 3001 children that came home from China last year, well, my life has been forever changed by the precious life the Lord has entrusted to me and my husband. Our extended family has been blessed with adopted children from China, Guatamala AND the US. Every one of their lives matters, every one has a home and are loved to pieces and every single one of them deserves that.
Emily, You are a FINE, FINE young lady. You INSPIRE me to be more Christlike. I am so sorry you got this note on your blog. I am just at a loss for words why it seems people who adopt foster children seem to have such negative feelings toward those whom God calls to adopt internationally.
Beth Ann (if you come back to Emily's blog again):
"Adopting from china takes homes away from children that are waiting right here in the USA. I'm seeing more and more blogs with people adopting older children (8+) from china, and children with special needs from china... Okay... Great. I really do think it's wonderful you're lead to adopt.
However, whats wrong with adopting waiting children right here in our own country?"
ABSOLUTELY NOTHING and I support families here in my home church who are doing just that. I support them b/c that is where God has called them and in fact I teach one of the foster children who was recently adopted into her forever family in the 3YO Sunday School class I'm privilege to lead.
But why can't you support others who are called to adopt in China? Or Ethiopia? Or Canada? Or wherever God leads? ALL CHILDREN ARE PRECIOUS TO HIM NO MATTER THEIR NATIONALITY OR SKIN COLOR OR AGE OR HEALTH STATUS.
Beth, you say: "Are those children here less important than the children from china?"
Again, NO ABSOLUTELY NOT. Let me return the question to you Beth Ann: Is my daughter from China any less important than your five children you adopted from foster care?
Beth, you say: "Families are waiting YEARS to adopt from china, and yet, children here in the USA continue to go without a mommy and daddy to tuck them in at night."
Actually, we traveled 9 MONTHS after we sent our paperwork to China. NOT YEARS. We will in fact have brought home at least 2 orphaned children from China within an 18-month period if we get to travel in March. And both of those children--one getting tucked in as I type by her Daddy and calling for me, her Mommy, to come and kiss her good night were without a Mommy and Daddy to tuck them in. Our other child is still waiting in China for his chance to have a forever family, and he is the one for whom we hope to travel in March.
As for all of the children waiting in the USA, well I do pray for them and I do check photo listings EVERY SINGLE DAY. As of yet, God has not called our family to one of these children but I can promise you we're listening intently for that call and would WELCOME it with open arms. We pray someday He will call us to a child here in the US. Until then, we go where He leads.
Beth, you say: "Now, before you bash me, understand, I have adopted five children myself. All from the foster care system. All were waiting children. All had some type of special need."
SAME HERE. I will say this: Before you bash me, understand I have adopted (and or will adopt within the next 3 months depending on travel) two children myself. All from the social welfare system in China. ALL WERE WAITING CHILDREN WITH HEART DEFECTS (our son) and HEART DEFECTS AND CLEFT LIP AND PALATE (our daughter).
I really hope Beth Ann that you could take a step back and consider that ALL CHILDREN who are waiting for Mommies and Daddies are deserving of that. God sees no boundary lines as we do in our finite minds: I dare say He does not see color except to see it as a beautiful collage of His creation, and I think anytime He sees the people most precious in HIs sight--children--being simplified to the point of your post and spoken of as if one is more deserving than the other HE is crushed in His spirit. If you, Beth Ann, are a believer in our Lord and Savior Jesus, please press into Him for direction on this. If not, please know He loves you regardless of your judgment of others and He loves all of the children the same, whether they are in the USA, China, Haiti, or anywhere else in the world.
Isaiah 40:25-31 says this about God:
25 "To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:
Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and complain, O Israel,
"My way is hidden from the LORD;
my cause is disregarded by my God"?
28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and his understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
31 but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
I am Stan, Kathy's DH. Good job, Emily, well done with the love of Jesus in your words!
Anonymous, sorry that you evidently do not trust that God knows what He is doing. All orphans deserve a chance at joining a family, whether they be from around the corner, or from all the way around the world.
God led us twice to China for His precious gifts to our family. I believe our blessings are magnified because we followed His will to help the neediest of those in need, the weakest of the weak.
I will be praying that God will soften and open your heart to be more supportive of ALL the work He is doing in the world of adoption.
My wife and I looked at domestic foster / adopt 15 years ago, but it did not resonate with us. Our calling was to wait and go elsewhere.
Finally in 2007 the call came for our daughter, 7, waiting in China. She came home in early 2008.
We looked for a sister but none was to be found - either internationally or domestic, doors closed.
Thus we looked for and found our son, waiting for us in Taiwan. Hopefully he'll be home next month.
In July, a door opened that we did not even know existed, but it was a clear call back to China. That process started in November and hopefully she'll be home this year as well.
Anonymous Beth. First you say it is not fair to Grace TongJiao that she has to wait to be adopted, but then you say they shouldn't adopt her at all and adopt a US kid. Second, I don't you should be playing God and telling people which kids should be getting families!!
What a beautiful, gracious response Emily! I can learn from you.
God was honoured by your gentle response.
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