Our China adoption experience
by Daniel Ausbun First Baptist Church, Moreland
I'm writing this from Guangzhou, China.
It's the capital of Guangdong province in south China. The U.S. consulate is here in Guangzhou, which means all Chinese adoptions must come here to receive their U.S. passports and visas to enter our country. More international adoptions occur in China than any other country.
Every city has orphanages to house abandoned, disabled and unwanted children. China's one-child law – along with superstitious beliefs in disabilities as a sign of bad-luck – creates a terrible culture for children, especially girls. Chinese couples prefer boys to pass down their family name and lineage.
Orphan care is important to God. What's important to God should be important to believers. James 1:27 says, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows." One way to "look after" orphans is to adopt them.
Adoption is important because the world has an orphan problem. There are 150 million orphans. If one-tenth of Christians adopted one child, the world's orphan crisis would be eliminated.
Why adopt overseas when there's so many children needing homes here in America? The U.S. doesn't use orphanages. An orphanage is a large complex housing hundreds, possibly thousands, of children.
Many of the world's orphanages are in deplorable condition. The little girl we adopted, Miao Yu Shen, her orphanage was in Dongguan, and was one of the better one's in the Guangdong province.
The U.S. uses a foster care system. Foster care is when children live in homes with parents in order to create a stable home environment. As many complaints we might have about our foster care system, overseas orphanages are worse.
When Sherri and I began our adoption journey two years ago, we considered two countries – China and Uganda – and believed the Lord led us to China.
Our little girl – renamed Esther Miao Ausbun – was abandoned at birth. Born with special needs, the orphanage director told us her birth mother likely abandoned her because she didn't have the financial ability to provide her with the needed medical care for her disability.
Her city, Dongguan, has gained a reputation as China's sex capital. Brothels and "sex shops" line the streets. Pimps wait outside orphanages for children to "age out." At 14 they're no longer eligible for adoption. Special needs children are the least likely to receive an adoption.
Esther's orphanage, even being one of the wealthiest in China, has inhumane living conditions for the children.
There's a six year waiting list for a "healthy" Chinese infant. In some countries, particularly African nations, young healthy infants are kidnapped from their mothers and sold into adoption. China's adoption system isn't like this, but many of their orphanages need attention.
Esther's orphanage director told us they need diapers and formula. She also asked us to hope for the other children to receive an adoption.
Christians adopt because we've been adopted. I've seen one church while visiting three major Chinese cities: Beijing, Guangzhou and Dongguan. One of the great stories when Christians adopt is the Gospel.
I asked one of our guides in Beijing what he believed in and he proudly said, "nothing." Statistically, Esther probably wouldn't have heard a clear Gospel presentation. Not only will she now hear the Gospel, but will likely trust Christ as her Savior one day.
Not everyone's able to adopt, but all Christians are called to care for orphans. U.S. Christians have the financial responsibility to care for the world's orphan problem. It's more than they could ever hope for at home.