When I think of an epic Journey, I usually think of someone backpacking an ungodly distance, through oxygen deprived elevations, over treacherous terrain, with no water, and a broken leg or two.......or something like that. But today we followed a six year old boy, with known handicaps, on a journey to be adopted by his new family, and the work “epic” just doesn’t seem to do it justice.
Joel started this Journey six years ago when he was born to be a visually impaired orphan. He spent a couple years at an orphanage before coming to Bethel China. At Bethel he was cared for, loved, and taught how to function in society with his disabilities. Joel had spent four years at Bethel, but today was his last. The day had finally come; the day when he would look up into the loving eyes of his parents and be called son.
While all of this was happening, God was preparing the hearts of Lee and Sandra Peoples to bring Joel into their family. Their journey to Joel was full of ups and downs and highs and lows, but they were steadfast and patient. This patience had led them on a 14 hour flight, a 4 and a half hour train, and a 10 minute van ride to a room in China where they again waited patiently for their son.
Joel packed his things and walked hand in hand with Chloe (Bethel’s director) toward a van. The van pulled away from Bethel and toward the train station. The two friends boarded the train and it jetted away at 188mph from Beijing toward Nanjing where Joel’s parents where anxiously waiting. After four and a half hours, the train came to surprisingly smooth stop in Nanjing. This led to a subway, which led to another van, which led to a walk, that led to a door. Joel stepped through the door and found mommy and daddy wide eyed with grins from ear to ear.
After signing some paperwork Lee and Sandra took custody of Joel and began to get to know the stranger that they now call their child. He is a stranger because they chose to love him before they knew him. He did nothing to deserve this, and there is nothing more beautiful and nothing more epic.
If you've ever considered adoption for your family please head over to Bethel China's site and buy their E-Book. Chloe (the woman accompanying Joel on his journey) has compiled an amazing amount of information from previous adopting families. This book will be on sale for 2 days at .99 cents in honor of Joel's adoption. So please, head on over and learn more about would it might be like to adopt a visually impaired child!