Sunday, May 16, 2010

Memorial Box Monday: Welcome Home Son!

Welcome to Memorial Box Mondays, first started by Linny over at A Place Called Simplicity (look under my blogroll). You can link up there to read or share stories about how God has blessed your life, answered your prayers, and shown his grace in your life in the past. A couple of weeks ago I posted the story of how we adopted our daughter, N. Today I am sharing the story of how we adopted her brother, our 4th child, Mark.

We lived in The Philippines from 1974-76 where Joel was a meterologist for the Air Force, forecasting weather for the pilots on Clark Air Force Base. We lived off the base in a mostly military community although one of our neighbors was a Filipino family that lived in a hut in a small field across the street. There were also quite a few kids in the neighborhood

Every morning I would open the door before seven to find our little neighbor boy, Kiko sitting on the porch. His mom was from Thailand and his dad was an African-American soldier. His siblings were full Thai and that seems to make them "better" in their way of thinking ~that they were born to a Thai father and Kiko was not. Sadly it was quite evident that he was not treated equally. Kiko practically lived at our home! He was their from early morning until I sent him home right before dark. He went to church and Sunday School with us, took naps with our kids, and ate meals with us quite often ~ even on Christmas! It appeared he was neglected and unwanted, so when we decided to adopt again, we actually asked the family if they would be willing to let us adopt Kiko. With an emphatic no from them, we began our search for a baby boy, "just like Kiko" as our older two kids pleaded. After looking for several weeks we came across a clinic where a 4 month old baby boy was living. (Most of the time if the birth mother did not want to keep her child she just left them at the clinic where they were born) He looked "just like Kiko" and grabbed our hearts right away, so we began the process of seeing if we could adopt him. We went to social services, but their response was "He is too dark. We will find a lighter baby for you." Thus began a short battle with the powers that be to bring him home, and a lot of prayers lifted up to the greater powers above to intervene. My husband reminded me today the we both even dreamed about Mark being in our home before we got the okay. This was an affirmation from God as we knew from the first time we laid eyes on him that he was our son!

We kept returning to the clinic to make sure he was being taken care of and fed, and we hounded social services, talking to them over and over again until they gave in and agreed to let us adopt him. When Mark was 5 months old, he came home to his forever family. I will add that during our court appearances later on we were asked the same questions about the "color of his skin", and also that we were only the second family at that time to adopt two children from The Philippines ~ but that is another story!

After Mark first came home, it was challenging. ~ he had been neglected in the hospital and did not make eye contact or know how to respond to social cues, etc. His only security was a diaper he held in his arms all the time. He cried a lot and was sad and scared for quite some time. Anytime we took him in public his little body would shake and he would hide his face in my chest...until he was 2 yrs old. BUT, he eventually blossomed and became more outgoing, settled in to the world at large, and came into himself. He is now 35, with a son of his own, Noah. We often give thanks to God for bringing a "little Kiko" in our lives.

We never were able to keep contact with Kiko, but still pray for him. Hopefully he experienced the love of Christ in our home, and is today a blessing to others the way our son is to us. God works in mysterious and amazing ways!
I think I will add a photo of Kiko to my Memorial box, to remind me of God's grace in giving us Mark, and our sweet grandson Noah, and to remind me to pray for Kiko.


natali said...

I'm loving that you guys kept on pursuing "little" Mark! GOD is faithful :))

Andrea said...

Oh Renee, what a beautiful memory and what a beautiful son, Mark and grandson, Noah. GOD has indeed blessed you!
Blessings, hugs, and prayers,

Mike Golch said...

what a great posting,thank you for sharing this.

from all of us with love said...

I truly love to read of your love to others. The love that Jesus shows to others through you and your family. I am so glad that two little boys, Kiko and "a Kiko" of your own were loved with a Christ like love. I heard a story in church about a boy who was told you are not my son by a family and told the same from his own family. Had he had neighbors like you he never would have heard those words. Bless you for sharing.

Charlotte/For Such A Time As This said...

What a wonderful story, thank you for sharing it. God is so good to fill our lives with people to love. I'm glad you were able to open your hearts to a child who needed a home and someone to love him...what a blessing for him and for you!

Shannon said...

Oh!!!!! What an amazing story! I love how God led you to Mark!!!! I love your writing and reading about your beautiful family and how God has been so faithful!!!

Lisa Buffaloe said...

Sweet Renee, my heart just bursts with gratitude for a loving Heavenly Father who lavishes such love on His children to lavishly love those who need a home and family.

Renee and Joel, thank you for reaching out with loving arms. Thank you for being God's love in action.

Ps 68:6 God sets the lonely in families

2Co 6:18 I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty

Ps 68:5 A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling.

God bless you and your family abundantly!

Renee said...

Hi natali
Thanks for coming by. Yes, God is faithful!

Renee said...

Hi Andrea
It is a beautiful memory..God has blessed us so much with Mark and Noah...and all our other children and grandchildren too..

Waitingfaithfully said...

Beautiful story Renee! What a precious blessing God bestowed on you in Mark, and now in Noah. Thank you for the love you poured into Kiko--I know it made a difference.

Blessings, and thank you for sharing~


godsown said...

What an beautiful memory.
The story touched me.