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By Sandra Moats
The eyes of a troubled eight year old Chinese girl peered from the picture. From being in China orphanages I knew the look of those eyes well. We were trying to adopt our first daughter’s best friend when I got a call from our agency. The woman from the agency said she had both good news and bad news. I had a referral from China, but it was not the child that I had requested.
I was crushed that we were denied Faith’s best friend whom I knew and loved, but I also knew that God’s hand was in this second adoption for our family.
The next day when our packet arrived, Ralph and I prayed as we held the information about this child’s life in our hands. She was eight years old and was referred as a healthy child, yet when we viewed her picture we knew she was not healthy. The hopeless eyes I had seen so many times before in the orphanages seemed multiplied in this little girl. We knew beyond a doubt she was to be our daughter and we would call her Hope!
A few months later when we were given clearance to travel we met our precious little Hope in person. Weak from traveling, she was carried to us. She weighed just twenty-eight pounds. Her head was covered with a cute hat that I knew meant she might have lice. Yep, she did! We all had a head treatment that night.
After we finished signing papers, we left the government buildings we took Hope shopping. The first request Hope had was for a new pair of shoes. Her skinny toes hung way over the edge of her well-worn jelly sandals. Ralph carried her wherever we went as she had no energy and arched herself back while rolling her eyes into the back of her head.
When we went to our hotel room the same actions occurred whenever she needed attention for something. It seemed to be her way of communicating her need for care. When our communication barrier was gone we found out that was the way she had learned to communicate her needs when she lived in her orphanage.
After returning to the states we took Hope to the doctor. She had TB, had suffered severe malnutrition, and had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. She also had short term memory loss. This made it very difficult to school her as each day she would learn only to forget by the next day. Her teeth were infected and several were rotted away down into the gums.
Hope slowly began to grow and glow. The hopeless eyes turned to eyes that sparkled. She slowly added weight, she was treated for TB, had her teeth fixed, and her short term memory loss slowly healed over the years.
Hope is home schooled. She is a good student who is bright and funny. She is now fifteen. She is a natural chef and delights our family with her gifts of cooking for her eight brothers and sisters whom we later adopted. She has blossomed into a beautiful young lady who has already brought happiness to many others with her thoughtfulness.
Ralph & Sandra Moats, both ordained Assembly of God pastors, have fourteen children ages eight to forty-six, four are biological and ten are adopted. The ten adopted Asian children are ages eight to nineteen. Three of the adopted children were adopted from China directly the others were adopted out of disruption when the original adoptive family felt they could not parent the child any longer.
Today, the Moats will sit around a table with their family and give thanks. Thousands of other children will not. Be The Answer for these children by writing a small thank you note (or show your appreciation in another way) to a social worker, judge, or anyone else who has had a positive impact in your adoption or somebody else’s adoption process.