“I think we should prayerfully consider adopting from China!” I spoke those words to Jacob in the fall of 2016 and to my amazement he said OK. I was sure he would remind me that we were trying our best to raise our 3 girls (6, 4, and 2 at the time) and falling into bed exhausted at the end of every day. So how did adding another child to our family make sense? With God all things are possible and little did I know He was already working in the hearts of our whole family. Jacob and I began praying about this decision and asking the Lord to lead us in this process.
When our youngest was born I felt like she was the baby of the family so when we started praying about adopting we considered a child older than our youngest. One day my middle child came to me and said, ‘Mom I want a sister that is older than Karis!’ She talked about this for weeks and when I asked why she was thinking about that or how she thought she might have a sister older than Karis she just shrugged and said, ‘I don’t know. It’s just want I what.’
Kendall, our oldest, came to me one day (again during the time we were praying about adopting) and said, ‘Mom, I really want a brother or sister from China!’ I about fell out of my seat. I have no idea where she got this idea or even how she knew about China. A year before, her preschool did a one-day study on China but I never talked about it. We weren’t even considering China adoption that year. We had not mentioned one word about adopting to our kids when Kendall made this statement.
During this time, Jacob was looking for another work opportunity. It was financially a very hard yet precious time for our family as he was home all the time. He has always spent quality time with our girls and makes them his top priority but during this time he invested into them like never before. I first found out about the orphan crisis in China from following a foundation that provides support to orphans in China on Instagram. I read the director’s posts to Jacob a lot during this time. He worked tirelessly to find a job and one day a good friend from church called to tell him he gave his name to a company that was looking to hire someone for a position that Jacob was very qualified for. He interviewed and was hired at a company with the same name as the orphan foundation we had been following. We couldn’t believe the organization that had opened our eyes and hearts to adoption held the same name of the company that would give us financial stability to pursue our adoption.
Right before we began the process, our church group sang Christmas carols at a retirement community. After singing our kids were directed to hand out candy canes. My middle was timid so I walked with her to find a person to hand our candy cane to. I locked eyes with a sweet woman and had Claire give her the candy cane. I turned to walk away but the woman started to talk with me. She told me how special it was to see parents like us raising our kids to love God and serve people. She went on to tell me about her kids and said, ‘My son has kids. (she paused, looked me right in the eye) You know what, he adopted his daughters from China.’ I was taken back but at this point not surprised that God had placed another person in my life who was talking about a China adoption. I told her our plans and she said, ‘That child will be so blessed and YOU will also be so blessed raising that child.’ It couldn’t have been a better response. So many people think the adopted child is the one who is blessed (or lucky), but in reality, the parents are the ones who experience the blessings and see the goodness of God.
We started the process in January of 2018 and will be sending our dossier in early June. We have not been matched yet but we know God has knitted us together with the child he has called to be part of our family so we pray fervently that she knows the love we have for her already and feels God’s presence in her own heart as we fight to bring her home. Our girls have prayed for their new sister almost every night and talk about her all the time. Jacob and I remain confident, even through the delays, mountains of paperwork, financial expenses, and moments of fear that God does not call the equipped but EQUIPS THOSE HE CALLS. More than anything, please pray for strength and guidance for us. Pray for our will to be God’s will. Pray that our hearts would be full of peace and God would prepare our daughter’s heart to join our family, that the process would be smooth, and we would grow closer to Christ. We are truly thankful to only receive that. If, in addition, you would like to financially help us we believe the adoption will cost more than $30,000.
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 “Conklin 7745”, 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.