12 years old
Living in LongGang, China
The Story of YaKe
New International Version (NIV)
6 God sets the lonely in families.
“Are you going to adopt again?” That is the most asked question. Right behind the statement, “how do you manage 10 children?” “ I can barely take care of my 2.” Followed by, “you look really good for having 10 kids!” Our answer to the first question used to be that this was our last adoption until the next one happened….and the next…..and then the next. Now our answer has changed to we don’t really know. It is in God’s hands because that is what our life really boils down to. Right? We tried to make it our decision but in the end after having many conversations with God, we give up our selfish desires and long for His will and direction for this is where we have found a tremendous peace and happiness. Has it been hard? You bet it has at times. What we really thought we wanted in this life was a huge house in the neighborhood across the street, brand new cars every few years and many tropical vacations. What we ended up receiving were 10 of the most precious blessings this life can possibly offer. Which one would we have done without to have a few more worldly treasures. We cannot imagine having missed out on any of them. That is why when we hear God’s voice to adopt it doesn’t take too much to convince us because we could have said “no” to them and well, I cannot even let my mind go to the place that they would still be in China without a family to love them. Thank you God that you kept after us. That is where number 11 comes into the picture. His name is pronounced, YawKu. Was he just a random child that we just up and decided to adopt. Nope. His little presence has been with us for a few years now. The very first mention of him was in China while we were adopting Sam in Dec. 2010. We were visiting the orphanage and talking with the director and showing her photos of our family. She saw MeiLi and told us that there was a little boy living there that looked like her. I’m sure I thought more about that statement than Scott did but not much more. After returning home I was looking through orphanage photos that someone had given me looking for more photos of Sam and Katy because that is also the trip that we met sweet Katy. That will have to be another story since this one is mostly about YaKe. While looking at photos I saw several of YaKe. I was a little interested in him just because he really did look like MeiLi but he really, really reminded me of DonLi. I can’t remember exactly but I’m sure I showed Scott. He probably said, wow, he does look like DonLi. We both had no idea of the seeds of love being planted in our hearts for this child. The time wasn’t right for us to adopt him because we had 2 others to get home first. We later went on to adopt Katy and while waiting to travel to get her we received a photo of her with some of the kids that she lived with. Standing in the background was YaKe looking on what was happening in the picture. He grabbed my attention quite a bit more this time and really grabbed Scott’s. Scott was so intrigued that he asked for me to find out more about him, and he even asked if it would be possible for us to bring him home with Katy. I do most of the paperwork obviously because it takes months to process each individual adoption. However, Scott with his never take no for an answer insisted there must be a way. He finally realized it was true. So off we went to China for the 5th time to bring spunky Katy home. However while there we again visited the orphanage. We specifically asked for them to bring YaKe to meet us. We didn’t know if we were supposed to adopt but we didn’t want to be this close to what we thought could be our son and not see him and give him a gift. We met him and spent a little time asking him questions about himself and took a few photos. Katy had only been with us a few days and she was a bit overwhelming. To get an idea about her, we called her “jungle girl.” She had medical needs that we weren’t real sure how they would turn out and as I sat in that room with Yake God revealed his many needs to me. I just knew what it would take to adopt him and frankly I had no energy left for that. Leah was with us as we sat there with him. We never told her what we were thinking so she had no idea why we asked to see him and she never really asked. We left there that day overwhelmed. We really didn’t speak about him again until we got home. When Scott asked what I thought about him all I could say was, “Whew”. He completely understood. Nothing else needed to be said. We spent the text 4 months deep in medical evaluations for Katy and then God dropped a complete surprise on us in the form of a 5 year old sweet heart, Jasmine. Really? How does this happen. I think she was just that extra blessing that God gave us to say “your doing good, keep it up.” Fast forward another year. Jazzy and Katy are settled in. We are all settled in. That means we are at a good place where things feel good. God starts filling my mind and heart with YaKe. He is there when I fall asleep and there when I wake up. Scott was very busy and stressed at work so I told God that Scott would flip out if I told him what I thought God was asking of us. I couldn’t keep it in any longer so one night told Scott that God was wanting us to adopt him. Scott is special. Real special. He said that he would start praying. A week or so later he asked me when we were going to go bring that boy home. Seriously! I think I mentioned he was special. Now I need to back up a little. During the time that YaKe was constantly on my mind and God was speaking to my heart, Leah brings him up out of the blue one day. She just asked about him and wondered if he had been adopted. Hmmm. I wondered what that was about. A few days later after picking her up from band she told me that Scott had mentioned to her that we were praying about adopting Yake. She then broke into tears. She said that she had been praying for a long time that we would adopt him. She wanted to mention it to us but didn’t know if she should. Now what 14 year old girl prays about bringing home a 12 year old brother with obvious facial deformities. Now I can say that Leah is much like her dad. Very, very special. We both sat there crying. We were now sitting in the driveway and Scott comes and looks at us and has absolutely no clue about what his girls are sitting in the driveway crying about. He looks concerned. I later tell him. It was my confirmation to move forward to bring this boy home where he belongs. The excitement of the kids about the whole thing was amazing. Well, Katy really wanted a baby and the girls all wanted another sister but after they understood that wasn’t happening now they were over excited. Our younger boys were so happy and our older boys were hesitantly concerned about us being able to handle another child as well as what it would mean for college plans. So with much excitement, we introduce our newest son, Long Yake. He is 12 years old, living in the same home as Katy and Sam lived in. He has wide set eyes, underdeveloped nose and cleft lip and palate. He is pretty small in size also. We have just received our pre approval from China to move forward with our adoption process. We can now let him know that he has a family working hard to bring him home. What will his reaction be to our huge tribe. I will let you know. Now the answers we give to the next two questions. How do we handle 10 children? I want to scream that I absolutely have no idea! Ha! How is that for an answer. It is such a God thing. The only reasonable explanation is that in our weakness God is strong. It just can’t be done without God. The children are happy, and flourishing. We are exhausted much of the time which brings me to the last question on how we look so good for having 10 children. Scott might say when we look like we have 10 children we just don’t go out in public. I just smile and say thank you. Rest is key to keeping our joy and time alone for Scott and is top priority. If you could please pray for us as we move through the process we would love that. It can be a stressful time waiting and making sure the paperwork is done right and in a timely manner along with the expense of it all. I am waiting and expectant for the wonderful works of God we are going to see and experience.
New International Version (NIV)
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