What an absolute joy it is for me to introduce you all to the McKee family!
I read their story with chills! God is just so amazing. He can take any fear, any doubt, and any concern we have and turn it into something good–something amazing. The McKee family is proof that when God puts us on HIS perfect path for our lives, we must follow…no matter what. The end result is not our concern, but His. Our only concern is to follow HIM. Nothing is impossible for the Lord God Almighty!
Introducing the McKee’s: Rebecca and Matt, with their beautiful children, Alex (12), Ansley (9), Aiden (6), Averleigh (21 months).
In 2004 I (Rebecca) watched an episode of Oprah that made a profound impact on my life. Lisa Ling from National Geographic Explorer was talking about her latest documentary called, “The Lost Girls of China,” but it was the clips of an earlier documentary by some British journalists that literally broke my heart. I was pregnant with our third child and I remember going to my bathroom and sobbing after seeing the horrific video of a precious one named “Mei Ming” which means “no name.”
She lay lifeless on a concrete floor, hollow, sunken eyes, no hope left on her tiny little face. She was so emaciated and completely ALONE. I cried, “Lord, this is your child! This is SOMEONE’S child!” It could have been my little Ansley who was only two at the time and that was all I could think of… “How Lord?” How could anyone be so cruel?
Well, once you are aware of a problem, it becomes your responsibility to act. So when my husband got home from work that day I told him what I had seen and asked him if he’d pray about adopting a baby from China. He said yes. Like I said, I was pregnant at the time, so we prayed and said, “Lord, if this is from You and if it be Your will, we are willing. We will put it on the back burner and when the time is right, You will bring it back around.” At that time the wait was only one year for a healthy baby.
As time went by we watched friends all around us bring their cutie pies home from China. I kept on waiting. Pretty soon after, the wait started to get longer for a healthy baby. By the time we heard God say “now,” the wait had climbed to five years and counting for a healthy baby.
I started looking into the waiting-child program. I figured, why wait when there are so many kids out there needing homes now? So last December we decided to start looking. At this point, we now have four biological children. There are almost five years between the two youngest, and so we went looking for a toddler between two and four with a cleft-lip/palate.
I saw a couple of sweet faces and even inquired about them, but there was this lovely 12-year-old girl that caught my heart immediately. Her name on Rainbow Kids was “Desirae.” She had such a sweet countenance. When I read her brief bio I just knew she was ours. I looked on an advocacy blog called “Cornbread & Chopsticks” and she was there too! That night when my husband and I were lying in bed, I pulled out my laptop and showed him her picture. He said, “That’s our daughter. Let’s go get her.”
The very next day I called the agency and requested her file. We prayed and asked the Lord to show us if this was the one. Her file just gave us even more confirmation that this was indeed the one. So we headed down the long path to adopt her–waiting on the Lord every step of the way to guide us and show us.
We prayed for wisdom and for our children and begged God to show us if this would in any way harm our children. We were going about this in a way contrary to what most people would recommend. She would be bumping our birth order COMPLETELY out of whack; coming in as the oldest and pretty much “twinning” our son. But our kids were all thrilled with our decision. We moved forward and kept on praying. We received pre-approval on February 17, (Her twelfth birthday was the 18th) and we were over the moon with excitement.
By the end of our day, just as we were going to bed, our dreams came crashing down. I received an e-mail from a local gal (who is now my good friend) who had just brought home a 13-year-old girl from China and they were not doing well at all (though now she’s doing great). She introduced me to a Yahoo group of families who were also having struggles and it was hard to hear. We were nervous for our current children. This was all so new to us. We knew we would have struggles. We just didn’t know what they might look like.
We called our agency the next day and asked them to give us two weeks to pray and seek counsel. Every single person we met with told us not to do it, including the social worker. So after two long weeks of intense prayer, we backed out. I was especially heartbroken. It felt like a miscarriage. Worst of all, I felt like I had turned my back on her. I could not sit back and do nothing. I had to do something.
One day while I was walking, the Lord told me to advocate for her, even though we had personally turned her down. I ran home and started our blog (http://www.loveisonthemove-hope.blogspot.com/). I sent it to EVERYONE I knew, including many wonderful women I have met through their adoption blogs: Annie Hamlin, Jean Mulvahill, Jennifer Logue, just to name a few, and of course my best friend Tracy who walked with me through this EVERY SINGLE DAY. These women have been my allies. They have prayed for me and counseled me and they have never even met me!
The adoption community is so amazing. My desire for adoption grew, while my husband, at this point, had completely shut down. He became a “reluctant husband” to the greatest degree. I was so frustrated. I knew that pushing him would be wrong. He is the head of our home. If he didn’t have a peace about it, it wasn’t right. I told him I was okay with the word “wait.” I just couldn’t handle “no.”
So I waited and waited and waited and waited. I found Adeye’s blog during this time and was so moved by her heart for orphans and her passion for the Lord. I could relate to her so well. When her husband Anthony started his blog, I started forwarding them to my husband. I know he read them, but he never commented about it. He still wasn’t ready.
In the meantime, I had ladies e-mailing me almost once a week for more details about “Desirae,” whom we called “Hope.” Every time I gave them the info, I would get my hopes up and then be disappointed when they’d say she wasn’t the right one for them. Over the course of time I kept on researching. I felt God doing something in me that could only be Him. My fears were falling away. Knowledge was giving me understanding and that understanding was giving me hope and the Lord was filling me with a great peace…
To make a VERY long story short, we left for vacation this past summer and I put it all behind me. I told myself that if I believed that God was truly in control, I needed to give it all to Him and let it go. So I went about my summer and God went about His business doing all kinds of amazing things for us. It’s hilarious when I think back to all that He did to show us that this was indeed His desire and perfect plan for us all along (the even LONGER version with all the miraculous details is on our blog).
YES, she is going to be ours after all! We are with an amazing agency now called Lifeline and I cannot tell you how much this agency has done for us. They went to bat for us and we received pre-approval again! Even though the former agency we were working with told us that if we backed out, there would be no turning back. With God ALL things are possible. If you are a praying, waiting wife, keep on praying and waiting. Don’t lose hope. Be patient. Wait in great expectation of what God wants to do in your life. To Him “a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years a day.” He will use this time to strengthen your trust in Him.
We do not know what lies ahead for our family, but we have great faith and hope that our loving Father will give us exactly what we need when we need it. Will we face challenges? Of course! But we now KNOW WITHOUT A DOUBT that this is His will and when we face those challenges, we will remember how clear He has been. Please pray for us. We have loved this journey and we love it even more when we can share it with others.
It’s miraculous and we are so anxious to have our sweet “Ashlyn Hope” home with us sometime next summer/fall. We are humbled that God would choose us to raise her and love her. As Dennis Rainey has said, “We need adoption as much as adoption needs us.” We know that she is going to bless our lives way more than we will ever bless hers.
Rebecca blogs about her lovely family and their journey to Ashlyn Hope right here. I know they would love it if you followed along and prayed for them every step of the way. I cannot wait to see what God does in this young girl’s life. What a beautiful picture of redemption and how God never, ever lets us go.