By Brian and Renée Luwis
The Birth of the America World Adoption Association
On a warm August evening in 1994 our newly adopted eight month old daughter, Fei
Hao Renée Luwis, got off an airplane and greeted the United States of America for
the first time. Her arrival marked the turning point in her young life — a life
full of uncertainty, hope, and finally, deliverance. And just as Fei’s journey to
America marked a profound turning point in her life, it marked a profound turning
point in ours. Joyfully, our lives would never be the same again.
Fei's journey began long before her arrival in America. It began when my wife and
I decided to start a family. Like so many childless couples, we explored the possibility
of adoption after struggling with infertility. We knew it was a good desire of our
hearts to have children but we did not know what God’s desire was until we opened
our hearts to adoption. We started gathering information from different adoption
agencies but nothing felt right. Then something happened. For the first time in
our lives we came in contact with China’s abandoned children through a brochure.
We based our decision to adopt from China on the relatively short processing time
and the fact that many infant girls were available for immediate adoption.
Before long we realized that we needed help with the adoption process so we turned
to Tony Brewer, a Christian friend with experience and a deep commitment to help
the orphans of China. We also turned to Tony because we had committed our adoption
plans to the Lord and we wanted someone who would do the same. We prayed for our
future child as did our pastor and church friends. The knowledge of this prayer
support and the knowledge of God's faithfulness served us greatly throughout the
After many months of gathering and preparing our required paperwork and completing
our home study, we set off on our journey to China to bring home our new baby girl.
We arrived safely in Shanghai on a Sunday evening and were met at the airport by
Mr. Zhao, a friend of Tony’s who escorted us to our hotel for a much needed rest.
Mr. Zhao became our constant companion and confidant. During our twelve days in
China he took us under his wing — escorting us everywhere, translating for us and
giving us valuable advice and information about the foreign system in which we found
ourselves. He will forever be affectionately remembered by us as our much needed
On the Tuesday morning after we arrived in China we travelled to the orphanage where
Fei lived. When she was placed in our arms for the first time we were moved beyond
words. Any frustrations and worries we had during the adoption process melted away
as we held this little bundle of joy — this wonderful gift from God. We brought
Fei back to our hotel that day where we began to see her personality shine forth.
In time we learned that Fei was abandoned when she was a newborn and that someone
saved her life by taking her to an orphanage. We also learned that she spent most
of her time alone in the orphanage where receiving the love and attention a child
needs took more people than they had on staff. Breaking our hearts further, we learned
that she had little to play with but her hands and feet. Today our precious Fei
has plenty to play with, most importantly her three sisters and brother. Four from
China. One from mommy and daddy. All from God.