The Casey Family
Our family’s adoption story begins long before our adopted daughter was ever born. Many years ago, when we were missionaries in Bulgaria, we had the opportunity to visit an orphanage filled with hopeless toddlers. Our team of missionaries was overwhelmed not only by the destitution in which these orphans had to survive, but also by the doleful eyes staring at us. There was so much these children needed, and so little we could give them. But we did the one thing which was more effective than all the humanitarian aid in the world , and that was to pray. As all of the missionaries cuddled these orphans, they begged the Lord to provide adoptive families from America who were Chrisians, even though Bulgaria did not adopt internationally.
One year later, when our family was living back in America, we were told of a local church in which numerous families had adopted orphans from Bulgaria. Upon inquiring about specifics, we learned that every single child we had prayed for was now living in a Christian family! That experience made a lasting impression on us, though adopting was obviously out of the question for us as we were missionaries. However, I have still prayed ever since then that one day our family would be able to adopt an orphan.
After the tsunami in December 2004, God spoke to our family through statistics of the thousands of children who were torn away from their families. He used these tragic circumstances to birth in our family a desire to help the world’s orphans through adoption. After extensive prayer and research, we sent in our application to America World. Shortly thereafter, we were elated with the news that we were accepted to adopt through the China program. My prayer of thirteen years was finally going to be answered!
Though we definitely did not have the finances it requires to adopt internationally, we kept going through with the process, trusting that the Lord would provide since He was the One who had called us to adopt. Miraculously, we received all the money we needed, whether through friends and relatives, or a grant from Shaohannah’s Hope. Once, we were one thousand dollars short, and a check came in the mail the day before the payment needed to be made, which exactly covered the fees! By June of 2005 our dossier was FedEx-ed to China, and we soon received our log-in date.
Seven months later, God spoke to us again, this time about adopting a special needs child. Though we had never considered this before, we contacted AWAA anyhow to learn more about the Special Needs program. We happened to be calling on the day they received
thirty Special Needs referrals, and were told that we could receive one of them if we put our names on the list. While sending in our application we remarked that we would take either gender and would consider a child with hydrocephalus (water on the brain). The next morning we received our referral for a three-year-old girl who was born on my birthday! She had a history of hydrocephalus, but was developmentally normal for an orphan. We immediately committed it to prayer and felt that we should accept this referral, despite the serious medical problems which could realistically occur with this child.
Two months later, our family welcomed her into our family as “Eliana," which means “my God answered.” She went through no “grieving process” whatsoever, bonded immediately with every member of the family, and immersed herself in English so much that she refused to speak Chinese with our guides.
Neurologists in America are astounded by Eliana’s compensation despite her condition. Though there are internal imbalances, she has no mental or physical problems. Because she was in the orphanage so long, there was some behavior which needed correction, but with love and patience she has learned a great deal. Recently, as I spoke with Eliana about her adoption, she said in broken English, “I didn’t have any mama or any papa and I cried and cried and cried!” We thank God that He led her to our family and to a new life! **This story was written fromt he persepctive of the Casey's 17-year-old daughter.