It’s a Small World After All!
Chaela during her initial adoption interview

Chaela during her initial adoption interview

The Lord has so intricately woven the details of Chaela’s life story together with ours and we stand in awe of how He’s gone before us in this adoption. To give you some background, we did not initially set out to adopt Chaela when we got home with Carrigan. We knew we wanted to go back to adopt again after what we saw at Carrigan’s orphanage, but our hearts were first drawn to a little girl on an advocacy group that we thought was “ours”. A sweet 10 year old little girl named “Yuan Yuan (“Wren Wren”) was circulating with a picture and a story from her American foster mother living in China. Yuan Yuan had her Hello Kitty backpack all ready to go to be adopted into her new family. However, the family she was supposedly matched with backed out, and she was devastated to find out she hadn’t ‘been picked’ and her file was now available again to anyone interested. I began e-mailing with her foster mother to find out more about Yuan Yuan. We contacted the agency that had her file and asked to have it transferred to our agency so we could re-use our paperwork to go back for her. To make a long story short, even with Joey contacting the CEO of the other agency and repeated interviews and calls with them, they refused to transfer and wouldn’t even allow us to sign on with their agency to adopt this child because we weren’t already established with them and they wouldn’t lift their ‘six months home’ guideline to begin a new adoption. We couldn’t understand at the time why she wasn’t allowed to be ours, but looking back we can see why the Lord allowed us to love this little girl, pray for her and her foster family, and become friends with her foster mother. Happily, “Wren” went home in December to a wonderful Christian family in Canada and she is getting care for her cerebral palsy and epilepsy probably better than what we would have been able to provide for her in a wheelchair.

I have remained in contact with her foster mother and she has updated me about Wren’s progress, and when we saw Chaela’s file with our agency and chose to pursue her we were a little surprised that she just happens to be in the same province as Wren (not the same orphanage or city, but basically the same ‘state’). Last month I messaged her former foster mother (a fellow adoptive mother- now pregnant with #11!- who still lives in China while they serve at an orphanage there, bringing a select few children from the orphanage to their home to care for them in a foster situation until they are adopted) to tell her we would be coming to China and hoped to meet them while we were in Kunming, the capital city of Yunnan Province. She told me that while they couldn’t travel the 5 hours to Kunming the week we would be here, she did have a friend in a nearby city who served at a local orphanage, and she would find out if her friend knew anything about Chaela’s orphanage in Pu’er City. She sent me a link about her friend’s group who regularly visits an orphanage in a rural village in southern Yunnan ¬†and asked if any of it looked familiar…

This was the lead picture on the blog post that was sent to me!

This was the lead picture on the blog post that was sent to me!

The blogger's recent visit

The blogger’s recent visit

 

Another group knows her!

Chaela is in the turquoise top…she and Grace will be perfect for each other!

To say I was floored was an understatement. What she sent me was not only a link to a blog about Chaela’s orphanage, but a picture of HER, herself! What are the chances that I know someone, who knows someone in a remote village in China, that just happens to know our daughter? One in a million at best. She quickly put me in touch with her friend who had served at Chaela’s orphanage and they started a Facebook message group that united the several families who were or are still living and serving in Pu’er and told them about us. Many of them are regularly visiting the children, teaching them some English and have been praying for these children begging God for families for them for the past 7 years! I started receiving several messages from ladies who said they knew and loved our daughter, sent pictures, a video and tons of information about her life in the orphanage that we may never have known otherwise. These ladies are true saints and fellow laborers in Christ who have likely been the sole reason that this orphanage began to open up to International adoption in the first place. We were told the orphanage director and workers never imagined that people would want to adopt the children because of their special needs. These wonderful families serving here showed both the children and the nannies how valuable and worthy these children are in the sight of God and now 8 of the 30 children currently in this orphanage have had official files made with the CCCWA since late 2014 and await a family to find them. We found out that only one child from this orphanage has ever been adopted, and it was recently to a family in Spain. We will be the second family and there are two more families behind us whom I have also connected with who are adopting Chaela’s best friend (and they live in TN- an hour away from our home there!) and an 8 year old little boy.

To think that the Lord was able to use us as an answer to the prayers of these people is just amazing! Thank you for being an answer to ours in helping us get here!