This month we are highlighting International Adoption and our story comes from Nancy Gugino, the Financial Officer at Agape International Missions (AIM) and a Leader with the Regional Alliance. The following story highlights The Gugino family’s personal experience of adopting two girls from China (pictured above) and how such an experience showed them that submitting to God’s plan is what makes us unstoppable.
“In the summer of 2005, we started a journey that would ultimately add two beautiful little Chinese princesses to our family and change our lives forever. This is a short version of our unlikely story…
We had just attended Spirit West Coast (which is a concert weekend in Northern California) and between songs listened to Steven Curtis Chapman gush while talking about his three beautiful daughters from China. It was the first time I had heard about the thousands of orphans in China being abandoned, especially little girls. My heart physically hurt. How could anyone leave a beautiful child in a field, on orphanage steps or in a box in the town square? This opened a whole new world to me and I needed to do something! I knew there was a stirring from God, but I didn’t fully understand the path He was taking us on.
You see, I am an adoptee, and as a little girl I knew I wanted to adopt all my children. But time went, I got married and we had two amazing biological sons. They were in their teenage years at this point and my husband said we were done with kids as he began meticulously planning our retirement…yet I just knew we were not done.
While our adoption journey was years in the making, for the sake of time I’d like to share just two of my favorite memories that happened along the way. Though there are many stories to tell, we look back on these two quite fondly, knowing now that they stand as proof that God was with us all along.
When we started our first of 2 adoptions we had a lot of fear and due to that we indicated on our paperwork that we were interested in a non-special needs baby. Of course God had a different plan and when our referral came it was for a 15 month old with special needs. Though we had many questions about her diagnosis, we said YES to our Anna, and what came next was nothing short of a miracle! A well-meaning woman decided to send pictures of Anna when she had visited the orphanage to adopt her daughter. In every picture Anna looked mentally delayed, drooling and non-responsive with a blank stare on her face. It really scared us! We started to question if this was really God’s will or our own. My husband was ready to stop the whole process so I asked him to take the boys for the day so I could spend some time in prayer. Having never prayed li