Prayers Please

As I have shared before, Eliza has been very sad. Yesterday, her feelings came to a head and she told us she does not want to go to America with us.

She wouldn’t eat, would not stay anywhere near us, and just pushed us away whenever we got close to her.

We know this is normal.

She seemed better last night, but when Mark and Eliza got home with the pizza, he said she told him again that she was not going to America with us.

This is scary for us. It is hard to take her away from everything she knows, and for a few hours yesterday our faith wavered. We thought perhaps we were wrong to force our precious Eliza to leave her country and the only life she has ever known.

But God has sent so many strong Christians in the adoption world to encourage us to have confidence as her parents that she is not able at fourteen and when she is grieving to make such a huge decision on her own. Her life here would be so terribly hard at best, and horrific at worst. She would live her life alone on the margins of society if she stays. The orphanage will not stay as she remembers it. The children are being adopted and being fourteen, she will never have another chance to be adopted.

God showed Himself miraculously for these adoptions. He made His will so clear to us in so many ways. A dear friend reminded me that His will was so evident to all of us and now it seems like God is saying to us, “This is the way. Walk in it.”

Mark and I have decided to do whatever it takes to get Eliza on the plane. That was not a decision that came easily to us.

This is tough.

Last night I tucked her in bed and said, “Wo ai ni!” And she said, “No!” That is, “I love you” in English.

The other issue is that we are going to see her orphanage today. That was another tough decision. A friend called me and told us not to go. She was so afraid she would stay and that the orphanage staff would support her decision to stay and that we would might be forced to leave her there.

At this point, the girls are legally ours. All the paperwork has been completed. Even so, it is very scary, and she still could refuse to come with us.

I called our guide and asked her if there was any chance that we would be forced to leave Eliza. I also told her that if there was any chance at all of that happening, we did not want to go. She promised me that she and the nannies and her teacher are all a team and in agreement that her only option is to be adopted.

I feel like we need to go to her orphanage. I want to make the connection for her with the orphanage, and hopefully learn a bit more about her from the people who have cared for her. We have also purchased gifts for her friends and have lolly pops to hand out to the children.

So, we are going. I hope with all of my heart that we are not making the wrong decision.

We covet your prayers.

Did I mention this is hard?

Our plane leaves tomorrow morning from Guangzhou.

Thank you so much for your prayers!

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  1. Jillian says:

    Will be saying prayers as a family tonight to help keep your new family together. I too think this must be normal…to feel a tug before making a scary move to a new country. It is an emotional wound she has carried for a long time and will take a very long time to heal. Who heals our wounds better than anyone else? We’ll keep praying and asking Jesus to wrap his loving arms around her and to give her peace.
    Jillian recently posted..A Silver Celebration: Antiques in the CourtyardMy Profile

  2. Sivje says:

    Oh wow Diane. That is hard. You had mentioned before that several of her friends had already been adopted. Are any of those children in the states already? If so, do you have their phone numbers that she could call them? Maybe that would help. I know, you have probably already tried everything but I am just trying to think. I will keep praying for you all. I can’t imagine the pain she must be feeling. Hugs and prayers.
    Sivje recently posted..My Ahnalin Was VERY Blessed!My Profile

  3. Eleanor & Rich Dunlap says:

    Oh, Diane and Mark!
    Our Sovereign God knows all about this. We will all be surrounding you all with love and prayers. May God give you peace and direction. We are praying for a miracle in Eliza’s heart overnight! We know your hearts’ desires is for God to be glorified!

    Trusting with you, Eleanor & Rich Dunlap

  4. Karen Yingling says:

    Praying for you – it is so unbelievably hard. Praying that the visit to the SWI will be her some closure. My 10 year old daughter adopted in December told me recently that she was so scared to come to America – that was why she kept throwing up & getting car sick during our time in China. Her SWI visit did alleviate some of that anxiety –

  5. Desiree Stockman says:

    It is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do! God never promises easy! But He promises to NEVER leave us! Satan is at work! Your faith is tested! I am praying right now that He will give Eliza a peace and give you wisdom.
    We visited Sams orphanage. Our agency said it is GOOD to go. Even if they don’t do well, it’s still good. They need to have that closure and one last time to say goodbye. In the end it’s better. I will be praying for that. I’m so glad you are going. Stand firm! Trust the Lord. This journey is (and was for us) the BIGGEST test of faith! We love you all and are praying!

  6. Jean says:

    Praying for all. Can’t imagine the fright in that young girl’s heart, yet I know with you that coming to America with you is the best for her. I am praying for peace, and that the light will shine for her. Bless you all.

  7. Pam says:

    I came upon your blog right as you were getting ready to leave for China, and have been following along each day. For what it’s worth, I agree that a trip to the orphanage will be GOOD. I think Eliza needs that closure.

    We brought home two of our children in 2010, one a 4 1/2 year old boy and the other a 10 1/2 year old girl. Although younger than your girls, our daughter was still “older” and we would have loved the opportunity to visit her orphanage and/ or her foster family. We were not allowed that opportunity, and to this day it really bothers me. I think a visit to the orphanage will be so helpful for Eliza to begin to process things. And I truly do believe you all are doing the right thing in doing what you can to get her HOME. SO much changes once they are HOME.

    I will be praying for your family tonight.

  8. Dardi says:

    Hi…I’ve never commented, but I wanted to let you know I am praying for Eliza & your family. Several years ago, we were matched with an older child in the foster care system. He opted not to be adopted b/c he didn’t want to leave his friends in the town he was living in. Fast forward several years, & he ended up living with us b/c he had nowhere else to go. His life has turned into a lot of bad choices & bad situations…He even said, “I wish I had…” I’m sorry to say his life continues to not go well. They really are incapable of making big picture decisions at that age that are in their long-term best interest. Stay strong…she may not like you much, but it’s ok b/c parenthood isn’t a popularity contest. 😉 We just hope there comes a day that our children see that there was always purpose in the unpopular moments. Take care!
    Dardi recently posted..a year laterMy Profile

  9. Fran Byrum says:

    Diane, Please know that I’m praying for you the girls and all of your family. Praying for Eliza that God would give her a peace that passes all understanding. Praying for safety for all of you!

    Love, Fran

  10. Melanie says:

    Dear Diane & Mark – our God has this. I can’t imagine how scary this is but stay strong. Perhaps if she knows someday she may even return and bring her own sweet child home with her. In America anything is possible. God bless you all, safe travels and just trust in Him. I am praying for strength and peace for all.

  11. Karen says:

    Hi Diane ! We are praying that everything goes better today for you. My friend Julia’s daughter Caroline would be happy to speak to Eliza. She has been in the US since she was 12 as you know and she speaks fluent Mandarin. She was also very reluctant. Please call (574)315-7887 or (574)273-1615 and she can give her a pep talk.

  12. aunt dot says:

    Hi Diane … PLEASE do not give up … have you thought about inviting two or three of the orphanage to join you, Mark and the family for a dinner or visit of some kind. I really don’t think you should return to the orphanage but try to give her some kind of recognition that the orphanage people do care and want her to know they will not forget her and, indeed, she can correspond with them and perhaps on a special occasion … China’s Memorial Day perhps, when you can get one of them on the phone for her and let her give them an idea of how she is doing. She is terrified, understandably so, the language problem is really bad. Do you have any friends in NJ who speak Chinese so they could be on hand when you arrive home to welcome both girls to their new country. This would allow them to communicate in their language for re-enforcement. It is really important to get someone from the orphanage to come by and talk to her and learn her real fear(s) so you can come to an informed decision. You and Mark are doing a wonderful thing. Her family abandoned her and now she feels the orphanage has done the same thing. You can hardly blame her. But you can help by bringing someone from the agency to speak with her. Have someone with you who can be sure what the orphanage is telling her. Hang on, you are doing a wonderful thing for two very lovely young girls.

  13. Vickie says:

    Hang in there family– it will get better! We too have adopted 4 teens from China. They speak fluent Mandarin and Cantonese if you want to Skype we are Minsibs4 on Skype. If we can help we will. Our kids have been home 3, 2 and less than a year. All doing well.
    She will be totally different once home, be sure of that. God will get you through, He has the path planned already:)

  14. Mary says:

    Oh Diana my heart aches for all of you. It’s so confusing to her right now. You are doing the right thing going to the orphanage! She deserves closure, goodbyes and a last look at what was once everything she ever had. Encourage email and Skype exchange, encourage writing letters, sending gifts, whatever makes her feel like she has a little control. Take hundreds of pictures of both the good and the ugly so she can always look back and always remember. Embrace her grief and use your guide, she can communicate to her how the reality of staying in China will be devastating. I am praying here! It’s my turn!! Love to all!! Mary

  15. Jane Caldwell says:

    praying Diane and Mark… you walk in obedience God WILL bless and move in powerful ways!! He promises you that!! Praying you will be able to rest in that over these next days…..thanks for sharing and letting us know how we can lift you up in prayer in this journey He has called you to!

  16. Sherrie says:

    Dear Diane,

    BTDT with 1 of our daughters (adopted at 9 yrs old). Also have a daughter adopted at almost 14 yrs old.

    I KNOW how hard this is for your family. I want to encourage you that you ARE making good, though maybe unpopular and tough, decisions. HANG IN and KEEP ON FIGHTING FOR HER IN LOVE!

    Also, any chance she would share any REASONS for her reluctance to come home with you? Is she afraid of missing her friends? Scared she can’t learn English well enough? Wants a friend to come with her (that was my daughter’s problem…it took her a YEAR to get the courage and the English to actually SAY it…all she would say was that she didn’t want to come to America). Is she concerned she won’t like the food in America? Or just really sad to leave familiar surroundings?

    In any case, praying that PEACE reign in her heart and your family, and that each of you walk this out in the courage of the Lord Jesus, who can calm this storm.

  17. Gloria Worden says:

    Listen to “Aunt Dot”!! She has very good suggestions. The language barrier is such a problem. We have enough trouble understanding and getting through to our children when we are all speaking the same language. Think how she feels not being able to express herself to you. Find a way to communicate with her so you will know what is really bothering her. Only then can you comfort her.

  18. Lori McCary says:

    Diane~ You don’t know me personally, but I have followed along your journey and I want you to know that we are standing in the gap for you as you walk through these difficult days. I have watched several friends over the past year, as they have brought home aging out girls. I would love to bring home a young “lady” myself and have thought long and hard about the difficult issues my friends have dealt with.

    I was struck by the ease with which Eliza came to you on Gotcha Day. I remember how you spoke of how “prepared” and excited she seemed. And then, it seemed, the reality was scarier than she expected and she “shut down” and wants to run back to what is familiar and safe. I can identify with these feelings, as I’m sure you can…. Reality is rarely the “dream world” we pictured. Her new parents are flawed human beings… not fairy tale figures. Her new siblings too. To a large degree we, as parents, deal with many of the same feelings upon finally meeting the child we’ve “dreamed of” for so many months or years. I can honestly admit that I, too, wanted to run away and go home to safety right in the middle of one of our adoptions. I was obviously not thinking clearly and thankfully I had enough maturity to push myself to do what I knew was best in spite of my emotions. Now, when I realize what I’d have missed, I feel physically ill….

    Eliza does not have the maturity or the emotional stability right now to make the best decision for herself. Being a parent means making those decisions for our children before they are able to for themselves. I encourage you to be strong. Lean against one another and lead her with strength and unity (even if you shake and cry in private). Pack her bags…. take her arm and get in that van to the airport… Don’t let her think for a moment that she has an option in the matter…. Get her home and give her time to heal. Maybe you could sit her down with your guide and the two of you and tell her simply that she has no choice. She is going to America. But she is 14…. In 4 short years she will be 18 years old and considered an adult. If, at that point, she chooses to return to China, you will not forbid her…. At least she can hear that the choice being made for her today does not mean an entire lifetime of no control over her own destiny.

    Brighter days lie ahead in “God’s Garden”, Diane. Your new plants simply need some time to take root and bloom! You can do this! Know that so many of us are standing behind you!

    Hugs tonight, Lori McCary

  19. robin says:

    Oh bless everyone’s heart! It must be so difficult. I’m sure she is terrified and for now you seem to her like the bad guys…. taking her from all that she knows. She has no clue the life that awaits her in America. In her little mind she is being forced to leave her “comfort” zone. She is walking into the darkness of the “unknown”. EVERYTHING will be different. :::sigh:::

    There was an older child in one of our travel groups. She was the same way…she cried when the plane left and it broke our hearts. She is now happily married with babies of her own!

    And Lili…oh how that child fought me…telling me she hated me. She rejected me the entire 3 weeks in China. And now she thanks me for bringing her home….she tells me how happy she is…how much she loves it here! 🙂

    I’m sorry…I know the rejection hurts…and so does watching someone you love hurt. 🙁

    Praying for God’s hand upon your family….

    Love, hugs, and prayers!

  20. Christi says:

    Binding the spirit of fear from Eliza so that she can walk into the future of all that God has planned for her. I really believe that her emotions are being fueled by the enemy to keep her from the love of God in you…but our God is greater than all the power of the enemy. Do not look at what you are seeing or feeling, keep your eyes fixed on what you know to be true. Her life is literally hanging in the balance. I believe you are doing the right thing by going to orphanage. I also think the rejection from her is a test for you…she will see that your love for her cannot be thwarted. Be strong and courageous. You have an army of prayer partners standing with you.

  21. Karen Brinson says:

    Mark and Diane- Praying this morning that God will make it easy for all of you to board the plane. Praying for God’s peace to wrap around Eliza and help her to not be afraid. And for your strength, health and peace of mind. Thank you for being so honest and sharing your amazing journey with all of us. Know you are covered in prayer by so many!

  22. Kathie says:

    I will pray for your Eliza and for you for continued strength. Of course she is terrified so scared. It sounds like you have made great decisions thus far and god will help you to continue!!
    Kathie in NY

  23. steve says:

    Praying for strength. We have adopted for China and understand it can be a long journey (but woth it). We also know a couple that also adopted an older girl form China, she also wanted to stay and return to China. It took a while of being in the states for her to begin to want to be here and bond/ thrive. She is now in high scholl and doing great. God has given you a duty as her parents to make this work with His help. In the long run this will be a much better life for her, she will come to relize this (just like many thing we decide for our kids), but until then you are her parents!

    Steve and Lisa

  24. Annie says:

    Hi Diane, I just came across you blog today through a friend. I will be pray for you and Eliza through the weekend. I pray God will give her the strength and peace to overcome her fears and you the wisdom to know each moment how to encourage her to bring her home.

  25. Sherri says:

    I too will keep you all in our Prayers! This is got to be the hardest thing ever. Stay strong and leave it in God’s hands, he knows just what he’s doing. I agree by visiting Eliza’s orphanage would add some closure. I’m praying now

  26. Ileanna Bosch says:

    Oh Diane, I am keeping all of you in prayer, and just remember the enemy is at work with lies, doubt, fear, anxiety and so much more whenever GOD is working BIG so just continue to rebuke the enemy. Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go. Joshua 1:9

  27. Lisa-Marie says:

    I have only been following your story for a short while, but my heart goes out to you, to Eliza, Evangaline, and your whole family.

    How scary this must be for her. I can’t tell you what the right choice is, because I am not you, and I do not know what it is. But I can pray for you, and that God will help you to do what is right.
    Lisa-Marie recently posted..Space Shuttle FlyoverMy Profile

  28. Gloria says:

    Fight on Diane! He’s brought you this far and WILL not abandon you. Covering you in prayer. All of you. Don’t worry about her rejecting you now. Do what is right and she can return in a few years if that is what she really wants. Can’t wait to see what comes out of these precious lives.

  29. Heather says:

    For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. 2 Timothy 1:7 Praying our LORD’s peace for you all. Every night – and especially when one is upset – I softly say, “You are safe, you are loved.” Sometimes I say it once as a goodnight, sometimes I say it over and over (especially if they are crying, etc.) Praying that these truths will spill into Eliza’s heart and mind now and for the days to come.

  30. Stephanie says:

    Wrapping you in prayer tonight… can’t sleep and am thinking you are on the plane right now. We were praying for you at co-op…for Eliza, Evangeline, for you and Mark and Victoria on this journey. Also been thinking about all of your other sweet kids missing you & for a great rollicking reunion! I am sure you have missed everyone so much and are ready to be home. I also know that once Eliza gets to your home and experiences the love of family, she will be amazed!

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