Emma Song has a forever family - thanks to you!
As I write this, our three children are building a tent in the living room
out of sofa cushions, and I am reminded how much our lives have changed in
these past seven years. Our adoption journey to China began in the fall
of 2005. My husband and I were both teachers at a Christian school in
North Carolina and had struggled with infertility for eleven years. We
decided to adopt from China as the process was relatively quick and we
knew other families in the community who had adopted wonderful little
Chinese girls. Our paperwork was logged into the Chinese system in August
of 2006 and we expected to go at any time. However, the adoption wait
inexplicably lengthened. As each new school year began, I would say to
myself, this will be my last year of teaching, and next year I will stay
home with my little girl. But as months lengthened into years, my dreams
of being a mother faded. I watched my students graduate, get married and
have children while I waited for my fortieth birthday to come.
In January of 2008, we were fingerprinted yet again and had our home study
again updated, hoping this would be the last time. In February, I
discovered I was pregnant, just weeks before I turned forty. Amazed and
cautious, we allowed ourselves to dream again of biological children, and
Autumn Grace was born October 24, 2008. I finally had my desire fulfilled
of leaving the professional world and staying at home with a child. The
following summer, when she was only seven months old, I discovered I was
pregnant with our second child. Ronald Woodrow was born March 9, 2010.
During this time, we maintained our conviction that the Lord still wanted
us to keep our commitment to the unknown little daughter from China whom
we had dreamed of now for three years. As Autumn and Ronnie, our miracle
children, grew, our adoption agency went bankrupt and our paperwork was
transferred to CCAI. Finally, right before Christmas of 2011, we received
our referral for Song Jie Jiang, from the Guangdong Province. We were
faced with the reality that we did not come close to having the money we
needed, as every expense for this leg of the journey had increased
significantly, and we were now a modest one-income family of four. Yet we
were still convinced that God had called us to bring this little girl into
our home. In faith, we accepted the referral and knew that somehow, we
would be going to China.
We applied for two grants, Show Hope and Caroline’s Promise, trying not to
think of the possibility that we would not have the money we needed when
the time came. As our travel date approached, we saw the Lord’s
affirmation of our commitment. The day I received our phone call from
Lisa Holbrook was a wonderful day. I called my husband at work to let him
know the Lord was answering our prayers. We also received a grant from
Show Hope, and a friend of mine, who had adopted two older girls from
China, incorporated a “Silver for Song” fundraiser into a local ballet
performance. By the time we were ready to travel, through grants,
donations from family and friends, and the fundraiser, the Lord had
provided $12,000 for our adoption. We were amazed at the Lord’s gracious
provision. We saw beyond a doubt that where He leads He will provide.
We had never seen such a personal and incredible answer to prayer.
Throughout our whole trip, we saw the Lord’s hand. Before our flight to
Hong Kong, we realized we were traveling with another Christian couple
from Franklin, TN, who were with our agency and staying with us in
Guangzhou. The rest of our trip went very smoothly and we were so
encouraged to see how many other Christian couples had felt God’s call to
personally care for orphans. Our little Emma Song (our song of joy) was
given to us on July 16, 2012. She was sixteen months old, subdued and
scared. She spent a few days grieving, but after only four days, she
flashed her first smile and began to win our hearts. When I look at hertoday, just three months later, I see a different little girl than the one
we first saw. Having only been bottle fed until we got her, she now
already eats regular food and has lost her gaunt, sad face. Her body is
rounded and her intelligent eyes express confidence and happiness. Her
temper tantrums have largely subsided and she knows several English words.
She is truly a member of our family. And though I know God blessed us
with two biological children, I see He gave them to Emma as well. She
came home to two adoring playmates who are very close to her in age. They
play well together and she has already learned so much from them. We are
so thankful for those who helped us obey God’s call to bring this little wonder into our lives. We are blessed.