China-Our Story

Our Adoption Story

Posted on June 21, 2011 by jane

LiAnn Grace

Kim and I have five beautiful children. Our youngest child, Jakob, is 13 years old, and only he and our daughter, Libby, still live at home. We do not, as yet, have any grandchildren, as only one of our children, our eldest Donne, is married. I am, however, a born mother, and I find myself constantly nurturing and mothering: my own children (who are mostly grown), and everything from baby birds, to little dogs, to birds, to friends and family. Kim is as much a nurturer as I am, and our home has always been a refuge and a place to come and feel welcome and safe. For Kim and I, this is a great joy and honor; we both love the sound of laughter and the bustle of life in our home.

For over a year, I have secretly carried a burden. It was deep in my heart and whispered and tugged at it from time to time. I chose not to mention it to Kim, as I needed time to think it through. I was hesitant, because if you know Kim the way that I do, he would have immediately started working on it before I had the time to process it. But I found my mind wandering to this thought again and again.

Then there was an earthquake in Japan, and a tsunami ravaged whole towns of people. Families were separated, and many, many lives were lost. My heart ached with a desire to help in some way. I began to search online, as I felt that God was gently guiding me towards something, but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Then that secret reminder flickered in my heart again, and I looked to see if there were any children who needed homes. I was looking for a child that Kim and I could adopt.

As I began to research adoptions from Japan, I was disappointed to find that international adoptions are almost impossible from that country. As I delved into it more, I found that in May of 1995, the “Hague Adoption Convention” or “Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoption” was held because of the high rate of child trafficking and laundering. As of January 2011, 83 countries have ratified this convention – an international agreement between countries that controls the adoption of children, respecting each country’s adoption laws; Japan has not yet joined this convention, so international adoptions are not yet allowed. We did find a way to help the Japanese people during this time by supporting Pastor Peter and Atsuko O’Neill, our co-laborers and friends in Japan, but I still felt to keep looking.

As I continued to research adoption, knowing this was the direction God was leading me, I began to read about China and their “One-Child Policy.” This policy was implemented in 1979, the year I gave birth to my first child. It was created by the Chinese government to alleviate social, economic and environmental problems. Because of this law, authorities claim that 400 million births have been prevented, from 1979 to the present.

This policy has caused an increase in forced abortions, female infanticide and underreporting of female births; these little girls are often killed or abandoned. Because rural families are forced to have only one child, the families prefer boys, who are strong and can work on the farms. Thereis also a widespread remnant of Confucianism, which causes many families to prefer sons. But what about all the little girls who are abandoned? What if they have special needs and never get adopted?

An attempt to control population in such a way has caused more harm than good and it is also a suggested cause of China’s gender imbalance. Thankfully, China has relatively well established rules and procedures for foreign adopters to follow, so I immediately began to look for agencies. I went online and read story after story of helpless little children, abandoned or left for dead, and as I wept, I realized that this was what I needed to be involved in.

Adoption agencies throughout the USA and other countries are assigned specific children to specific agencies, and they give the children fake names to keep their actual identity secret. There is a five-year waiting period to adopt a “perfect” child; this means that the child has no medical or mental issues that are visible. Then there is the “special needs” list that has a much shorter waiting period for adoptive parents, a child may be classified as special needs because of a minor correctible problem, such as a birthmark or cleft palate, or maybe a clubfoot. These children are assigned to specific agencies. If a child has been on an agency specific list for a certain period of time and is not adopted, the child is then put on a “Special Focus” list, which can be accessed by any agency. There is also an age restriction put in place by the Chinese, and Kim and I are at the edge of this limit.

I began to look through agency websites, face after face before me, a little life in desperate need of a home, of love. As I scanned through, a gleaming smile stood out to me. I saved her profile in my folder, but when I went back to look for it, it was no longer there. I found her three more times on three different agency websites, with three different names. At first I found this confusing, until I found out the way it works.

I emailed one of the agencies and asked about her. They responded immediately to let me know that her file was being looked at, but that if a decision hadn’t been made by Saturday, she would become available again. Saturday came and sure enough it was back. Thanks to the help of the lady at the agency, whom I first communicated with, and a lot of work, they managed to get me her file.

It was April 19th, 2011 when her file was emailed to us. Kim and I eagerly opened it and began to look through. We were instantly struck when we noticed that she had been abandoned on April 19th, 2008. We knew immediately that this was a sign from God, it was more than just a coincidence that 3 years to the day that she was abandoned, we received her file, with her little picture and glowing, smiling face.

Her Chinese name is Xiao Lian, which means “Little Lotus Flower.” We both knew that she was our sixth child, and it didn’t matter that I didn’t physically carry her, she was set aside for Kim and I and we are ecstatic at the chance to give her the life that God has planned for her, to help her reach her destiny against all odds. We knew that she would need special care, but we had not had a chance to get a detailed view of that until we saw her file. We both feel that she is meant to be our child regardless of what the prognosis is. She is a healthy, beautiful little girl just waiting for us to come and get her.

As Kim and I have gone through this process, we have made many contacts in the adoption world. We have also made substantial donations toward surgeries for a number of children. It is not an easy decision to adopt, but we know we are equipped to handle it.

I would like to encourage anyone out there reading this, who may have the same burden on their heart; If you have the resources and the heart to give a home to a child, consider looking into adoption.

Li-Ann Grace Clement

Posted on June 21, 2011 by jane

Mia Faye Clement

11 Responses to China-Our Story

  1. Jen Savage says:

    We came home with our little girl Dec. 11, 2010. The process took a year, that seemed extremely slow at the time, but looking back flew by. Our adoption was final in China on our 13th wedding anniversary. Our consulate appt. date was exactly one year from the time we began the journey. We have 4 biological children that ADORE their new sister. We will pray for your journey…Godspeed.

  2. wendy says:

    i know GOD is going to give this little girl you will be bringing her home jus before christmas i jus know that i know. im soo excited for you all as a family may GOD continue to impart his wisdom on you all. GOD BLESS :))

  3. Jelena Vidovic says:

    Don’t be worried, have patience, it is all about God’s timing.

  4. Beth says:

    My heart goes out to Mia, too when I see her sad face and eyes. God has seen her, too. The Father of the fatherless–He has seen her. He sees her. He has taken special notice of this little girl. Soon he will place her in your arms. He loves her so!
    I’m wondering if God wants you to have your two girls in the US in 2011, the “year of the woman”. Maybe there’s a prophetic meaning to the timing of their becoming your children this year and also regarding the timing of their coming to your home. I don’t know this for sure, but I’m thinking about it, and even though it’s really hard, God may use the tough situation of Mia’s heart condition to bring them to you before 2012. “While it’s still 2011-The year of the woman”.
    God Bless You!

  5. Beth says:

    Does Mia’s heart condition cause her pain? When I’ve looked at her pictures, I wonder if I’m seeing pain (especially in her eyes). Maybe this little girl just doesn’t feel well. Her expression is consistently the same, where with sadness there are varying sad faces. With a chronic condition she would experience it as her norm because it’s all the time, and it’s all she’s known, vs waking up one morning with stomach pain.
    I have been praying for her today. Lord, give this little girl life, and a testimony. A testimony! I pray for Mia, Lord, that you give her life, and this testimony. God wants Mia to have a Testimony. Life for Mia and A testimony to the Lord.
    Please pray for her, too. God wants her to have a testimony. Jesus, Jesus…

  6. Lori says:

    We brought our two children home on Christmas day 2009. An bus, crazy time to travel but no better Christmas present from the Lord. I hope you have the same Christmas blessing of bringing home your two precious additions to the Clement family.

  7. Beth says:

    I was so happy to hear the good news regarding your LOA, the expedition through the congressman and also your looking toward the middle of December for your trip. To pick up BOTH girls (in the one trip-hooray)!
    Thank you so much for sharing what’s happening regarding the adoption process with your girls.

  8. Sharon Backues says:

    I am back in Oregon now and I will be starting on Mia’s portrait this weekend. You are all in my prayers. Hopefully the portrait will be waiting for you when you get back home.
    I thank God that you are adopting these two precious little girls. It is truly the year of the women. There have been 9 new babies born in our own extended family. 8 of the new babies are girls.

  9. JB says:

    Jane my grandparents came from Dudley England and yams have been a favorite of our family all our lives,I’m 60, Yours is the first I’ve seen that makes it the same way. They are wonderful. Blessings to you and your wonderful family for 2012 you have 2 beautiful little daughters who will add such love to your lives. JB & Roy Webster

  10. Katie says:

    I don’t know if you still check this blog or comments, but I was hoping that from one mom to another you could help me understand how to expedite things. Our dossier is going out in one or two weeks to China and our son is dealing with a life threatening illness that requires blood transfusions. His province is running out of blood and turning them away from hospitals. I would love to talk to someone who knows how to do this step by step and get him home!

  11. Rev. Fannie Finney says:

    Just wanted to comment on the blessing of the Lord. This building is great for offices and a place to broadcast from. Looking to experience a great outpouring of the anointing, worship, and the teaching that shall flow from this place. I commend you, Jane
    for getting everything in shape, with the decorating ideas, that God is giving you.

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