Prayers answered.

Prayers answered today!!!  

It took 9 long years, but I never stopped praying, and I never would have stopped either.   Nine years ago I first spotted Arden in a Chinese orphanage.  At first I thought I picked Arden, maybe Arden thought she picked us.  In reality, God did  it all. 

We had adopted Bret from Arden's orphanage 4 years before.   Taking Bret back to visit her orphanage was my excuse to "scope" things out.  The orphanage held around 1,000 kids, but all I saw were a few sleeping babies.  I'm not sure why, but that day the children were all hid away.   Anyone who visits a Chinese orphanage knows foreigners' visits are usually short and very controlled.   

As my eyes darted around,  I was looking, hoping and literally praying God would give me the perfect little "older" girl to be mine.  Little did I know Arden was looking down from a window  and saw the foreigners' faces.  Arden decided to get closer for a good look.  Arden didn't know this foreigner woman was going to instantly fall for her and do everything in her power (including call out to God) to make her her's.  

But this story is not about making Arden mine.  

This story is about what happened the day after I first laid eyes on Arden--Arden who was still being called Shan.


 I took this picture the very first time I spotted Arden.  Arden is on the right, and Bret is in the middle.  The girl on the left never got adopted.  Arden's shirt literally said in English "ONLY YOU."  We didn't realize that till we got home.  Mike was telling himself someone would adopt her, but then he picked up this picture and read her shirt. Coincidence?  So how do we come up with another $25,000 God?

The day after I saw and wanted Arden, I asked if I could have dinner with herIt was that day that we were thrown for a loop--a big, big loop.  We sat in a restaurant along with  several orphanage officials, our sweet friend to translate our languages and, of course, Arden.   All of a sudden in English I hear,  "Shan (Arden) says Bai Ling Feng says Bai Ling Yun is her sister."  Our sweet friend's eyes filled with tears.  She had a very special bond with Bai Ling Yun AKA Bret-- our daughter.  And, everyone at the table realized what we had just been told.  Our sweet Bret, who had been our daughter for 4 years now, had a biological sister, and this was the very first time we had ever heard of it.  We had been  innocently told by a little 10 y.o. girl.  A girl named Shan who we prayed would  become our daughter Arden--and Bret's sister.


Arden knew what she was talking about, because Bret's birth sister, Bai Ling Feng, was one of Arden's best friends in the orphanage.  

When Bret was abandoned along with her "2," yes I said two birth sisters, Bret was too young to know what was going on, but Bai Ling Feng was old enough to know she had been abandoned with her two biological sisters and, obviously, Bai Ling Feng was telling it!!  You put that with the fact the girls were all 3 abandoned together then you pretty much know they are sisters.  

The 3 sisters were all given the same exact birth dates, (except for the year of their birth) and new orphanage names that all started with "Bai Ling":  Bai Ling Feng, Bai Ling Yun, (Yun pronounced "one" in Cantonese) and Bai Ling Wun.  And their names meant wind, rain and cloud!  It wasn't until several years later I was told by another one Arden's good friend (and now my good friend too) that the reason for the "stormy" names was because they came to the orphanage on a gigantic stormy day.  I was also told that it was so unusual for 3 sisters to be abandoned together that all the other kids in the orphanage who were old enough to understand knew the sisters' story.   

It took another year to find out the facts, and the truth about who and where Bret's older sister was.  But I eventually was told--and when I was told, I not only found out who she was, but exactly where she was.  

One year after Arden informed us of the big, shocking, exciting news, we were home in the USA with Arden, and with the address of Bret's biological sister.  She was adopted shortly before Arden, and lives far away from us in another part of the country.  I couldn't wait to try and arrange a reunion of Bret and her biological sister. 

Before I was even over my jet lag I mailed off a letter to Bai Ling Feng's new family telling them I had her biological sister.  I got a very nice reply back telling me they already knew about Bret.  They didn't know where Bret was, but Bai Ling Feng had told her new parents she had a sister named Bai Ling Yun--our Bret.  Bai Ling Feng told her new Dad, "A large white woman came and got Bai Ling Yun."  That would be me--the large white woman!!!!  Bai Ling Feng's new father was and has continued to be very polite and nice to me.  He sent me much treasured pictures of Bai Ling Feng.  We planned a phone meeting within a couple days.  Bai Ling Feng's father said, "it was the right thing for the girls to know one another."  Sadly, the morning of the phone meeting to be, Bai Ling Feng's mother decided she did not wish for the girls to have contact.

That was the day I KNEW 9 y.o.  Bret understood the meaning of biological.  Bret had anticipated that phone call to talk to her sister all week.  When I broke the news to Bret that it was not going to happen Bret did not cry--Bret sobbed like a grown woman, and there is a difference between a child's cry and a woman's broken-hearted sobbed.  

Bret has been a trooper.  She has kept her chin up.  She has watched and enjoyed Remi finding, and spending time with her birth sister, Abigail.  Bret loves for Abigail to visit.  So in very typical Bret fashion she never complained, but I know it often hurt as she watched Remi and Abigail spend time with one another.  

From time to time Bret would bring up Bai Ling Feng--always accepting, always knowing Bai Ling Feng was out there, and honestly believing some day God would bring them together.  

Well, that day has arrived.  This weekend Bret walked into my bathroom and announced Bai Ling Feng's AKA Michelle,  father contacted Bret.  

He said, "If you still want contact with Michelle here is her contact information."  Michelle was going by a name on the web I would have never guessed. : - )

Say what?!?!  Does Bret want contact!  It is the day she has dreamed of, the day she has prayed for, ever since the day Arden announced it to the world.   

Their first conversation maybe even since their abandonment, since the orphanage makes them all live in areas according to their age, was on FB this weekend and went something like this:  

Bret:  "Hi, you know who I am."

Michelle: " Of course I know who are."

Bret:  "I would like to contact you."

Michelle:  "You can contact me anytime you want."  (she gave her her cell).

Bret:  "You can contact me anytime you want too."  

So, now how will it play out?  I don't know, but Bret informed me she would like to get to know Michelle without me reading on her messaging.  : - (((  LOL  Michelle, along with Arden, have just started college,  Bret is a sophomore in high school.  All I can tell you the girls are in contact.  Michelle informed Bret she likes to talk and Bret answered, "That is one thing we have in common, because I do too!"  

Was it a coincidence that Arden come down the steps that day in the orphanage?

Was it a coincidence that Arden blurted it out in front of the orphanage director, and us, that day that our Bret had a birth sister?   

Was it a coincidence that out of a 1,000 kids Bret's birth sister, Michelle, was one of Arden's best friends?

I don't believe in coincidences or fate. 

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 

There is one more sister out there.  Will they eventually have contact?  I have little doubt the answer is yes.  I already have people working on it.  : - )))  I know where she is.  I have friends in high places. : - ))  In the end it will be God's will--not man's.  

It is very ironic to me.  Michelle and Arden were good friends in China.  Arden became sisters with Bret--Michelle's biological sister.  Arden is the reason Bret and Michelle are now reconnected and have the opportunity to get to know each other.   

Another thing I know,  Bret was meant to be our daughter.  Arden was meant to be our daughter.  Arden and  Bret were meant to be sisters too.   And God is good all the time. 


Ain't no thing like a Bret Bai Ling. 







I guess you can tell by the TP on the table that this was not too posed.   The pointing of the flower was Arden showing me a bug on the window. : - )




Michelle on the left. 

Michelle Mar

Michelle on the right.


This was Bret still in China after we had only had her a couple days.

mike and bret on plane
Bret coming home.


This is Arden thinking... hey kid I might as well like you since I'm stuck with you.



Arden, Bret, Lyric and Cokie.


Arden Bret ready for bed.

Arden's bday

Arden and Bret

Payton Bret Lael Arden


GSWI orphans

Orphans from the orphanage 6 of my kids are from including Arden and Bret.