This is Honour’s Testimony - please read and have your heart changed forever!
When I was 4 years old I was left in a train station. I had Hepatitis B and I think my birth parents didn’t know how to help me. I remember feeling so, so scared there all alone. I can still feel the salty tears all over my face.
The police took me to an orphanage where I mostly lived until I was 13. When I was little, the orphanage was very poor and didn’t have much food for the children. Sometimes I was really hungry, but as time went on the orphanage got more food. We shared a few toys – I don’t remember having my very own toys. At first it was a small place then as more and more kids came, we moved to bigger buildings. The last one was 5 stories and even had a swimming pool. There were many gates, locks and bars. I didn’t mind that because it made me feel safe.
Most of us went to the public school in the neighborhood. Sometimes college students tutored us with our homework. We could never go to school friend’s parties or sleepovers or have them over to “our” place. I liked studying but none of us liked it when the other kids called us “orphans.” Once, my friends and I got in a bad fight at school because a girl called us “orphans.” The school reported the fight to the orphanage, and the aunties made us do extra bathroom cleaning that week.
One Chinese family, whose dad was a doctor, took me to their home. I was happy they were going to be my family but I cried a lot because I didn’t know them. They didn’t like that. The dad gave me medicine for a year but it didn’t cure me. So they brought me back to the orphanage because I wasn’t perfect. This happened another time too with a different family. Their medicine didn’t work either and I decided I would not to take those pills again.
During the years I lived at the orphanage, I loved to perform. A young Chinese woman who was a dancer that volunteered at the orphanage asked if she could take me home and let me live with her and teach me to dance. I liked that time in my life. Then she got a boyfriend and he told her that she had to decide between him as her future husband or me – as an orphan. I HATE THAT WORD! She took me back to the orphanage.
Folks at the orphanage didn’t want my heart to hurt like that ever again. So it was decided not to let anyone try to adopt me again. I toughened up and decided that I would be ok living in the orphanage until I grew up – even though some mean boys stole my stuff and the food tasted so horrible I could hardly eat it. Sometimes I think a crazy guy put rat meat in the food. Still, I knew the aunties loved me, it was shelter from the rain, I wouldn’t starve, and basically I’d be safe.
My life there was not all bad – I have many happy memories. Like when some foreigners, I think from Norway, took the older kids out on a sail boat. I’ve loved boats ever since. Or when I got old enough to help with the babies – it made me so happy to see them smile, especially ones that had some problems. And how fun Chinese New Year was – when we could stay up late, play cards, watch TV for hours and eat lots of delicious food. Most of our clothes were donated, we wore whatever we got, not much choice, and we wore uniforms to school, but at Chinese New Year, the older kids got a little money in red envelopes. I think maybe 200 rmb and we got to go shopping for the clothes we’d wear for the rest of the year. We always looked forward to that.
I remember the sun and sand at the beach where my best friend, Harmony, and I won hula-hoop contests year after year. But about Harmony, mostly I remember the day she left. I didn’t say much to her when she brought her family back to the orphanage to say goodbye. I wouldn’t even look at her new family. My heart hurt so much, like a knife in me, but I decided I would not, I could not cry. Maybe I would never stop. I had to be tough. But still, deep down inside I kept hoping for my own family and still every year I’d ask the aunties if THIS year maybe I’d get my own family. One special auntie told me she would be my family. I loved her for that. But at night, when she went home to her family, I stayed at the orphanage.
I didn’t know that on the other side of the ocean, 3 little girls -Haley, Holly and especially Harmony- prayed for 4 years for me to be their sister. They wouldn’t give up no matter what.
Mom and Dad DID give up and decided my aunties really meant what they said – they weren’t going to LET me be adopted. To make Harmony happy, Mom & Dad sponsored me through Love Without Boundaries. But Harmony WASN’T happy. In HER mind, I was GOING TO BE HER sister in America. Holly had prayed, “God give us Rong Mei [my Chinese name] as a sister. Thank You. Done.” The sisters just BELIEVED. They honestly thought my parents were crazy NOT to know it was DONE.
It seems like almost the whole China adoption world on the internet knew my story and prayed for me to come home. Lots of people at church also prayed. God used some elected officials in America to help too – including presidential candidates! Not everyone was supportive -- one local Congress person told my parents they were crazy, that this wasn’t ever going to happen, just forget about me – stop wasting time, money and dreams on me. As if I was just a piece of garbage that could be thrown out of their hearts! That’s the moment when my Dad KNEW, just KNEW, God was going to bring me home no matter how rough the waters!
Mom says that’s also just the time that the pastor was teaching about Daniel and challenged the members to “trust God to do something impossible.” Adopting me still seemed impossible to everyone but my sisters.
Never tell God what you WON’T do! Mom and Dad said they would never come back to China in 2008-- because of the Olympics. But when the green light was given for my adoption, my parents had about 3 months to complete my adoption – I was one of the 1st older children from China adopted under the Hague Treaty. You see, they THOUGHT they had a year to get it done – but then China said….3 months, tops. 3 months to get all the money; 3 months to process through the new Hague stuff; 3 months to complete all the paperwork. That was when it was taking almost everyone at least a couple of years to complete an adoption. And they had to come right DURING the Olympics. Not only that, after Guangzhou, our plane tickets got mixed up and we ended up in Beijing right during the Olympics!
As you can see now, God DID bring me home! To my OWN family! And I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE having a family. It seems like everyone involved with my adoption knew my “impossible” story – and all of them had heard that GOD made my adoption happen every step of the way!
Sometimes I miss my friends who still live in the orphanage. I like to e-mail and call some who’ve come to America. When I left, one of my friends let herself cry for days and days. She’s now 15 and has lost her chance…if only we’d known she didn’t have a family in line for her. I call her my “if only” friend. If you’re ready to adopt an older child, I say DO IT…but do it NOW. Don’t let her (or him) tumble into an “if only” child. Time ticks on!
Oh, you gotta know sometimes I’m a typical teenager and my parents are typical parents – I want this sweater, they say it’s too tight. I want to spend, they want me to save. Enough already of Dave Ramsey! I want rice, they want noodles. By the way, do Americans EVER have parties WITHOUT pizza? Not my favorite!
I want to do everything, go everywhere, but they say I don’t have to do it all TODAY. I have been to the beach, the mountains, and the desert. I’ve gone on a mission trip to Mexico, church camping trips, and worked for the Community Food Bank. I’m always wanting to go back to China to help with babies RIGHT NOW but it makes me feel so loved that my parents say wait till the time is right.
I go to a cool high school where everyone is respected, but I don’t like earth science. I love English and math. My dad spends lots of time helping me with science and math – and he makes me actually LEARN the stuff! I can invite my friends for sleepovers anytime and I can hang out with my friends at their homes! Oh yeah, we’re typical sisters, borrowing clothes, curling hair, talking about boys, and doing chores. Sometimes we disagree (even sometimes a LOT!) but we’re still all for one, and one for all. I even have aunts and uncles and cousins who are MINE – some traveled 1,000’s of miles to get to know me! I am SOMEbody to them. My Grandpa takes me places when my parents can’t, and my Grandma is just the best!
And now, I can let my heart feel sadness and true joy. I feel free in my spirit, like a butterfly. I’ve always loved butterflies. Mom calls us God’s flowers but I like to think of myself as a rainbow; I even say “rainbow” is my favorite color! My sister Haley tells me of a song she learned as a toddler that goes, “You are a promise….you can do anything, you can go anywhere…that God wants you to go.”
So now I am a flower, a rainbow, a butterfly, and a promise! Boy, do I feel like a treasure! But you know what – with God, I was ALWAYS a treasure! I just didn’t KNOW it very much.
To me, having a family means having a REAL FAMILY NAME on earth….FOREVER. It means BELONGING to someone. It means getting to go to a Father-Daughter Dance. It means getting to go to Take Your Child to Work Day. It means someone helping me find my talents and giving me piano lessons. It means walking to school with sisters and someone caring whether I come
back. It means not being invisible anymore.
Honour, home, with her beautiful sister Harmony!