For my wife and me, adoption was something that we had considered very early on in our marriage. Twelve years into our marriage and 2 biological children later, though, that “future” tense we always associated with adoption began to shift. We moved with our children to live and work in China in 2011 and ever since that time God had been slowly, patiently wooing us towards adoption.
Within our home city in China, we have been surrounded by incredible people who have already walked the path of adoption and have been willing to share their stories, love, advice, and encouragement with us. To be honest, the “future” tense of adoption shifting to the “present” tense was something gradual for me. I don’t remember God telling me to “adopt” but, rather, “take the next step.” Each step led to another step, and another, and another. Finally, the steps then required the obvious commitment to adopt and with it, Him inviting me to be blessed through adoption.
It’s funny, before this journey of adoption I always understood adoption solely as a blessing for the child who was to be adopted. I did not necessarily understand that it was to be a blessing for me as well. Over our five years living in China, though, the love and transparency of many adoptive families has clearly shown me the truth that to adopt is to both be a blessing and to be blessed. Many of our Chinese friends asked us, “Why did you want to adopt when you already had the perfect family, one boy and one girl.” My response was short, “I didn’t have the need for a child to call me “father,’ but I had a need to call another child “son.”
Lifeline Children’s Services was our first choice in our desire to adopt for many reasons. First, many of our friends in the U.S. had gone through Lifeline to adopt from China. Second, because of our desire to adopt from China and the fact that we currently reside in China, we needed an agency that could understand our communication nuances. We also needed that agency to be able to provide us with the ability for our home study to be completed on our side of the world. Finally, we needed an agency with a great reputation regarding international adoptions from China.
Lifeline met all of these requirements. Even though the international adoption process required mountains of paperwork, Lifeline did a fantastic job of staying ahead of what documents were required and when. We never felt blindsided or uncomfortably surprised by the agency and Lifeline did wonderful at managing the U.S. and Chinese governments’ needs for specific documents at specific times. Lastly, Lifeline was flexible and able to cope with unexpected changes to policies and procedures from both governments, thereby giving us a reassuring sense of calm and confidence in our agency.
My wife and I whole-heartedly recommend Lifeline Children’s Services to any individual or family who is looking to begin the adoption process. Many thanks, again, to Lifeline for helping to bring our son Elisha to his forever family.