Home to Us
***November is Adoption Awareness Month***
(Read to the end for a give-away!)
“‘I say this because I know what I am planning for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future’.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NCV)
When Allie arrived on a bright Saturday in early Spring 2012, our hearts expanded with the addition of our 2-year old daughter.
That’s just what happens.
It’s a miracle, really.
Some of you know. She’d suffered loss only weeks prior. While at the breakfast table in her home in South Carolina, her maternal grandfather–a man she affectionately called Papa Jimmy–suffered a massive heart attack and passed away hours later.
Allie witnessed the ordeal, heard the sirens, saw strangers carry him away on a stretcher. That was the last time she’d see the man who’d adopted her, making her more than a grand-daughter.
She was his daughter.
For weeks after coming to us, in toddler garble, she’d relive the incident–that which was seared on her heart and mind.
“Papa Jimmy bump his head. He fall down. He in heaven.”
With wee arms flying, she’d re-enact the event, bopping herself on the head with one hand, then sort of wave her fingers while making a funny face.
She wasn’t being insensitive about what had happened. It was just how she communicated her thoughts on the matter. Again, she wasn’t yet three.
Since that day more than eleven years ago, Allie’s shared more pieces of that puzzle, an event that changed her life–how she recalls sitting in her high chair. How, once the squad took him away, she missed him. And, interestingly, she remembers what she was eating–cheerios.
Yes, these are pieces, parts of her earlier years, she still tries to put together, figure out how they fit.
For the most part, Allie’s well-adapted, content with the bit of communication we’ve had with several biological family members. Her paternal grandma, for example–a woman named Angie whom we FaceTimed several years ago, prior to her passing.
And she’s learned she has at least one half brother, a young man who resides in South Carolina somewhere. Though they’ve not spoken or met, she dreams of meeting him one day.
Her birth mom, too, lives not so far away, also in the Palmetto State. We’ve spoken with her virtually, and we communicate in private messages on Facebook.
One day, perhaps soon, we’ll meet face to face. It’s been years since Allie last saw the woman who gave her life, someone to whom Bill and I owe a debt of gratitude.
Besides adoption, it’s that Something Else our family thinks a lot about this time of year. I’m guessing others do too.
Take, for example, the Hampshires–a family I’ve only recently come to know, folks who also appreciate and are grateful for adoption. Like many, they’re counting their blessings!
Brian and Sarah already had four biological children, with three sons still at home, when they considered adding to their brood.
Out of concern for their kids, they asked them, “So, what would you think about us adopting a child?”
And, a vote taken, the decision–a life-long commitment–was made. Soon after, a little boy born an ocean away joined the Hampshire family in God’s perfect time.
Kim Min Soo was first identified as 93-89 (the 89th South Korean child placed for adoption by the Social Welfare Society in 1993). He’d be the Hampshire’s fifth and final child, landing in America on May 19th, 1996. Similar to our daughter, Min was only a toddler when he arrived. And, like Allie, he’d already faced and overcame a number of challenges.
Min battled health problems from birth–namely, a genetic disorder called neurofibromatosis, not to mention, he struggled with both cognitive and behavioral challenges.
Like Allie–who was born with her own physiological issues which, at fourteen, present themselves in minor learning difficulties–so, too, Min. At almost 31, this determined young man faces ongoing obstacles.
Still, despite any physical or cognitive hindrances, Min set out to write his memoir–telling his parents, “I want to write my story,” then concluded, “Will you help me?”
And help him they did. After all, they believed their son’s testimony was worth telling. Why?
Because it points to the perfect plan of a loving Father.
With the encouragement of some gifted editors, publishers, and friends, A Home for Min Soo–Putting Together the Pieces of My Life (The Fourth One Publishing, 2023) was born into the world earlier this year, less than two years after Min first exclaimed, “I want to write my story!”
As his mother, my friend Sarah, shared–
“We really didn’t think Min could do this, and we’re absolutely sure the Holy Spirit helped him. At times, he’d speak such deep truths, things we didn’t realize he’d grasped. Even as I scribed for him, sometimes it took my breath away. And as Brian and I edited, we’d often break into tears, saying, ‘How was it possible for him, given his challenges, to achieve this?'”
But they know…
And Bill and I know too. Only our good and gracious Father, the One who has a perfect plan–a plan of good, not of evil–could bring these children to our homes, to bless our lives.
Yes, to bless others’ lives!
No person, no physical, mental or emotional challenge, no government, no distance–not even an ocean–can thwart that which our gracious Abba desires to do.
Allie and Min are living proof!
There are questions many adopted kids ask, questions like–
- Does my birth mother cry when she thinks of me, especially on my birthday?
- Do I have my birth father’s eyes? My birth mother’s nose?
- What would life be like had I not been adopted but, rather, had remained with my biological mom / dad / family?
Yes, these are some Allie and Min–not to mention our other two adopted children–have asked as they, too, lay the puzzle pieces of their lives in place. Undoubtedly, there will be more.
But what each can trust as he or she walks through life–that which we all can trust–is this–
God knows what He’s planning–to give us hope. To give us a future.
His puzzle–unique for each, something we’re called to contribute to in the fitting together of pieces–always creates the most perfect picture, once complete.
Allie and Min, we’re so thankful part of God’s picture brought you right here…
Home to us!
Thank you for sending Your son Jesus who was adopted by Joseph. His coming–his birth, life, death, and resurrection–enables each of us to also be adopted into Your family. Yes, to be Your children!
Thank you, Abba, for bringing Allie to us–Ian and Jacob too–and for bringing Min to the Hampshire family. Their coming was part of Your perfect plan, and we are so very grateful!
We ask now that You will continue to use Min–to equip him fully for the work You’ve called him to do. Thank you for his book and guide him should he write another. Be with his birth mother, wherever she is, and help Min’s book find its way into her hands. I know that’s a desire of his heart!
Finally, with the health challenges that Min still faces, be with him each step of the way. He walks daily by faith. What an inspiration he is!
For a chance to win a copy of Min’s new release A Home for Min Soo, leave a comment. I’ll draw a name from those who participate next Wednesday, Dec. 6th. You’ll be blessed by his incredible story!
To order a copy, click the Amazon link… HERE!
(Thanks to Pixabay for two puzzle piece images.)