Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Our Story Of Adoption

Hello Dear Friends!

I've been wanting to share my family's story of adoption with you. As you all probably know, we adopted my little sister from China in the year of 2007. She has been a true blessing, and I feel so thankful to have her in my life. Our adoption process, although long, was a wonderful experience. We waited for about a year and a half until we were finally able to head for China. The wait is much longer in the present time, but in my opinion, I think it is worth the wait!

First, I would like to share our beginning steps of the whole adoption process with you! We decided to adopt when I was about 10 or 11 years old. We had thought about it previously, but God had not fully placed it on our hearts. When I was younger (age 9-11) I would write my parents little notes and letters. I would then place them under their pillows at night before I went to bed. I would write them constantly, asking if we could please, please, please adopt! With much prayer and guidance from God, we decided to start our journey through adoption. We started the process as if we were going to adopt a "healthy" child, which would be considered a child without special needs... God had different plans!!

One afternoon, my dear mama and I were browsing a special needs list with twenty children awaiting a forever family. Out of the twenty children, my daddy and mama felt there was one child in particular that God was calling us to adopt. There was no picture, just a brief description. We asked for her information, but someone had already asked for the sweet baby's information before us. We knew that God had the perfect plan for our adoption, so we just continued to trust Him and His plan.

A week later, I went on the computer and checked emails. This was a very important activity in my day... I would always check for updated adoption emails from the adoption agency! My family was sitting on the couch. I glanced at the screen and saw the words, "Child Available For Your Consideration." I felt as though I was dreaming. I told my mama immediately, and from there on out, the Lord was with us throughout the whole process.

Jessa's special need is called a hemangioma, which is similar to a raised strawberry mark. It is below her lip, and is now gone. In China, they completed a series of injections every month and a half. They would inject a needle in her upper lip, and it definitely reduced the size of her hemangioma. Now, all that's left, is a tiny scar. My, how the Lord is good!

- Baby Jessa at 8 months old -

- Jessa on her 1st birthday! We had a cake made for her in China! -
Notice the icing on her precious forehead! How sweet!


My little sister, Jessa, is now three years old. She is a happy and energetic girl, who keeps us on our toes! I'm sure you all are wondering how our trip went and how little Jessa adjusted to our family. I am going to answer those questions right now...

Our trip to China was amazing, and I long to be there at this very moment! Our first stop in China was Beijing, where the Great Wall of China is located. We had a wonderful time visiting the different sights in Beijing. I learned so much during the first couple of days in Beijing.

Our next stop was Changsha, which is in the Hunan Province. This is where we got to hold Jessa for the first time! I remember when we saw her for the first time... What a beautiful day it was! We got out of the car, and walked into the building where she was. We went up in an elevator to a different floor, and then the door of the elevator opened.... There she was, sitting on her nanny's lap, with a curious little face. The pink outfit she had on was precious. I just wanted to hold her at that moment. My mama took her from the nanny's arms, and Jessa let out a little whimper. Mama started bouncing little 15 month old Jessa in her arms. The tiny sounds that Jessa was making stopped immediately. By the second day with little Jessa, she was completely attached to our family, and had her own cute personality.

After Changsha came Guangzhou, which was personally my favorite! The people were so sweet to us there. We finalized Jessa's adoption papers in Guangzhou, and she officially became my little sister! Ahhh, what a happy moment that was!

The whole trip was so blessed by God. We were able to stay in 5-star hotels, and I loved the Chinese food, although some of it was a little disturbing! The experience was amazing, and the sights were breath-taking. I would love to adopt from China when I am older, if God chooses that for my future husband and I.

I encourage your family to think about adoption if the Lord places it on your heart. God has the perfect plans for our lives... You never know... Adoption might be one of them for your family!

I would like to share some photographs with you from our trip to China in December 2007...

- Daddy and Tyler standing on the Great Wall Of China -

- Our first minutes with baby Jessa! -
(I still had braces... Wow!)

- Our family of five!!! -

- By the first night, she was a smiling girl -
Do you see in this picture that she's grabbing my nose?! :)

- Little baby feet -

- All dressed up -

- She loves her mama -

- She also loves her daddy -

- Sweet Smiles -

- Women exercising in the park -

- This woman completed some very neat moves with her "sword" -

- Oh, I love this photograph. Daddy was taking the picture, so unfortunately, he isn't in it. -

- Jessa's first plane flight -

- Jessa was in love with my brother's hat -

- Precious baby Jessa sleeping -

- Look at those eyes -

- Jessa was not very happy about going to her doctor's appointment -

- Look at that sweet smile -

- This is a photograph of the market street, which was quite interesting -

- I love this -

- Jessa loved wearing Mama's sunglasses -

- This photograph was taken the evening we arrived home -

- Jessa is a true blessing from the Lord -

Many Blessings,


Grace said...

Oh, how precious!!! What a true miracle from the Lord! That is so amazing that you experienced the whole adoption of your sister! I was only 6 months when I was adopted from China, so I do not really remember anything.
Thanks again for the super sweet letter, dearest friend!
With lots of love from,

-Bess- said...

How amazing! I love the story of your family's journey. It's so neat you got to go to China to get your little sister! I pray God blesses Jessa, her big sis =), & your whole family!
Love From Your Sister in Christ,
P.S.: Thanks for your comments on my blog! =)

Sereina said...

Great story, Jenna. Jessa is adorable!

Quinn said...

What a beautiful & precious post Jenna! Thank you so much for sharing your inspiring story. It moved me to tears! Your writing just exudes the sweetness of your heart :)

Grace said...

Thank you, dearest Jenna for posting about my giveaway!!!!
Love always,

Shannon said...

It is so amazing how the Lord works, Jessa is so adorable, and her sweet child-like character is always a joy to see. May she grow up to be a Godly young lady, and to strive to serve the Lord with all her heart just like her older sister.....


Maggie said...

What an amazing story! All of the pictures of her are absolutly adorible! Thank you so much for sharing.


-Bess- said...

You have an award awaiting on my blog! =)

Grace said...

Your letter is in the mailbox right now!!! I am so excited. Hope you receive it soon; probably on Saturday or on Monday!
Sisters in Christ,

Rachel's Blog said...

What a fun post, Jenna!! That was so neat. Jessa is just SO cute - it looks like she was happy from day one!

Many of those photos look familiar to me, like all the ladies doing their "exercises" in the park with their swords and chinese fans. Saw that a lot!

I guess the "worst" (if there was a worst part) of the trip was the LONG flights, but since I have hardly ever flown, it was a real treat! I got a little sore just sitting there, though. But what an experience. How fun that your whole family got to go!

Thanks for sharing Jessa's adoption story!


Hannah said...

What a beautiful, sweet blessing! God's riches and blessings to your whole family...your whole BEAUTIFUL family! God bless you guys! :-)

Rachel Grace said...

This post is so beautiful, wow! Children are most definitelly an heritage from the Lord, your sister Jessa is truly a blessings to you I am sure!
At the moment my family is in the process of adopting a little girl from a big city near us. Her "online" name is little Jay. We also are fostering a little boy, Mark, but he will most likely not be able to stay with us.
Reading your post was truly an encouragement to me, I think I will even have my mom read it. It is wonderful to know other families who have adopted or are adopting, even if your precious little one came from China, and ours, Milwaukee.
Thank you Jenna!
Rachel Grace

Eldarwen said...

What a precious girl! Jessa is so adorable! She must be a tremendous blessing to your family! :) God is so good! :)

Maria said...

She is so *CUTE*!!!

That is for sure! Children ARE a blessing from the Lord!