Guest Column: Adoption Story Handwritten by God
This guest column is written by Adam and Hayley Kaemingk. Adam serves as the West River Director for Senator Mike Rounds and manages his Rapid City office.
November is National Adoption month. Our adoption story was handwritten by God and started before we even knew it. As we look back at the timeline of our life together, we clearly see how God was preparing us for one of the most important times of our lives.
Married in 2007, we dreamed of building a family with biological and adopted children. We welcomed our first born in 2009. Eliot’s birth was God’s first chapter in our adoption story. At the time, we didn’t understand some of what He was doing, but we soon would.
When Eliot was 6 months old, we noticed her eyes were not tracking normally. She was diagnosed with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. This diagnosis meant that she was partially blind and her MRI scan showed a small part of her brain never formed. We committed ourselves to be the best advocates for Eliot and her special needs.
The next few years brought the birth of two more children, Anders and Reese. Between working, running kiddos and the weekly house projects, we put the idea of adoption on the back burner. But we were quickly reminded that Kaemingk timing is not the same as God’s timing.
We learned that there was a need for families to take part in the China Special Needs Program. The Lord had led us exactly where He wanted us to be and if our son was in China, we needed to go to him and bring him home. Little did we know when we were praying about that decision - over 6,000 miles away, a little boy was born and placed in an orphanage.
In early 2016, we got “the call.” There was a file for us to consider of a 12 month old boy who was partially blind. We couldn’t believe the similarities between this child and our Eliot. This is the part of our story where God made it clear that the trials we experienced with Eliot’s disorder were there to prepare us to be exactly what our son, Theo, needed us to be.
We took a trip across the ocean to China and Theo Li Minglong joined our family. As he slept that night in our hotel room, I remember thinking about his birth mom. I prayed that God would give her a peace in her heart that he was taken care of and loved.
Our time in Theo’s homeland will always be special to us. Back then, he was the boy that didn’t know the love of a family. He was the boy who only stared at his fingers. He couldn’t stand, walk or feed himself.
Today, Theo is a happy and healthy first grader who loves reading, telling jokes, singing songs and riding his bike. He recently learned to knee board and tube, and enjoys spending time with his siblings and cousins. The prosthetic eye he received three years ago has helped tremendously with his confidence.
God is an exquisite author indeed and we love the story He wrote for us. We just had to be obedient, patient and let go.