Love at First Sight :: An International Adoption Story

October, 26th, 2016 started off like any other Monday for my friend Angela. She woke up, made breakfast, saw her husband off to work and got her four kids to their Baton Rouge schools. She waited as the small children she babysits everyday were dropped off to her home. But when she checked Facebook that day, something was different.

As Angela was scrolling through her news feed, she saw a post from a friend of a friend – someone Angela didn’t even know – pop up in her news feed. The photo had been posted by Children’s Hope International, an adoption agency that helps orphans from China, Bulgaria, Cambodia and India find their forever homes. The photo pictured a little orphaned Chinese boy named Robby, who at the time was about 18 months old. When Angela saw the little boy, she got chills and started crying. She was immediately in love. Having known for 20 years that she and her husband would one day adopt, she instantly knew that little Robby was meant to be their son.

After seeing the photo of Robby, Angela called her husband, Derek, at work. “I think we have a son in China,” she said. The couple prayed about what to do and felt led to call Children’s Hope International to inquire about the toddler. After reaching out to the adoption agency, they learned that Robby had been born with spina bifida, a condition that led his biological parents to abandon him on a street corner when he was only two months old. Robby had been receiving medical care through the adoption agency and had surgery when he was nine months old. Against all odds, the toddler was already walking, something that many children born with spina bifida never do.

Since that fall day when they first saw the photo of Robby, Angela, Derek and their four kids have been busy. First, there was all the paperwork to fill out, which they have finally completed. In the world of international adoption, the family is considered dossier to China – meaning all their adoption paperwork has been submitted. They are now waiting for their login date – the date that China will officially log their paper, which should be coming any day now. The family has also been raising money for their adoption through t-shirt sales and their church family at Istrouma Ascension – where Derek serves as a deacon – is hosting a jewelry sale and a jambalaya benefit.

Because Robby has a medical condition, China is expected to fast track the adoption process so that Robby can join his new family in Baton Rouge as soon as possible. As of now, Angela and Derek are expecting to travel to Beijing to meet Robby and bring him home sometime between July and September of this year.

“When Derek and I were first married, we knew that we would one day add to our family through adoption,” said Angela. “We just didn’t know that God would use Facebook of all things to get that process rolling.”

If you’d like to learn more about international adoption, you can read more about Children’s Hope International here. And if you’d like to purchase tickets to Angela and Derek’s jambalaya benefit being held this Saturday, March 11th at Istrouma Ascension, you can do so by emailing their friend Tommy Lusk.

Karen is a California native who moved to Baton Rouge about three years ago for her husband's job. She loves Louisiana and the only thing she misses about living out west is In-N-Out burgers. Karen has two toddler boys and two teenaged stepsons. Before becoming a stay-at-home mom, Karen was a Senior Communications Manager for a software company. She earned her Bachelors degree from (don't hold it against her) the University of Southern California, where she graduated Cum Laude. In addition to spending time with her family, Karen enjoys writing, pretending she's good at making crafts and running.

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