When we started our second adoption from China, our son McKade made it known that he was not staying home this time around. He wanted to go to China! We did not bring him for his brother’s adoption because he is a very picky eater, and we did not know what to expect. This time around, we knew he could live off french fries and granola bars if required.
McKade, or Mc as we call him, has always had a very tender heart. He did so well when his little brother Kian arrived. Mc just understood that Kian needed more time and allowed it.
He also got his school to help fundraise some money for his brother’s surgeries and was thrilled to be featured on the news educating his classmates on cleft lip and palate. He was a seven-year-old first grader at the time. McKade was the one who worked non-stop to help his brother learn to crawl and so many other things. We worried after being an only child for 7 years that he would struggle, but he didn’t. He just offered as much love to this little boy as humanly possible.
So, we decided we would bring our two sons to China to adopt their little sister. Prior to going we did a fundraiser to earn money and donations to take to New Hope Foster Care, Heartbridge and Starbridge Healing Homes. We gathered things like medicine, socks, baby creams, asthma medicine and so on. Mc was so excited to put all of this together to bring to the babies. I continually showed him all of the LWB posts on Facebook, and he was excited to meet these babies in person.
Once in China for his sister’s adoption trip, Mc became an instant celebrity, and we would be stopped many times for pictures…always with McKade, who loved it!! On our way to visit Heartbridge and New Hope, I decided to prepare Mc a little bit for things we might see as far as special needs. He just said, “OK mom.”
When we walked in, he went right to the floor and began to play with the babies in the home. He held them, hugged them, played with them and just LOVED every minute there. He was not concerned about special needs and appeared not to even notice they existed. I held back the tears several times to watch in awe as this now nine-year-old boy got to work giving these sweet children as much love as he could in the short time we were there.
On the way home he talked a lot about several of the babies. But he had his favorites, and one specifically changed his heart forever — Joel. Joel loved McKade right back, and it was so sweet to watch their connection.
He continued to ask if we could bring the babies home.
Mc then had the opportunity to visit Starbridge. Here, the babies were so much tinier. Mc knew he couldn’t play with these babies, so he walked to all their cribs and talked to them and touched their hands and gave them smiles. He then decided that he would sing to these babies and leave them with the only gift he knew how to give them. He sang “Shall we gather at the river where bright angel feet have trod, with His crystal ties forever flowing from the throne of God. Yes we’ll gather at the river, the beautiful, the beautiful river. Gather with the Saints at the River, that flows from the throne of God.” It was a great choice on his part to sing.
Because of this visit, we have spent many hours in discussion about China and the babies we met there. I keep him updated on all the babies he met and we celebrate their adoptions, weight gains, successful surgeries, foster care and so on. I even named a baby at SBHH after McKade.
Each Sunday McKade knows the updates come in from China, and he loves to look at the pictures and read the updates on the progress his namesake is making.
This week, I went to parent-teacher conferences, and his teacher told me he speaks of China often. When I got home I was looking through his work, and there was a paper entitled “MY GREATEST WISH IS…to go to China and be a volunteer or own an orphanage and help kids get adopted and help China get kids out the orphanages and into homes.”
You can imagine the joy that filled my heart to see my now ten-year-old son’s wish. China has forever changed him. McKade will never be the same due to the sweet children he was allowed to love for a short time. But he will carry them always in his heart.
~Brittani Lots, Starbridge Healing Home Coordinator and mom to McKade, Kian, and Louvee
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