We were so close. We had raised five sons that we are proud of; all with the guiding prinicple to see people and meet needs. We were within sight of the finish line. We were just 3 years from being empty nesters. Then…everything changed. With one picture of an orphan in China, God challenged us to follow the principles we had instilled in our sons. We saw a need. So we adopted a three year old girl.
4 surgeries, 3 hip-spica casts, 2 plates and 8 screws, 2 therapy appointments every week, a wheelchair, a walker, foot and ankle orthotics, special shoes, and not one regret.
That’s the short list of what we have been through since November 28, 2016 when we finalized the adoption of our daughter, Mei-Lynn Grace FengQian Nichols. Mei-Lynn was born with mylomeningocele spina bifida, club foot, tethered cord, hydrocephalus, and the cutest eyes and brightest smiles.
That wasn’t always the case. We have seen pictures from her days in the orphanage in China. There were no smiles, and there was no hope. Our daughter would likely never have walked on her own. She probably never would have had access to the best medical care. And most importantly, she may have never felt the warmth of a family, a mom, and a dad, and 5 brothers. But now she does.
Now, in Hefei, Anhui, China, there is another little girl. She was born with mylomeningocele spina bifida, club feet, tethered cord, hydrocephalus, and the cutest eyes and a bright smile. She needs a family, and that family needs your help. We believe that God has equipped us specifically for such a time as this. Some say to us “the first one is hard enough, why are you doing this again.” Our response is simple. “How can we not do this again? Do you not see how God has already given us everything we need?”
• Gifted doctors who are already “fighting” to be part of Kai-Li’s team
• Therapists who can’t wait to start working with her
• A network of family and friends for support
• Medical equipment specific to the needs of a child with spina bifida, hip, and leg issues
• A 4 year old little girl who desperatly wants a sister
• 5 brothers who love, adore, protect, and encourage
We are honored, and humbled to partner with Lifesong for Orphans to help bring our daughter, whose name will be Kai-Li Hope Nichols, from an orphanage in China, to a warm, loving home in Ohio.
Our family is also grateful to be the recipients of a generous matching grant from the Chosen and Dearly Loved Foundation. This wonderful organization is committed to helping families with Special Needs Adoptions. Their generoristy was a big part of bringing Mei-Lynn home in 2016, and will again be a major part of bringing Kai-Li home, too.
We are working with our agency, Cradle of Hope Adoption Center to bring our daughter home as quickly as possible. We began this journey in November 2017, and are on schedule to travel in mid to late July, Many families take 12-18 months for a special focus adoption and have the time needed to save resources and do extensive personal fundraising. We completed our first adoption in less than 9 months, and we are on target to complete this second one in as little as 8 months, total.
Where we are lacking is funding this process. Over the last 16 months, through our first adoption and the subsequent medical needs, and now funding the initial segments of this second adoption, we have exhausted all of our available personal resources. In faith, we will continue to walk the path before us. A dear and wise friend said to us, “God funds what He favors.” We know that orphan care is near to the heart of God, and it is the near to your heart as well.
While we were in China in 2016 getting our daughter, Mei-Lynn, as we walked through a small section of the city of Guangzhou, we came across two scenes that broke our hearts. The first was a woman who was probably 30, that look every bit of 60, hunched over in the street. She had a large, exposed mass on her back that, to our untrained eye, looked like it could have been a myelomeningocele spina bifida that never received the treatment she needed. It was clear that she had worked all morning to get to the top of a pedestrian bridge area, just to spend the day begging for change. Angela and I were broken for her, knowing that could have just as easily been our daughter had she not been adopted.
The second scene, just a few hundred yards away, was a young mother, with a makeshift stroller made of a shopping cart and some blankets, with a very small child that also appeared to have a similar spinal defect as the woman we had just passed. There is no doubt that this mother loved her child, and was willing to deal with the social embarrassment that would surely come her way, as she, too, begged for change. Again, Angela and I were moved to tears.
We do not deserve to be on this side of our daughters’ stories. We have done nothing that would warrant us being the recipient of all the blessings they will bring to us. We are moved daily to remember that around the world there is are two mothers whose best option to get her child the medical care she needed was to surrender her in hopes that a family would come for her. That will never be lost on us. We are honored to be that family.
STRIPE charges an online processing fee (2.2% +.30 USD per transaction). Your donations will be decreased by this amount. You may also send a check payable to “Lifesong for Orphans”. In the memo line please write “Nichols 7329”, to ensure it is credited to our account. Please mail to Lifesong for Orphans, PO Box 40, Gridley, IL 61744.
Lifesong has been blessed with partners who underwrite all U.S. administrative and fundraising costs (TMG Foundation and other partners). That means 100% of your donation will go directly to the adoption.
- In following IRS guidelines, your donation is to Lifesong for Orphans. This organization retains full discretion over its use, but intends to honor the donor’s suggested use.
- Lifesong is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Individual donations of $50 or more and yearly donations totaling $250 or more will receive a tax-deductible receipt. Receipts for donations under $50 will gladly be sent upon request.