Couple meets orphaned kid. What she said to them was not what they expected. Upon watching a documentary about orphanages in China, Audrey Shook decided that she would become a mother when she and her husband Brett signed up for a hosting program. They met six yearold Lucy and decided to adopt her for good. Don’t miss this beautiful, heartwarming story. Over two decades ago, Andree watched a documentary about orphanages in China. From that day on, she wished to become a mother for one of these children.
We talked about adoption back when we were dating and specifically from China and we always talked about adopting, but the time never seemed right.
At the young age of 21, she said, I do and married her high school sweetheart, Brent. Soon after, life put her plans temporary on hold as she became pregnant with the first of their five biological children. Currently, Audrey, Brent and their five children live in Woodland, Texas. The current ages of her biological kids are 18, 1613, seven and five. Between the birth of the third and fourth child, they had contemplated the idea of adopting once more. However, the plan was once again put on hold due to Audrey’s fourth pregnancy. Yet Audrey would not give up on her plans of adopting a child.
And fast forward to about a year ago. We finally decided it was time to say yes.
Nine years have passed since Audrey and Brent’s wedding and despite all their effort, they had yet to receive any hopeful news from the adoption agencies they were in contact with. But little did they know that was about to change. Very soon, time went by and Audrey and Brent’s youngest was now attending preschool. So they considered that now was the best time to bring up again the plans for adoption. As luck would have it.
And one day he was at work and he got an email from an adoption agency that we had looked at ten years ago.
They were soon reached by an email from the adoption agency Great Wall, China Adoption. The company gave the couple the opportunity to host children as their foster parents during a period of four weeks. Audrey and Brent had been in contact with the company for some time and the timing for this offer was just perfect. Hosting temporarily a child would really put Audrey to the test and prove if she had what it took to adopt them into the family. This was also a great opportunity to see if her kids would be ready for the possibility of having an adopted sibling. The family eagerly signed up, but then when they saw a photo of their future host child, Lucy, everything changed.
And so I started looking through these little faces. Lucy just jumped out at me. She didn’t have a name. She was a number. And I knew, just watching her video and seeing her face, that she was meant to be our daughter.
Not only was the photo of Lucy adorable, but it also came with a biography of the little girl. The information attached explained that she had down syndrome. This sealed the deal for the couple. They would not just host her. They now wished to adopt her permanently.
She was abandoned at four weeks old at a police station. Her own mother couldn’t take care of her, didn’t want her. Her society doesn’t want her because of her down syndrome. And she’s waited for six years in a orphanage to have a mum and a dad and a family.
Audrey felt in her heart that the child would not only come to visit during the four week period they arranged, she was positive that Lucy would stay forever. I’ve always had a special bond with people with down syndrome. I have an extra feeling of love for them, she said. My husband and I had it in our hearts that we wouldn’t just have her here for a month and send her back, especially with what we were feeling about her. In no time, she and her husband were filling the paperwork to make little Lucy an official member of their family. The time had finally come.
On July 20, 115, Audrey went to the George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston, Texas, with family and friends INO are you ready to finally meet Lucy? Audrey? Aster kids rimming with joy, they would finally pick up their newest family member and bring her home. Dozens of children with special needs arrived at the airport and among them was Lucy. As soon as she spotted her new daughter, Audrey was overcome with emotion. Oh my God, she said, unable to contain her tears. There’s Lucy. She ran towards her and greeted the child.
Hey, I’m Mama. Audrey introduced herself. Her new daughter immediately responded, Mama, kids with special needs like Lucy have a harder time of being adopted by families. But it was precisely because of this reason that Audrey wanted to adopt and love her all the more. These are the kids that are unwanted. They’re the kids nobody else wants. They’ve been sitting on lists for their entire life or sitting in an orphanage, Audrey explained. At first, Audrey was a bit uneasy at how her five biological children would feel about Lucy, and she wondered whether they’d get along or not. To her surprise, they welcomed the little girl into the family with open arms.
Even the youngest, Maggie, for whom Audrey was most worried, was happy to have a new sister. Fortunately, the sisters bonded quickly. They both enjoyed the movie Frozen and danced together to its songs. Audrey assured that no longer after that, the duo became inseparable. Something clicked in their hearts. They’re going to be sisters forever, she said happily. Everyone in their neighborhood was as warm and as welcoming to Lucy as her new family. Adopting children from China is very common in their community, and the town organizes gatherings to get them all together.
This was a big help to Audrey and Brent, since Lucy was only speaking Mandarin at the time she arrived while teaching her English was necessary. Her parents were also respectful of her origins and wished to keep her close to her roots and her native culture. There are a lot of ways we can keep her culture a part of her. We want her to be a part of her heritage, said Lucy’s parents. Audrey and the rest of her family were delighted to get to know their newest child. Lucy turned out to be the sweetest girl, always smiling and laughing, hugging just about anyone she met. She was also hilarious and enjoyed dancing and doing tricks to make others laugh. She was a chatterbox, too, but she only knew how to speak Mandarin for the moment. To prepare for her arrival, Audrey learned how to communicate with her through sign language so Lucy could learn how to make others know when she was hungry or in need to use the bathroom. We don’t see it as we’re going to help her. We feel like she’s going to bless our lives, Audrey said. Audrey’s husband, Brent, stated how much Lucy had changed their lives in so little time.
It took me a while to submit to the fact that this was going to be our girl, but after a few years, the change that Lucy had made in everyone’s lives and the joy that she brought to them inspired the couple to bring more adopted children to the family. She’s such a joy and her presence makes everyone happier, he claimed. As always, Audrey and Brent relied on their contacts in China to find the next members for their family and the agency Great Wall China Adoption came to the rescue not once, but twice more.
While she was here, she would talk about in Mandarin a little boy back at the orphanage.
And she would say this one phrase over and over and over how? And so we asked her teacher and she said, well, actually there’s this little boy that’s her best friend over there and he says it all the time and she and he are really close. Let’s fast forward a few years and meet the newest members of the Shook family. Henry and ILUAs May, adopted from the same orphanage as Lucy. Audrey and Brent recalled how Henry had been found near the village’s market, which was a very rare occurrence since the abandoned babies were usually girls.
A possible reason for this was that Henry had a vision impairment. The people in the village were very poor, yet at the same time extremely warm, friendly and kind to Audrey and her family. There was a market next to the place where Henry was found and we asked to buy him some candy to bring back to him when we tried to pay, they wouldn’t accept any money. They were so grateful we were there, Audrey said. The shook family was reassured by the villagers that if they ever do discover Henry’s birth parents, they would let them know that their son is very happy and loved.
The Shuk family visited China many times and during one of these visits, they met a baby at the orphanage. This little girl would soon become ils shook, the family’s 8th child. We had a feeling it would not be the last time we saw her. I’m filled with joy to announce to you the same baby girl, so small and so worthy to have a family of her own Will be joining our family and become a shook, Audrey said. One might have thought that after eight children, the family wouldn’t get any larger. But life had other plans.
On their way home from adopting their latest daughter, Audrey found out someone else was coming. She was pregnant. By the end of the year, the happy couple would have their 9th child. But the Sharks weren’t the only ones to ever adopt and host children born on the other side of the globe. Let’s meet the winds a family who had already adopted two small children from the GWCA agency in the past until they decided to temporarily host a 17 year old girl named Iris. During her stay, Iris shared stories, traditions, and even recipes from her homeland, China.
In fact, she even managed to get her host family closer to the local Chinese community. In return, she had a great time as an exchange student. She was joyful and talented and even managed to enter the basketball team. She also got along with the wind’s two younger adopted Chinese kids. The whole family had a great time with her around as an agency dedicated to finding either temporary or permanent homes to children with special needs. Lucy wasn’t the only child with down syndrome to ever find a home. A little girl called Carolyn also found a loving home of.