Long Road to China - Our Adoption Story

Trustmark National Bank account set up:

Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

And this is our story.......

We know some of you have been following our journey for over a year but we've gained some new followers.  To keep you from reading all of our posts for you to know more about us, we thought we'd tell you a brief summary (sorry it's long) of our story and where we are now.  :) 

And this is our story.......We’re Phi & Niki Smith & have been married for  14 yrs December 19.  We have 2 biological children - Colt, 9y/o, & Macy Jade, 7y/o.  We thought our family was complete.  However, God had other plans & strongly led us to adopt from China.  We did not approach God with this mission; He approached us. This is a very challenging idea to understand when you are searching for your purpose in life & we thank Him daily that we found GiGi & GuanYa (named Eliza on the shared lists & avocation sites) to expand our loving family.  Our life-journey has just now gotten on track.
 On July 16, 2012 our beautiful 31 month old daughter (diagnosed with Moderate to Severe Scoliosis & missing ribs) was placed in our arms forever.  Once we visited China we knew that our journey was not complete & we left part of our heart behind!  The Difference In A Month will show you pictures of our GiGi while in the orphanage & a video of her a month after being placed in our arms.  The pictures could never portray what a vast difference a month has made in all of our lives!   I think the pictures alone are a testimony to why we knew God would guide us to adopt again!

What we did not know is how quickly God would lead us back to China!  Yes, we'd only been home a little over 2 weeks from China & God had placed our GuanYa in front of us & in our hearts!  We are overjoyed that He would entrust us with another daughter & we are already in love with her as our other 3 children.   At the same time, following His will is the biggest leap of faith we have ever taken! 
Our newest beautiful daughter is 13 years old & will age out of the system March 9th, 2013 YES we ONLY have 3 months from now to get all of our paperwork & money together & get to China. Honestly I feel overwhelmed at times.  Nothing makes sense on paper so we just have to trust in God to provide a ways when it doesn't seem possible!  We know that He would not call us adopt GuanYa as our daughter and not provide a way.  Think about it?  It doesn't make sense He'd call and not provide!  We just have to have trust, faith, & love to override our human sense.  Many may not understand it and it's o.k. because we would not have understood it until He called us!  Our role is to trust and obey our maker; He knows better than I!
GuanYa is deaf-mute and such a sweet, smart, & talented girl! She loves to dance and swim, is a straight A student and leader. Even though she has basically nothing, she gives small amounts of money she has to others less fortunate on the street!  She helps care for others and is so thoughtful by doing things as making cards for others and cooking if anyone is sick. 
I continued to think "Why in the world is this precious child - soon to age out of the system- still in an orphanage without a forever home?  Why in the world has someone not grabbed up this precious, loving girl?" Then it hit me like a brick wall what I already knew.......because she is our daughter!  My heart sank at the thought of God placing our daughter in our hearts and then us walking away from her.  In 3 months (did you hear that because I had to say it again......yeah like 12 weeks), she will age out of the system & will no longer be available for adoption & the love of a Forever Family!  How could one not love her?  How could we bear the thought of our daughter aging out & being on the streets of China?  With our divine GuanYa being both deaf & mute, no one could even communicate with her on the streets!
Well, you can see why Not adopting our daughter was NOT an option!  All the "common sense"reasons why we should not adopt her didn't matter.  What would you do if your child was on the other side of the world without you?  What if you didn't have resources but if you didn't get her in a few months, then you could Never bring her home?  REALLY think about that.....what would you do?  All we can do is trust our Lord to provide when we don't see a way.  It's a heart wrenching thought & we are sweating bullets with the time constraints of her aging out.   
We were in love with our child God had led us to so nothing else mattered!  At the same time, following His will took a lot of blind faith from us.  You will need to read our Blogspot and see all the challenges we faced financially while in China – including staying a week longer & United Airlines charging us $4,000 to CHANGE flights. We changed flights as soon as we knew GiGi’s visa was delayed due to a glitch in the US system which was over 48 hours before the flight. That extra week cost us over $6,000 & we had no choice but staying in China.  We were definitely Not expecting this additional fee. 
Most adoptive families struggle not with the love, dedication, neither paperwork of the adoption but with the cost.  We are no different as my husband is a MS school teacher & I have a small online business.  We may not be wealthy but our hearts are with these precious children!  If you visited the orphanage, you could see the looks of terror, hopelessness, & abandonment in these children without a family.  It would tear the heart out of anyone with a pulse and anyone could understand why God doesn't suggest but commands us to care for the orphans & less fortunate!    Families may not think they need more children but Children Need families! There are 143MILLION  orphaned & defenseless children in our world.
These are actual pictures of some of the orphaned children my husband captured with his lens while we were in China this summer.  I think the pictures say more than I could in words!

2012 has already provided lots of challenges for us financially other than the $6,000 delay including thieves, pay cuts, surgeries, & an auto accident caused by an uninsured motorist - along with a host of other unexpected costs.  Even while we face these challenges, the devil will not discourage us from doing God’s will!  Matthew 6:26 tells me that God will take care of us
“Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?”
 I understand that everyone may not be in a position to adopt a child but you can help!  There are many ways to help the orphans!  You can help an adoptive family with choirs, babysitting, food, &/or financial needs.  Most all adoptive families struggle with the fees associated with adoption and fundraisers.  You can donate your time, items, etc. to an orphan or orphanage.  Many places have sponsorship programs where you can sponsor a homeless child.  The fact is that we must all join together to help these children whether it is through adopting them or helping others care for them!  The pictures I showed were in China, but there are orphans all over the world needing homes!
 I know on top of the debt we are in from GiGi’s adoption, the fees/cost from GuanYa’s adoption, and cost of sign language class for our entire family accompanied by the medical costs & devices associated with both adopted daughters, we need support!  I know God will lead others to help us provide & He will show us ways to provide!  We have to raise the funds to bring home our precious GuanYA within the next 12weeks or she ages out of the system.  No amount is too small & adds up!  We are much more powerful in number! 
Will you help bring our wonderful GuanYa home?   We would be eternally grateful if God is calling you to help & you follow His call!  If He is not calling you to help our family, please be prayerful He will led you to another family or other ways to help these precious children! 
 GuanYa has so much potential & I cannot wait to see God excel her to her utmost potential!  I'm not sure why God chose us to bless with such a wonderful, beautiful, smart, sweet, giving, & talented girl!  Help us give her that opportunity, love & forever home she deserves!
 Matthew 25:40 :   “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
Please keep us & GuanYA in your prayers until we are united as a family like God has planned!
If you feel led to aid us financially to unite with our daughter, we have several ways for you to donate: 
Trustmark National Bank account set up:
Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

We have a fund set up at GoFundMe http://www.gofundme.com/longroadtochina  (this link is also at the right hand side of our blogspot along with a "Donate"button)
At our GoFundMe site, we have a "wish list" you can donate any amount you feel led to donate.  We just wanted to show some of the fees we will incur with just GuanYa's adoption.

We had no idea the challenges we would face in 2012 & no clue God would call us to adopt only 2 weeks after being home with our first daughter.  We did not get any  grants, or interest free loans with our first adoption mainly because we do not like to ask for help but we'd rather give to others. We did not know that flights would be at an all time high when we flew to China in July nor did we know we would be held over the extra week costing around $6000 extra. When we could fill out for assistance with GiGi's adoption, we felt we should allow others to have them. 

 We have not been able to fill out for any grants, interest free loans, or any other type of assistance for GuanYa's adoption because we have not gotten our home study updated.  We have one of the best social workers so I know it will be completed soon, but all this takes time.  With the time constraints we have to  complete our adoption,  I'm hopeful but unsure if we will be able to fill out for grants because most all of them state you cannot fill out for the grant once you are home with your child.  The grants givers take a while (due to the volume of requests) to pick the grant recipients.  It's honestly time GuanYa does not have.  Please, please know I don't tell you this for sympathy but these are the facts of where we are at now!  We have been BLESSED more than we could ever imagine!

  If you feel led to donate to our adoption, please follow your heart!   Please share our  blogspot & GoFundMe.
 If you do not feel led to do either of the above, please pray for us and our daughter!  We feel so grateful for everything!  
To God be the glory!  Blessings to all!

This is our GuanYa if you missed other pictures of her:

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