It was such an honor and a privilege to be a part of Bennett’s homecoming. Jenn has been a longtime friend and I am so incredibly happy to see first hand how God answered her prayers and provided in such a huge way. I asked Jenn to share a short summary of their story:
David and I always knew we wanted to adopt. We had talked about it when we were dating and continued to dream of one day adopting as our life together grew. I had always pictured that we would adopt a little boy from Asia. I couldn’t shake that this picture was what God had planned for us and David agreed that he could see us pursuing adoption from Asia as well. As we began to settle into life with three kids, we still talked about adoption, but it seemed like it was too far out of our reach. The cost of international adoption is so high and the amount of work necessary to complete the adoption just seemed like something that could not be done while raising three kids. It just seemed like we could never do it.
On July 19, 2014, I was driving in my car and I clearly heard God speak to me. I don’t say this lightly, but I was absolutely sure that this was God’s voice speaking to my heart. I was thinking about adoption and I felt God say to me “I have created you to do this and now is the time. Share your story.” I decided to google “China special needs adoption” that night, just to see where we would even begin and to see how likely it even was to be able to adopt. I was led to a website that has thousands of pictures of children with special needs from all over the world. I got to the second page of the website and just stopped. I saw the face of a little boy that I knew had to be ours. I clicked on his profile and saw that the agency had given him the name “Bennett”. I smiled because that was the name I had wanted to give our youngest if she had been a boy. I then saw his birthdate, 12.19.12. He was exactly ten days older than our youngest, the one I had so desperately wanted to be boy and girl twins. I sent his picture to my husband and said “I am flying to China tomorrow to get this guy”.
Though hopeful, I never thought in a million years we would actually get to bring Bennett home. I contacted the agency he was listed with and found out that China would allow “artificial twinning” (not all countries allow this). Our agency did not always allow that, but after a phone interview, they agreed to grant us a waiver. A few weeks later, we had wanted to put in a letter of intent so that China knew we were interested in adopting Bennett. We were told that we could not because our home study was not complete. The only way this could happen was if his status was changed from “special need” to “special focus” by China. I sent out a text message to a group of friends and asked them to pray for this change. Four days later we received an email that Bennett was now listed as “special focus” and we could submit our letter.
After our letter of intent was accepted, we were given his file from China. We saw his Chinese name on the file “Tian Shi Long”. Our last name is Long. He already had our name. Isn’t God so amazing?
I could spend pages telling you about how God has provided the over $30,000 we needed for the adoption. One time, I was desperate for $4,250 that was needed upon our official referral. I was so worried about the money. Our funds were dry at that point and I had no idea how we would pay. It really was silly that I even worried since God had provided so much through His people already. Later that week, we were awarded $7,000 through two different grants. I prayed for $4,250 and He provided $7,000. We started out with $0 saved for the adoption. All we knew was that God had told us to do it and do it now. He provided abundantly. We received grants and more donations than I can even comprehend through so many generous people.
We traveled to China with our oldest son to bring Bennett home. Brady had prayed for years for a brother and he was able to see how God answered his prayer in a way none of us could imagine. It was so hard leaving our girls, Ella and Kinsley home, but they were cared for and loved by so many. We are blessed and so thankful we were able to go on this journey.
I also hope to adopt someday, but until then I praise God for each and every family who gives a child in need a loving home and a new life 🙂 Love you guys!!