Have you ever had one of those times when you knew without any doubt that God had a specific plan for you? When you had absolute clarity that there was a ministry He was calling you to, or a task He wanted you to complete? -- and where, like so many other Believers, you felt so ‘small’ for the task and God was requiring more than you imagined possible of you? Our story with Jing and Nai (called Isaac during the hosting) was like that!
Allen and I met Jing in the summer of 2015 at First Baptist Church in Chappell Hill, TX when he was being hosted by another family in our church. Jing was eight years old at the time. When they introduced us to Jing, he grabbed me around the neck and hugged me – as he did with others, I might add.
I walked away feeling blessed, I can tell you! I was drawn to Jing and wanted to hear more of his story. Love began that day in my heart for him. The family said that Jing was being hosted for adoption, and that he’d be with their family for a few weeks that summer. We later heard that a family was in the process of adopting him, and we were very glad.
It’s funny to think about now, but over the course of several months, he would come to mind frequently, and when he did, I’d always say a quick prayer for him and his adoption.
I didn’t hear anything else about Jing until I received a Christmas letter from the host family from our church. In the letter, she mentioned that Jing was still looking for a forever home, and asked for prayer because time was running out for him. I admit that adoption might have crossed my mind for a moment, but my thoughts were along the lines of ‘We’re too old’; ‘He’d be bored out here in the country’; ‘He wouldn’t have any friends nearby’; ‘He needs a younger family’. I didn’t really, consciously seriously consider adoption, in other words. My assumption was that we wouldn’t qualify because of our age, but now looking back, I see the Holy Spirit at work preparing my heart for something amazing from God.
We saw the host family at church in early January, and as we spoke after the service, I asked her about Jing. I mentioned that I thought he was being adopted. She said that the adoption fell through – that the people didn’t qualify although they loved him very much. She told me about the deadline for adoption at the end of January, after which his file would be returned to the general pool of adoptees and he would likely be considered unadoptable. After we talked a bit about Jing’s situation, she happened to mention that the same thing had happened to his best friend, Nai, who was hosted in Florida during the summer of 2015. Nai was 9 years old at the time. She indicated that he’d had someone interested in adopting him, but they adopted another child. We talked about Nai some and she told us what she knew about him. We never discussed adoption at all, BUT it was then that the Holy Spirit really took hold of me.
My husband and I didn’t speak of the conversation as we got in the car to go home, but my mind just wouldn’t be still. Every argument that my mind had conceived was overcome with love and with the desire to make these boys part of our family. Yes, both boys. These orphanage brothers could be forever brothers in our family. My heart was so overwhelmed that I knew I needed to talk to Allen. As we drove in silence, I said to him, “You know…” – and before I ever got to the rest of my sentence, he said “We need to adopt those boys!” We were both impressed with exactly the same thoughts at the same time! Now THAT is a God-moment! We shared with the host family what God was impressing upon both of our hearts, and they put us in touch with the family who hosted Nai. Through conversations, photos, and videos, we also fell in love with him.
We weren’t sure we’d qualify to adopt the boys because of our ages, but God was already working. When God calls, He equips! Because my birthday was at the end of the year and not at the beginning, we just barely qualified -- but we DID qualify. That qualification began our amazing (and I’ll admit sometimes frustrating) journey down the adoption path. Our ‘gotcha’ date was November 7th, 2016. God has entrusted these two lives to us, and we are excited about bringing glory to God by raising them with His love and kindness.
And isn’t this just like our God?! A year ago, we weren’t even considering adoption. Then God spoke to our hearts about His plan. Today, we can’t imagine our lives without Jing and Nai! It’s truly a God-thing, and we are so grateful for the hope and future we have with these boys!
- Allen and Karen Ginnard
I didn’t really know what this word meant and how it was weaved into the adoption world. It’s the dirty little secret! It’s kept under lock and key!
Let me start at the beginning.
After hosting our daughter, I told God I wanted to have a heart like his for the orphans of this world. I wanted to advocate and tell the world about all these children that sit waiting in orphanages waiting for families to step up. BUT I didn’t want to host again. Hosting was the best and worst thing our family has ever done. We got the chance to fall in love with a child for a month, then our hearts were ripped out when she had to go home. I would do anything but host! Well, God put a beautiful little boy in front of us named John. Next thing you know, we were signed up to host again. We were excited to see what God had in store for us and John. A few weeks later we received a phone call that John would not be coming because a few children at his orphanage came down with measles, and they were not permitting any of the children to travel for the host program. I was heartbroken and mad at God. Why had you put this little boy in my heart then rip it out? I didn’t understand at the time, but God would soon start revealing his plan to us. We found out about a little girl named Claire, and her story rocked my world.
Claire is twelve years old and was adopted from China last year. Her family wanted to disrupt their adoption with her. There is that word again.
Disruption is when you make the decision that you no longer want to parent your adopted child. You are done! Washing your hands of them!
This idea made me so mad. As Christians we talk about God adopting us into his family, we are his children. How can you un-adopt someone? This is not the picture of adoption in the Bible.
After learning about this child, I continued to talk to my husband and friends about this crazy underground world. Somebody needs to do something. This shouldn’t be legal. A few weeks later, we hear about her story again, this time it is an URGENT plea. I looked at my husband and said, “We have to do something!” He said yes! (Definitely a sign from God that we were on the right road.)
We picked up Claire from her adopted family. They had never met us, but were dropping off this child that they adopted just a year before. A child that had lived her whole life in an orphanage and had never known the love of a family. They dangled this idea in front of her, and then ripped it away! To watch this play out was something only from the movies. She didn’t understand what was happening. From her tears, you could see she was in love, she was happy with this family, she wanted to go with them. They were doing this because they were not happy.
We live in a world where if you are not happy, and things look hard, you get divorced, you have an abortion, you disrupt your adoption. We live in a society with a bunch of quitters for the sake of happiness.
We knew that we couldn’t adopt her and didn’t feel God telling us to adopt her. We had so many fears. The one thing that stood out above all the fears is what would happen to her if we didn’t take her in. Where would she go? We stepped blindly into a scary world, a world of blind faith. We knew that we would need to trust God 100%! We would need to listen to his voice, follow his lead, and leap! We took her in as respite, and over the next month our family became a make-shift adoption agency. We interviewed and spoke with many families.
All the while, we are dealing with a broken-hearted child. A child who has never known true love. She has never had anyone love her unconditionally. She has been abandoned, not just once, but twice in her short 12 years of life.
BUT God took her heartache, God took someone else’s sin and is redeeming her story. He is getting glory in the end.
To watch so much heartache, to be a part of someone’s worst day, and to watch God scoop up his daughter and place her in a family that he hand-picked for her is a blessing. To see her face light up when she says her New Family, to see the tears turn to smiles.
At church on Sunday, they were speaking on compassion. It made we think about all we would have missed out on had we not said yes. If we were more concerned about the sacrifices we were going to have to make. What if we were more concerned about our own comfort? We would have missed out on being a part of such an amazing story that could have only been written by The Father himself.
We are forever part of this child’s story.
Think less, listen more. God will guide your steps if you only take the first leap.
There are over 100 million orphaned children in our world today. India has more than 18 million children living on the streets. The orphanages are filled with abandoned children. Many special needs children are left to die, and some orphanages have mortality rates as high as 20%.
I was one of those children in India until our Heavenly Father, chose me to be adopted into a forever family here in the United States. Today I am one of twenty-four kids in my family, of which all but three were adopted. The orphanage that I stayed in was called “Palna” which means “The Cradle.” It is called “The Cradle” because there is a small cradle in front of the orphanage where mothers can abandon their babies safely. The mother will ring a bell and a guard takes the baby inside the orphanage. I was born with a major birth defect called bilateral cleft lip and palate. What is cleft lip and palate, you might ask? Well it is the separation in the roof of a baby’s mouth, which can extend into the throat and out to the upper lip and nose. Bilateral means there are two separations instead of one.
A baby born with cleft lip and palate faces many issues from the moment it is born. The biggest issue a newborn baby faces is that it has to struggle to get enough milk because most of what it eats comes out the separations in the palate and nose. In foreign countries, many babies with this condition do not survive, but in the United States we have great medical resources to help cleft lip and palate babies.
In my case, my cleft was so severe that the doctors at Texas Children’s Hospital suggested that I learn American Sign Language because I would never have the ability to speak with clarity. Well, God had another plan! My parents were not ready to settle for that diagnosis, and they knew that God could work miracles in my life. After all, He had already moved a mountain to bring me into my new family. When I was still in the orphanage I didn’t have a last name, just a first name because I was an orphan. Now that I’m a believer, I know my name is written in His book and that I will someday be with Him. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to give you hope and a future.”
I sometimes look at the freedom we have in America and compare it to other countries. Some countries are not allowed to worship Jesus Christ, and if they do they are either beaten or killed. Some don’t even know that there is a Savior because they have never had the opportunity to learn about Him. Christians in India were persecuted and suffered greatly because of their belief in Jesus Christ. In India, only 2.3% of the population are Christians. That doesn’t sound like many, but when you do the math it’s actually 24 million believers. Christianity is India’s third largest religion. The rest of the population is Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam and many others.
In December of 2004, I made a decision to follow Jesus Christ and I was baptized. I know that I am not a perfect person, but that’s why Jesus came and died for us. He wanted to give all of us a second chance to be able to be with Him when our time is up here. I am so thankful that God brought me here to America so that I could learnabout Him and to have opportunities to show and teach others about Him. Two years ago, I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip to Panama with team members from Here I Am Orphan Ministries. We visited several different orphanages. Sure the kids loved the stuff we brought them, but I think they enjoyed us being around them, holding, hugging, playing and teaching them about Jesus Christ. I think that the best things we did were the things money couldn’t buy. We also prayed with each child individually and I was amazed that the teachers and other orphanage employees came up to be prayer for as well. You see, not every orphaned child will know an earthly father, but they need to know that they have a Heavenly Father who is there for them always and loves them deeper than we can comprehend.
You may think that we don’t have anything in common, but the reality is that we are all adopted sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father. So if you are a believer in Christ, you are my brothers and sisters in Christ.