Adopted from Zhuzhou, China in 2016 at 3 ½ years old
Jayson - age 6 (2019)
In the summer of 2015, we helped coordinate a summer host program that led to many children being adopted from China. We met our precious Bethany that summer and she forever changed our lives in a positive way. As we started the lengthy international adoption process once again, we began to think of how we could impact even more children’s lives if we considered adopting a second child on the same dossier for China.
At the time, China still allowed families to adopt more than one unrelated child, but that has now changed. In fact, China’s new requirements for adoption make it impossible for our family to adopt anymore children from China. The family size limit has been reduced to a maximum of 6 children in a family. All these new changes mean the number of children remaining in China’s orphanages will increase greatly as fewer and fewer families meet the current restrictions….but that is another story!
Jayson lived in the same orphanage that Bethany was associated with. Bethany was in foster care and had a lovely foster grandmother and grandfather that we will forever be
grateful for, but she still spent a lot of time at the orphanage. During the day she would go there for classes, piano lessons, and to play, but then she would walk home to her foster grandparent’s home which was nearby. In all of her time at Zhuzhou Orphanage, she never saw Jayson. Bethany first learned of Jayson when she received word that our family was planning to adopt him also. The orphanage sent us a picture of the two of them together shortly before we left to bring them home.
Our daughter, Rachel, and I traveled to China to bring Bethany and Jayson home. We first traveled to Beijing, which is not far from where Rachel was born. From there we traveled to Changsha where we were to meet our two newest family members and complete the adoption process. We had dreamed of this day for almost a year and now it was finally coming to fruition.
Bethany came into the room beaming as we expected, and behind her came this precious little boy wearing a jade pendant on a red cord. His tiny little face soon filled with tears and confusion filled the room. Jayson was so scared and he clearly had no idea of the wonderful blessing of family we were all about to receive. Then the nanny from his orphanage room began to tear up too. I knew the jade pendant meant that someone loved his baby boy and I felt overwhelmed with sadness. I assumed the nan
As I tried to comfort him and fight back the tears myself, the nanny spoke through the translator and explained that this jade necklace was on him when he was found abandoned in the park at Zhuzhou when he was approximately five months old. His birny had given it to him.
th family placed it on his neck before they left him. For three years the jade pendant had been in storage for the special day he would receive a forever family and today was that special day. The desperation of a family who loved their son and could do nothing to help him suddenly filled my mind and I began to cry as well. I felt as if I was taking something that wasn’t mine and that their unbearable grief was becoming our blessing. We spent that evening in our hotel room and cried many tears…all of us.
Jayson was born with Cerebral Palsy, most likely due to him having a stroke in utero or during birth. This can be caused by any type of trauma or something as simple as his birth mother having high blood pressure during pregnancy and not realizing it. I am sure that as he began to develop they realized there were some problems and they could not properly care for him. Jayson’s CP affects the right side of his brain which controls the entire left side of his body. When we first met Jayson, he used a children’s size walker that was way too big for him, but he managed. He put his arms over it and leaned into it to make it move.
The next few days in China were filled with moments of complete joy and tremendous sorrow all at once. Never had I mourned for a birth family like I did Jayson’s. I have no doubt at all that they loved their baby boy, but loving him
Jay often says that we need be reminded frequently that there is nothing we did to deserve our life here in the United States. We could have very easily been the family having to make those heart wrenching decisions, but God placed us here with a plan, a purpose, and resources to help take care of children in need. God knew what He was doing when He gave us Jayson. It hasn’t been an easy road, but seeing the changes in him and watching him slowly meet each of his milestones, although not on the same schedule as most, has been truly beautiful. meant letting him go with the hope that someone could help him. The reality is that I am sure many families in third world countries face these same dilemmas and have to make incredibly difficult choices and very few of the children have the happy ending that Jayson has.
Today Jayson is six years old. He has been walking for two years, which doctors told us may not happen until he turns seven. He is full of life! His smile is infectiou
s and he giggles often. He still cries when he thinks he is being left, but he is slowly working past those abandonment fears too. His language is slowly coming along, and he is able to say enough words to communicate his basic needs to family members. We all encourage Jayson to use his left hand to give us “five” and do things that he needs two hands for, but it doesn’t come natural to him yet. Our hope is that over time, with lots of love and encouragement, Jayson will be able to do pretty much everything just maybe a little differently than most. The reality is we don’t know what Jayson’s future holds, but we know this: We have a Heavenly Father who can move mountains and Jayson has a family who loves him!