Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More about Anna

Anna was born with Spina Bifida and a club foot.  She was abandoned at one month old and immediately taken to the foster home she lives in now.  She had surgery to repair her spinal cord at three months old and since that time has done very well.  She crawls and pulls herself up.  She can cruise a little around furniture but cannot walk or stand on her own because of her turned in foot.  We found out that she has recently been fitted with a leg brace to help her have more stability.  When she comes home, she will need a series of casts on her foot to reshape it.  It may require a minor surgery.  She will also need some bracing on her leg for stability.  We are not sure yet what problems she will have because of the Spina Bifida, but we have had amazing help from the doctors at the Spina Bifida Clinic at Children’s Mercy.  They have given their time and expertise to help us have detailed information on what Anna may experience during her lifetime.  Given her current mobility, it is very possible that she will have very few difficulties as she grows up.  

Anna's foster home tells us that she is a very happy and fun little girl.  She enjoys music, books, TV, and eating sweets.  She doesn’t like to share with the other children in her foster home, and is a very typical 21 month old.  Her birthday is July 21, 2010, so she will be two years old when we bring her home.  We received a some videos of her a few weeks ago that are really cute.  You can access them on Youtube from the links below:

Friday, April 20, 2012

Introducing Anna

Anna Yinhuan Allen
Introducing Anna Yinhuan Allen, our daughter. We call her Yin Yin.  For the past seven months she's pretty much all that I've thought about, even though until a few weeks ago I didn't even know her.  It's quite an amazing story of God's love for us and how He helps  everything work out for those who love Him. When things seem scary and uncertain He brings exactly the right people at exactly the right time and brings a peace that is completely unlike anything else.  I am so thankful that I have a relationship with the Creator of all people.  He created Yin Yin and He knew that she would be a part of our family.  Her life hasn't been an easy one, and there may be many challenges ahead.  What I do know is that she is my daughter and that God will give our family everything we need to give her all the love and care she needs.  We love her very much and can't imagine our lives without her.

Why we chose Adoption

We love having children and have always wanted a large family.  Our three biological children have brought us tremendous joy, yet for the past several years we felt that our family wasn’t complete.  Over the past six years God has given us a deep and growing desire to care for orphans.  We have spent time loving on orphans in India, praying for foster children in the US, and seeing the amazing impact that adoption and foster care has had on our friends.  We have been overwhelmed by the need of so many children to have a family to call their own, and have undoubtedly felt God’s call to be that family for at least one orphaned child.
Our adoption story began at the very beginning of our marriage when we went to China on a short term mission’s trip.  That trip was life changing for us and eventually led to us spending two years in China helping local people start house churches.  We learned to depend on God in a way we never had before, and our relationship with Him grew very deep. It was while we were living in China that we first talked about our desire to adopt. We returned from China in 2006, and shortly after that became involved in our church’s work in two Indian orphanages.  Both of us spent time in India and were overwhelmed by the orphan crisis there. We spent time with our sponsored child, and developing a relationship with her gave us a desire to adopt a little girl who didn’t have the opportunities she was going to have. We constantly were reminded of the call in James 1:27 that “true religion is to care for orphans and widows in their distress.”  Because of this experience I started a non-profit organization called Renew that provides small business loans to impoverished Indian women.  My goal is to combat the orphan crisis by giving Indian women the opportunity to provide for their families.
In the past two years our desire to adopt has grown very strong.  We spent a year praying over whether we should foster to adopt or pursue an international adoption.  We attended a workshop called “If You Were Mine,” which further solidified our desire.  That workshop and our friends’ adoption of a special needs child from China helped us to come to the decision that if we decided on international adoption we would request a child with a special need.  Last July we both felt clear leading from the Lord that the time was right to begin the adoption process, and He clearly led us to choose a special needs child from China.  Our time in China gave us a love for the people and understanding of the culture that we believe will benefit our daughter as she grows up.  We know that it isn’t going to be easy, but we trust that God is going to give us everything we need to love and nurture this little one. We know without a doubt that He has chosen her to be part of our family forever.