Adopting Kimmie

We were completely done having children. We had one girl and one boy – the perfect American dream. We had given away all the baby things several years earlier, and we were very happy with our little family. But God had other plans as we were soon to discover. On May 25, 2002 to be exact, our lives were forever changed. My prayer partner, Sarah H., was vistiting and I was holding her 15 month old son Ezra, while I was standing in my kitchen near the door to the living room (every detail has been etched in my mind forever), when God spoke to my heart. I blurted out, “Doug, can I go to China and adopt our daughter Kimmie?” That was a very strange thing to say! We had not thought about this or planned this. Doug’s response to my strange question might normally have been an emphatic “No!” But surprisingly, he just laughed a bit, but he did not say no.

Over the next few days, the seed God planted in our hearts began to grow. At that time, Pastor Bruce was teaching the Bible Survey Sunday School class and we were reading the book of Isaiah. I had never read the Bible before, so I did not know the Old Testament stories. It was all fresh and new to me. God spoke to me again, but this time through his Word. Like before, I remember exactly where I was and even the exact location of the words on the page in Isaiah 6. The words literally jumped off the page, danced around and landed in my heart. I wasn’t reading. God was speaking, and I cried.

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? I made a daughter for you in China and her name will be Kimmie. Go to China and bring her home, and teach her about Me.” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

It was a done deal now. No turning back. I had to go to China and get Kimmie. Three weeks later, the application to adopt Kimmie was mailed via Next Day Air to the only east coast adoption agency which still had a slot left for 2002 (China had an adoption quota that year) and we got the last slot. Then we applied for home equity loan to pay the adoption fees, and trusted God to provide the finances to support the adoption and raising her. People ask me why we didn’t adopt from the USA. The answer is that our daughter was in China. We never even considered a USA adoption. They ask, “Why not Kazakhstan? Then the child would at least look like you and not be from another race.” Again, our daughter was in China. Race? What’s that? The only race is the human race. Everyone is individually made by God in His image.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bring your children from the east And gather you from west… Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth- Everyone who is called my may name, Whom I created for my glory, Whom I formed and made.” Isaiah 43: 5-7

My love was set on Kimmie; a baby conceived but not yet born somewhere in China. It was a long and hard 18 months that followed. China closed for adoptions due to SARS. Fear and doubt crept in. But I knew God had spoken on this adoption, and, in his timing, he would make it happen. Even so, waiting was very hard. When I was pregnant with Katherine and Drew, I got a lot of attention and special care for being pregnant. While “pregnant” with Kimmie, no one could see my pregnancy, yet I was still just as expectant of having my new baby daughter soon. Those who knew we were adopting often asked questions and saw us as crazy or stupid. “It’s really risky. You don’t know what you’ll get.” Or, “When will you get your baby?” – I don’t know. “How old will your baby be?” – I don’t know. What could I do but trust God? I prayed continually for this child and trusted God to care for her. I mourned her babyhood, which I knew I was missing and would never have to enjoy.

Finally our referral came from China (our baby assignment and picture), and we accepted. Her Chinese name was Rao Tian Jia. “Rao” is the name of the town where she was found at 3 days old. “Tian” means great expanse above us, as in heaven. “Jia” means good. Hummm, her name is “heaven – good”. God is good!

Two months later I was in China at last, in a room full of people about to meet my Kimmie for the first time. They called her name, Rao Tian Jia, and I pushed through the crowd to get her. They checked over my paperwork and matched the pictures, and handed her to me. She was beautiful. I loved her instantly and felt that I would die for this child I loved her so much. She had done nothing, not one single thing, to earn my love, yet I loved her. There were many beautiful babies in the room, but this was the one whom I loved.

Love. Undeserved love. God loves us and we have done nothing to deserve it in ourselves either.

Adoption – accept, receive, welcome, embrace, take in to one’s family and raise as one’s own.

Psalm 2:7 I will proclaim the decree of the Lord: He said to me, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.”

James 1:27 Look after orphans and widows in their distress and keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Psalm 68:5 A father to the fatherless, defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families.

Ephesians 1:5 In love he predestined us to be adopted as sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves.

John 14:18 I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship (adoption). And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…”

After the all-day adoption proceedings and piles of paperwork and official photographs, fingerprints and notartizations, we went back to the hotel room where I got my first chance to take a good look at my daughter. I saw a large dark freckle below her right collar bone. When I saw it, I thought it looked like a thumbprint, and was reminded of a song by Steven Curtis Chapman which says, “I can see the fingerprints of God when I look at you.” Even now, when I look at Kimmie, I am often amazed at the miracle of her adoption, and the awesomeness of what God has done for us by adopting us as his children by faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.

Is Kimmie our real daughter? Absolutely.

God also provided another miracle for us. Adoptive nursing.

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