One of our wonderful Lifeline partners is a grandmother whose heart was captured by two precious girls who were adopted from China—her granddaughters. She has experienced first-hand, the power of a grandparent’s influence and support in the adoption journey, and she understands that grandparents have the opportunity to become a tremendous treasure in the life of children, showing them the heart of a loving grandparent and giving them the gift of a deep, extended family.
This grandmother’s heart has been opened wide by adoption, which led her to partner with us in providing grants for waiting children. Of choosing to partner with us, she shares, “Obviously, there can be no question that helping a little child is the work of God’s people and because my daughter and her husband were helped by Lifeline to adopt, we were aware of the good Lifeline does.” We are thankful for her partnership with us, but, even more, we are thankful to be a part of her life and to see how two little girls have captured her heart more than she could have imagined. Hear this grandmother share, in her own words, how her life has been impacted by adoption:
How were you introduced to Lifeline?
The first time I heard of Lifeline was when my daughter and her husband decided to adopt a daughter from China. It was Lifeline who helped them through the process and made it a pleasant experience for all of us.
What did you think when your daughter told you they were considering adoption?
When my daughter mentioned adopting a child from China, my first reaction was a somewhat bewildered, “Sure, that sounds great.” It was something they had mentioned years before, but it was quite the diversion from my old school way of thinking. In years past, from my perspective, adoption was typically only something those who could not have children would consider. At that time, my daughter and her husband had multiple biological children.
As the process began, I became aware of how adoption was a mirror of the redemption we have received by becoming adopted into the family of our Creator. I realized how much this is the essence of Christianity: caring for the helpless and . . . gladly doing what the Father describes in James 1:27 as pure religion. . .
How has the adoption of your grandchildren impacted your lives?
The adoption of my grandchildren has opened my eyes enormously! Traveling to China twice, I saw, with a closer viewpoint, the plight of so many children. It is life changing and heart softening. Those who allow thoughts of xenophobia, biological differences, or handicap aversion into their lives shrink life into a small world of stagnation. Opening our hearts becomes an adventure. These precious children will stretch and expand our capacity for love. It is always fun to fall in love over and over again with each child who comes into our little community that we call family! Seeing how each one begins to unfold and blossom is another occasion to rejoice.
Both granddaughters from China are children with special needs, specifically mobility challenges. One has a perpetual smile and happy demeanor. Considering all she had to endure the first few years of her life, she has been quite the inspiration for us who take so many blessings and luxuries for granted. She amazes us with her positive outlook and her relentless will to master or accomplish. She could not climb onto the bed without help or walk any distance without holding someone’s hand. Now, two years later, she climbs, runs, swings, and is even trying to learn to ride a bike (with training wheels)! Wow!
The second granddaughter has only been with us about 4 months. She was non-verbal in China. Now she is learning the alphabet, singing, and repeating everything she hears. She is even speaking in complete sentences—in English. She is learning to play and laughs freely! We are expecting to see some great strides. Already she is working with LEGO® blocks and loves building. It has been so exciting to see all of the progress both girls have demonstrated, and it inspires us to give them every advantage to go as far as possible! The human body, especially during childhood, is amazingly resilient!
One thing I have come to realize is that we, as humans, basically only know natural love. Our Father’s love is supernatural. As a result of this realization, I understand that we must learn how to love with His supernatural love. Learning how to love as our Father loves is something I pray for regularly now, and it is something I work at to achieve; whereas, in times past I never thought about it much.
What are ways that grandparents can support orphan care?
There are probably many ways to support orphan care that are yet to be discovered by me, but probably the best thing for grandparents to do is to be encouraging to their children who are adopting. Let them know you are proud of their work; be there to help; and give love, time, support, money, and encouragement. Putting all these things into the adoption process is like making a long-term investment that will reap reward both in this life and in the one to come. Cultivating a relationship with any child, biological or not, is the best emotional and love investment that can possibly be made.
In response to how the Lord has worked in her family through adoption, this Lifeline grandmother wanted to be a part of serving the Lord by impacting the lives of children and their forever families. If you would like to join her by partnering with us financially, you can give a gift online or contact us at 205-967-0811. Gifts of every size are a huge investment in the lives of precious children who need family and the hope of the gospel.