Adoption Timeline

Saturday, July 8, 2017

A painful change...

It's no surprise to the adoption community, that changes happen. Rules change, policies change, programs open and close.  Some of these rules and changes happen to better protect the children, while others happen and seem to have no reason or purpose.

This week, in China, new rules for prospective adoptive parents were implemented immediately.  There were several changes, but I will highlight the major ones.

  • Adoptive families can have no more than 5 children in the home
  • Adoptive families can have no children less then 3 years of age in the home
  • Adoptive families can no longer adopt 2 children at once
  • Adoptive families have to wait 1 year in between adoptions

To an outsider reading this, you may not think these new rules sound harsh. In fact, you may be even thinking they are beneficial or positive.  But, let me tell you, this week, I mourned over these changes.  Like, I shed tears. I cried for the families that are no longer able to adopt a child they saw as their son or daughter. I cried for our family, as the reality of Ri being our daughter would not exist had these rules been in effect 1 year ago.  And mostly, I cried for all the children that wait.   

It may not seem that there are many families that will be disqualified from these new rules, but oh friends, that is just not true. I cannot even begin to count the number of families who plan to return to China who have 5 or more children, who have a child less than 3, who planned on adopting more than one child, or have only been home less than a year. 

Every family that is now denied = one more child that waits. There are families that were ready to say "Yes".... who now are being told "No". 

I am haunted by the images of children who were ready to be placed, had families ready to move and fight for them, who now are back...waiting. 

And let me be very clear and open on my opinion on a few things.  Do not tell me, that one particular child will "find another family".  Do not tell me "there is another family out there for them."  The facts are very very clear. There are more children WAITING then there are families. Period.  So, eliminating a large pool of families mathematically leads to only one result...more waiting children.

And friends...these are NOT just faces. These are lives. These are lives, that if not brought home, will either sit in an orphanage until they "age out" at 14. Or they will die. There is no sugar coating it. All of these children, regardless of the health condition, deserve a chance at life, they deserve a family.  They did not choose their circumstances.  But we, can ACT. We can speak and act on behalf of those who cannot. 

Let me also be very clear an another misconception.  You cannot sit here and tell me, that a large family or a family with a child less then 3, is automatically not capable or qualified to raise another child.  Do not tell me that it would be better for them to an orphanage with 800 other children, when they could be in a FOREVER home with a large family or a family with a younger child.  I know it may look crazy to some. I know you may think it would be crazy to come home from China and turn around and run back.  But you know what if it is crazy? What if that craziness led to one more child getting a chance at life? Or let's flip it around...the other scary horrific side.  What if our lack of "craziness" led to a loss of a chance at life? What if our fear kept us from doing one of the most beautiful things God had planned for us?

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline" 2 Timothy 1:7

So, tonight, I truly plead with you.  Will you consider where you and your family fit into this?  Does your family still qualify?  Could you, possibly be a forever family to a child who is waiting? Do you have room at your table? Do you have room in your hearts to say Yes?  Maybe it's not China...that's totally OK!! The need friends....spans the east to the west, in all countries including our own.  But please, would you pray? Would you consider where you can help? Would you take that first step?

As long as there are children waiting, our hearts should be burdened.  May we not let new rules stop us from being their voice. May they not stop us from fighting...because these children deserve our fight.


  1. Beautifully said....we are no longer able to return because of the new is heartbreaking for the children who will sit and wait.

  2. As hard breaking as this is, (I have 2 nieces adopted from China) there are thousand of children that wait right here. In your city, in your county, in your country. God has a plan for each child and sometimes that means across the miles families are connected. However when God shuts a door. He may have another one waiting. So many kids waiting for a forever home right in our back yard. The state often gives a subsidy to help care for these kiddos. Yet people spend 15-30,000 to go to China. My heart is that no child would be left waiting for a forever home. Please no hateful comments. I love my 2 nieces from China and my niece from Korea but my heart breaks for our forgotten orphans in America who linger in fostercare.

    1. Megan, absolutely agree!! A child without a family breaks my heart regardless of where they live. And I know the Lord calls us each to different areas and to different places. Our calling was for China, but children EVERYWHERE need to be fought for. There are so many ways we can fight for the waiting children. Even just getting involved with local reprieve for foster families is a HUGE way we can have an impact on this crisis. May we all have open ears and hearts to where we may be called and to how we can be a voice!

    2. Megan...I have an adopted son from Korea. I did not choose the to adopt from Foster care because I did not feel I was able to care for a child who came from abuse. (Foster children are not taken from good homes)
      May I ask a question (I hope this does not come across as "hateful".)
      How many abused children do you have in your home?

    3. The very rule that prevents us from adopting from China also prevents us from having foster children in our home or from adopting out of foster care: we have too many children in the home. It is those of us who have already walked the path of adoption time and again who are willing to take the risk to do it AGAIN because we know how to overcome the scary stuff, we know how to manage the difficult, we know the sacrifices it requires on our part, and we are in it completely for the CHILD. Yet we are the ones prevented from stepping up for that child because we have too many already.

    4. Megan, if only it were that simple... just take in a child domestically. Unfortunately foster care and/or adoption from foster care in the US is very complex. As Kandi noted, most states have limits on family size. That is a large part of why our family adopted from China the first time, we were already at our state's family size limit. Another complicating issue is that many many children waiting in foster care need to be (per their social worker) the youngest in the home, for families who are willing to adopt but still have little ones at home this rules us out as well. So your passion for US kids is great but not everyone is allowed to meet those needs. Maybe you are able to?

  3. Beautifully written! All children are God's children, all money is God's money. How much you pay to save and change a life is not an issue. Saying "yes" to wherever your passion is is the part we are responsible for. God handles the money, location, timing, and specific child. I am the foster parent of two beautiful "abused" girls. I have three young children. I plan to one day adopt internally. Praise the Lord that all we have to do is be obedient. Praying the Lord stirrs hearts to help kids and families everywhere!

  4. Perhaps this is in response to Trump's treatment of China...since he has been President??

    1. No. It began prior. It is in response to waivers in the China process.

  5. Abused children come from every country. One of my abused kids is from China. The foster system here is so broken that many try to foster to adopt and get nowhere. My husband is also a CASA volunteer so I see both sides. Adopting or fostering here is not as easy as people believe and unless you are in that system you have no idea how hard ti can be. That said, every child deserves a home but there are problems here to be fixed too.

  6. We should help children no matter where they live, but we've been foster parents for 15 years and fostercare can be very heartbreaking. We have loved and lost many time. 5 years ago we had 3 boys placed with us as foster placements, and we are just now getting the opportunity to adopt them. 5 years! During these 5 years, we have completed 2 adoptions of our daughters from China who needed medical attention. Sometimes you feel the need to go to the children who need you the most.