Do you remember being 7 years old? Good times, right? I turned 7 in January of 1991. I had a New Kids On The Block backpack, some sweet MC Hammer-esque pants, and I could do a math “speed drill” faster than anyone in my class! I lived with my parents and (then) two younger sisters. We took family walks to the park down the street, ate donuts every Sunday morning before church, and watched Rescue 911 every Tuesday. Life was good.
That’s little 7 year old me! That was my class photo at my small private, Christian school with good ole Mrs. Davis. I spent loads of time outside, just being a kid with my little sisters. I did the regular all-American things little girls do like piano lessons and Girl Scouts (with Troop 3326 and our fun troop leader, Mrs. French). And, like every kid, I spent times in and out of school with my friends; that’s me and Michelle, fun fact… she’s adopting from China right now too!!!
These are the kind of memories that every 7 year old deserves to have, but unfortunately, that is not the case. My own sweet waiting son, Lok, turns 7 years old this week. He will not share the same type of fun memories that I have as a 7 year old. Right now he knows that a family in America is working hard to make their way to him, but he’s anxious and rightly so. He’s about to encounter an entirely new and different world… and get one crazy mom! It may be scary for him right now but, I know that ages 8+ will be full of fun, family, and love for Lok. While Lok is now loved and spoken for, that is not the case for many, many other sweet 7 year olds.
I’d like to introduce you to seven of those sweet 7 year olds who are currently waiting for families to step forward and bring them home! Meet Creed, Henry, Olin, Tucker, Wade, Brooks, and Colt! These are all sweet boys that have been designated to Lifeline Children’s Services to be advocated for for the next couple of months. Lifeline is the agency we have used/are using to bring our boys home. They are amazing and I’m beyond grateful for them.
Now, before you continue reading this post, I need you to do something for me! Stop, close your eyes your eyes for a second and remember that these kids are nothing more than 7 year old boys who have never known the love of a forever family. Do some of them have medical special needs that you might not be familiar with? Yes, but you can educate yourself on those needs and connect with other families who live with them. Do some of them have special needs that may scare you? Yes, but our God is bigger than scary. Do they come with “baggage” from 7 years of being institutionalized? Yes, but every single person on this planet has baggage. Are they to blame for any of this? No! Do they still deserve the love of a family and the happy memories that every 7 year old should be entitled to? YES! Don’t write these boys off simply because they are older and have special needs. They are made in the image and likeness of our Creator, just the same as you and me!
Meet Creed, an adorable little one who has been diagnosed with cerebral palsy (CP). But CP does not define him! Check out this article which gives some insight into Creed’s daily life: http://chinaspecialtreasures.blogspot.com/search/label/Zeb. There are also videos of Creed (showing his mobility!) available for viewing here. This little guy does not let anything stop him!
Henry!!! Henry is described as a lovable and helpful little boy. He is very active and loves to play with balls, go outside, and run. Henry also gets along with other children and tends to do little things for the smaller children he lives with. He is diagnosed with Trisomy 21 Syndrome, which might explain his cuteness a little better. Doesn’t he look like he’d be the best cuddler?!
Next up is little Olin. Unlike most orphans in China, Olin, was not placed into care until he was 3 years old. His special need is congenital deafness, which as many experienced families would tell you, is hardly a special need at all. What this boy needs most is a family to step forward and say: MINE!
You don’t truly know what cuteness is if you’ve never laid eyes on Tucker! Be still my heart, this kid is so precious! I guarantee that you can’t wait this video and not tear up. This sweet boy is diagnosed with CHD, Megacolon, and Anal Atresia; click on each to learn more about Tucker’s particular (manageable!) special needs. We know that he is definitely not lacking in the cuteness department!
Say hello to Wade! Aside from the special need of a family, this boy’s only diagnosable need is a repaired cleft lip and palate. Cleft lip and palate is a very common special need and there are many, many support groups for families with this need. Wade is described as a little boy who likes to teach other children the things that he is learning in school and frequently chats with his caregivers.
Okay, it’s bad to have favorites, but I have to admit that little Brooks is my personal favorite among these seven. Just look at that face! Those eyes, those lips, good Lord! Brooks is diagnosed with CHD and a right hernia. A quick video of him can be seen here. Please consider him, I don’t want those little lips going any longer without a mama to kiss them!
And last, but not least, we have Colt! This dimpled cutie is a gorgeous boy who lives in a wonderful foster home (just like my Lok!). He special needs list may seem long, but this child is thriving. His medical file reads “vision correction; heart murmurs needing check, suggest UCG test; postoperative congenital imperforate anus; advise to strengthen the HBV vaccine” but, as with all of these boys, his greatest need is for a forever family! Doesn’t he look like so much fun?!
The little 7 year old me wanted to be a missionary and in a way, that’s exactly what the 31 year old me has become through adoption. From the moment Lok entered my life, I have prayed for him daily. Once Lok comes home, we’ll begin praying with him, we’ll read the Scriptures with him every night before bedtime, we’ll sit with him in the pews hearing the gospel preached together as a family every Sunday. If this is not missionary work, then I don’t know what is. My 7 year old self envisioned being a missionary, living in a hut somewhere in Africa, but the 31 year old me knows that my mission field is actually serving my family; being the best wife I can be to my husband, raising our boys in the faith, and advocating as hard as I can for those precious littles who still wait for their families. Now imagine what could become of these little 7 year olds if they were just given the love of a forever family.