We experienced a gigantic miracle. It was a miracle that sent me to bed that night with goose bumps and looking all around the room realizing God was there, and He is enormous! It was both amazing and scary. Scary in the fact that I understood I had better behave myself and try not to tick God off, because he IS powerful.
You'll read the miracle towards the end of the story, so hang in there. I promise you it is CRAZY. You'll have to say to yourself either she is a crazy liar, that is the biggest coincidence ever, or that was a miracle.
When the reporter who wrote Cokie's story said, "the child has captured my heart. She has affected and involved me." Well, I understood, because that happened to me too. I believe God caused me to fall for Cokie before I ever even knew she was burned, because that is exactly what happened.
For it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
In other words it wasn't about me, but the plan did work. I didn't see Cokie on a list, and I was not looking for a child to adopt while I was visiting the orphanage that day-well I always say I'm not looking, but I wasn't expecting to go ga-ga instantly. I certainly would have never looked at a list of pictures though and said to myself, "Hey, this one looks like she may never walk, and needs tons and tons of surgeries, so I think I will pick her!"
We had adopted Lyric from the same orphanage a couple days before. The sole reason I picked out Lyric was because she was super cute and had a very easy correctable SN--that is what I wanted.
Just a couple days after we adopted Lyric we had taken her back to the orphanage, the way many adopting parents do. Lyric just so happened to be one of the very few babies spoiled in any orphanage. As soon as our van drove up to the orphanage, Lyric's nanny, the orphanage director, and a large group of orphans ran out to greet her. Even though there was another cute little orphan baby whose adoptive Mom was with us visiting the orphanage, the older orphans only chanted Lyric's name. And I mean it was a chant. The kids were all yelling "Ya Ni! Ya Ni! Ya Ni!. . ." in unison, like you would hear at a sporting event when the crowd is repeatedly shouting out the home team hero's name. Lyric was asleep from the long drive and was oblivious to it all. But as soon as she woke up and spotted her nanny, she lunged for her. The nanny quickly ran off with Lyric and the rest of us went on the scheduled tour--without Lyric. Actually, it was fine by me, because I am always very interested in looking around at the orphanage.
I did pass Lyric several times once inside, but unlike most orphans being taken back, she was totally content in doing whatever they were doing. At one point I saw her grab a box of crackers out of the nanny's hand and she started passing out crackers to all the little babies--Lyric had just turned 2 y.o. herself.
I walked in the toddler room and was surrounded by little babies everywhere. Most were crawling around on a floor mat. I looked around for just a second and then across the room I spotted a baby with big, big eyes. I thought she was absolutely B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L. Being the shallow person I am sometimes, I passed all the other babies and went straight for what I thought was one of the most beautiful babies ever. I was already hooked on this baby before I ever even saw her burned legs.
OK, I always say Stafan is the only one I've ever committed to without asking Mike first, but I guess that isn't true, because I immediately made a promise to Kong Wei Xin that I WOULD BE BACK TO GET HER. Of course, she didn't know English or even probably a lot of Chinese yet, but I made the commitment to myself and I was going for it. The guide was there and translated to the people doing the tour with us, who also worked there. I said, "She is in depression." They seemed shocked I figured it out so fast and said, "Yeah, yeah, yeah!" The guide got me Cokie's name and birthday, and I had Mike look at her before we were both shooed along. As we walked outside to leave, I was a little relieved Lyric didn't cry or mind as she waved goodbye to all her fans. I had her about 3 days and she had started bonding with me too.
The first week we got back to the states I started calling about adopting Kong Wei Xin. We were never told yes, but we started working on our dossier. For 5 months our agency tried to get the orphanage to submit Kong Wei Xin's paperwork. They said, "We don't know why they don't care, but they don't, and they will not submit her papers."
At that time most all the babies being adopted out of China were either non special need or very easy correctable special needs. In the orphanage director's eyes, Kong Wei Xin was not considered worthy of being adopted. That is how a lot of people in the orphanages felt. Nowadays, things have done a 180. China no longer gives their healthy children up for adoption internationally. People waiting on a healthy infant are told it'll be years unless the child is a much, much older child. I honestly don't hear of any healthy infants coming out of China anymore.
After 5 longs months of prayer, expense and working on all the red tape for adoption, our agency emailed me on a Friday afternoon. The email said, "We can not get Kong Wei Xin. You need to pick out another child or your dossier will just go to waste."
When Mike came home from work I told him what the agency had said. I told Mike maybe we had to move on. Mike said, "You just want to forget her and pick another child." I told Mike, "No, but I believe if God wants us to get her we will!" For the 2nd time God was giving me really strong faith about Cokie. I told Mike that we should pray God would give us a sign that would clearly show us what he wanted us to do. Mike resisted. He said if we prayed that prayer and did not get a sign clearly directing us to continue to pursue Cokie, he still would not be willing to move on. He finally relented and that night Mike and I got on our knees and asked God to help us get Kong Wei Xin and to clearly show us that it was his will for us to continue pursuing her. For the first time we REALLY asked God for His help. We knew He was all we had. We could do nothing, because we had tried everything doing it ourselves and it wasn't working.
The very next morning was Saturday and I was in the kitchen. Mike came in with the mail and told me we had a letter from Nanjing. Lyric was from Nanjing and Kong Wei Xin was in Nanjing. I immediately freaked. I knew no one in Nanjing and receiving a handwritten informal letter from China--much less from Nanjing was bizarre. I knew it meant something!!
Keep in mind this was not even 24 afters after our agency (for the first time) had told us to forget it! More incredibly, it was just a few hours after (for the first time) Mike and I had gotten on our knees and prayed together asking for God to show us it was His will for us to continue pursuing Kong Wei Xin.
I opened the large envelope and about 12 baby pictures fell out. At first I was asking, "Who is this baby?" Then I realized they were baby pictures of Lyric. We got Lyric the day before she turned 2 y.o. and these were taken when she was about a year old.
Inside was a note that said something like, "Hi, my name is Helene and I'm from Holland. I am with Hopeful Hearts and we paid for Lyric's heart surgery." There was also an email address on the note. For the
first time I learned Hopeful Hearts had paid for Lyric's heart surgery way before
we had gotten her. I had never even heard of Hopeful Hearts before that moment.
I was thinking so this is what God wants me to do!!!!!!!! I went to my computer to send an email to the address on the note. I wrote something like... "Since you go to the orphanage you must know Kong Wei Xin. I want to adopt her."
The next day I received a response. It said, "Hi my name is Suzanne and I'm from Germany. I am with Hopeful Hearts and I support Kong Wei Xin."
Even though Hopeful Hearts only did hearts patients, Suzanne had spotted Cokie in the orphanage after I did. Suzanne started fundraising and put Cokie right back in the hospital--a western style hospital.
Our wonderful agency, and at that time they were one of the best, tried for 5 months but could not get the orphanage to submit Kong Wei Xin's papers for adoption. After God put the letter in our mail box, Suzanne had Kong Wei Xin's papers submitted in 2 weeks!
Later Suzanne told me she and other Hopeful Hearts women were literally praying Kong Wei Xin would be adopted by a Christian family. This means even though they knew nothing of me, or me of them, a Christian family in the U.S. (Mike and I) was praying for Kong Wei Xin while at the same time Christian European women living in Communist China were praying for Kong Wei Xin!
Our agency said, "Well it was probably because Hopeful Hearts was doing fundraisers for the orphanage so they listened to them." No. This was God orchestrating an adoption. Mike and I got on our knees and within hours a stranger's letter showed
up in our snail mail box that led us to the woman who was supporting
Kong Wei Xin. I believe God made us wait for 5 months, because He wanted to make it clear it was Him making it happen, not us. 1 Peter 3:15 tells us to "always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have." We will always be thankful for such a faith-building experience.
Cokie Bettina and Suzanne Bettina in the western style hospital.
Cokie with her private nanny, paid for by Suzanne. This was when we had already had Cokie a few days and we were able to meet the nanny. Poor Cokie-it just confused her since she didn't really know us yet. I think Cokie was mad at the nanny here for "leaving" her-another abandonment in her mind.
Lael at the Great Wall. She went with us to get Cokie.
Bret and Lyric went too!