Here’s the last of the November adoptee stories, we didn’t quite make it to the end of the month, but we are closing with three really great testimonies!
Doug and Mandy Chapman are the sister and brother in law of MY sister-in-law Megan (married to my brother Joe)- that was a mouthful! Last year, Doug and Mandy gave the gift of a family to “Big Mike.” He was grown, 20 years old, but that didn’t change the fact that what was missing in his life was “family.” The Chapman’s could have just welcomed Mike into their family as “part” of the family “like” a son, but they knew the power of adoption and chose to make it legal in a court of law. This family blows me away and challenges my heart to think beyond the “norm”.
“My name is Micheal Gill, and last year on November 17th, I was blessed to adopted in to the Chapman family.
My story is a little different then most. My bio mother died when I was 15 years old, and my brother and his wife then took me in. I was very happy to still be with family that loved me, but I grew to become very angry and bitter about my life. My brother and I couldn’t see eye to eye over anything. I decided it would be best to drop out of school and go to a trade school and live there. During that time, the Chapmans started to invest a lot of time in me to help me grow. They did so much for me over the years, that it just felt like every thing was right again. I finally knew how a family should feel which was something I needed so badly after my mother passed away.
Just to make this a little shorter and not boring, I am so glad that God blessed me with this loving,caring, and just awesome family. It has only been a year, but it has been a great one! I am now 21 and look forward to the many more years to come. I am so happy and excited to see what God has in store for us as a family and just simply can not wait.” -Micheal Gill
To read more about the Chapman’s click on this news story posted for Mother’s Day in their local paper: http://citizensvoice.com/news/mother-s-love-grows-through-foster-care-1.1314445
Paige is a friend from our home state of Pennsylvania. I’m so grateful that she has shared her story with us this month:
“I was adopted after a couple weeks in foster care, as a baby. Two awesome Christian parents WANTED me…I made their dreams come true. I had a Mom who led Girl Scouts, and a Dad who spoiled me while calling me his princess, and doing a Father-daughter program with me. God surely knew what He was doing! I had it all…a perfect lilac bedroom, a toy room filled with everything a kid would want, great family times, and it went on through my whole live. My best memory was each night when my Mom bathed me, and then I knew after that.. my Dad would read the picture bible to me and my brother(he was adopted later). My parents loved, and supported me in dance classes, acrobats, baton, and anything I wanted to do. They raised me with great values, we spent weekends with the extended family, and it was a picture perfect life. I had parents who wanted me…But I missed a piece of what identified me. Was I African, Irish, German? After all….maybe I shouldn’t really love sauerkraut like I do!
Now, being adopted comes with questions. As a child, I wanted to know who I looked like. I wanted to know those things.. like what was my cultural heritage. As I had my own 4 babies, I wondered if they resembled my birthparents. So many adoptees struggle with the abandonment of being given up…I knew I was wanted. But.. I just wasn’t sure about my identity. I always had questions about who out there resembled me. I was always looking for someone with a crooked pinky finger like me and all four of my kids. So…I did what many adoptees do in my 20’s…
I went on the quest to find my birth family. Sadly…the Ohio birth records are tighter than Fort Knox, and I am not much of a “Nancy Drew”. But I did find my non-identifying information. I found out the most amazing thing…My birth mother had been raped. WOW! At first I thought…whoever my birth father was..he wasn’t too cool. But then the awe of it struck me…I have heard arguments about victims of rape having the right to an abortion. WELL….I could have been an abortion. BUT…my birth mother wanted me, to live. Again…I was very aware of how much more WANTED an adoptee is, and how unlikely it is that many birth mother’s ever abandon their babies. They instead WANT enough for them… they offer them to another couple who WANTS them. I realized at that time how doubley WANTED, I was…If “doubley” is a word I am doubley wanted!
Being adopted is a beautiful thing…People over the years have hinted, suggested or mentioned that I must feel abandoned. Not even close! That is not a thought that has ever entered my head…..it has been the opposite actually, I have always felt so WANTED – DOUBLEY WANTED. And as a Christian child and then later as a woman….the beauty of “adoption” and being WANTED by a heavenly Father was so easy for me to grasp…I understood what it was to be wanted. I am still searching off and on for my birth family….because I do wonder who I resemble. But I have found that God put me just where I needed to be…I learned from my Dad who is a lay pastor, who my heavenly Father is. And with that.. I now know exactly who I resemble….and my heritage and legacy started when I was placed with a Christian couple, with the nightly picture bible stories. I look just like my Daddy in heaven, crooked pinky and all. And the way my parents moved mountains because they WANTED me….my heavenly Father did the same thing for me..and the legacy and heritage that I pass on to my 4 kids, is that they are in a royal bloodline with a King in their family tree.”- Paige Vanryne
I am honored to share Brenda’s story. I have known Brenda and her family since she and her sister were very little girls.
“In 1985 my parents were planning to adopt. They wanted a baby girl. Social Services told them chances were slim. But they received a phone call saying we have a baby girl being born soon and if they wanted her. Of course they said yes.
They knew there was complications. The mother had been a substance abuser. I was born May 7 1985. I was born addicted, and during withdrawal I had seizures. Doctor’s said they weren’t sure if I would ever walk.
My parents spent time with me, working with me, loving me. My church family was amazing as well. I was legally adopted just a couple of days before my third birthday.
Not a day goes by that I don’t thank God for the family he provided me. They sent me to a Christian school, my older sister was a great role model.
4 years after I was born, my parents received another call. I had a little sister, and they needed emergency placement for her and wanted to know if they would take her until they could find a permanent home.
Our natural mother had met a different guy and the state gave them a chance to raise their daughter. One day their neighbors had heard a baby crying. They hadn’t seen anyone go in or out of the house for a while. Finally someone called the police. When the police got there, she was alone, and appeared to be that way for quite a while. Overflowing diaper, filthy, etc.
She was rushed to the ER. When checked out, the doctor’s said her stomach was completly empty. They also said 24 more hours, she would have died. The lack of oxygen to her brain and malnutrition really did a lot of damage. It took her a long time to learn how to walk. My parents, myself, our brother and sister, and even my uncle’s and their families worked very hard with her.
She was teased a lot during school just for being different. No one took the time to know her. Who she really is, what she likes, etc.
She is quite a character. She is funny, loving, caring, a very hard worker.
God has blessed us both with amazing parents. They have raised us both to be young, Godly women. We are close friends, family, and will always have God to thank.”