There is a girl who is an artist. An athletic boy. And a girl who just lost both of her parents. They are all 13 years old and they live in China. In less than 12 months, they will be “aged out” of China’s orphanage system and will be on their own … unless someone chooses them during this holiday season.
Just two years ago, during the week of Thanksgiving, I heard of a girl named Autumn Cloud. She was 13 years old and only had nine months until she aged out in China. Adoption was not something I ever thought about other than the fact that I’d told the Lord a long, long time ago that if he plopped a child into my lap, I’d obey. Bob and I were frantically searching for a family to adopt her when suddenly God reminded us both of that promise.
The day before Thanksgiving, I awakened with a list of cleaning and cooking jobs for my kids—all three of them. (At the time I only had two—Robby and Lexi.) Clearly awake and working on my chore list, I kept assigning things to Autumn when suddenly I realized what I was doing. I think that was the moment I knew I was her mom.
It was a couple of weeks later around our Christmas tree that we decided as a family that we wanted Autumn to be a part us. But we needed $25,000. Where would we get $25,000? Two friends quickly stepped up to offer us $12,000. Do the math. That meant we still needed $13,000. That’s a lot to us. We didn’t have it. To make matters worse, we got a startling call. My book royalties had been reported to the IRS incorrectly and my accountant needed time to figure the problem out. One week later he called to say, “The IRS owes you $13,060.00!”
In August, we were approved to travel and get Autumn. Miraculous! It had only been six months since we’d started our paperwork. Most Chinese adoptions take two years to get processed! Autumn Qiu Yun Gresh is a delightful, hard working, humorous, and God-breathed blessing.
Looks like the Lord is at it again. When I spoke at True Woman this year, a mom handed me her email address written on a candy bar. She said, “If you ever know of a case like Autumn’s, we’ll take one. Email me.” I emailed her today.
But there are still two more children.
Dannah Gresh is a best-selling author and the creator of Secret Keeper Girl. Best-known for And the Bride Wore White and Lies Young Women Believe (co-written with Nancy Leigh DeMoss), Dannah is a gifted communicator whose ministry focus is coaching moms to be great connectors to their tween and teen children. She and her husband Bob are left to run a menagerie of animals on a hobby farm since her three young adult children have flown the coop. Her happiest times are when all the chicks are back in the nest.