Family Stories

The Tweeten Family

We began our adoption journey long before we even got married. God placed a desire in Duane’s heart to adopt a little girl from China. We discussed adoption on and off throughout our first 13 years of marriage. In August, 2004, God really laid it on our hearts, and we felt Him saying this was His timing for us. We talked about it and prayed about it with our 3 children, who were 5, 9, and 11 at the time. Their excitement was obvious from the beginning. They prayed every night for Kendall, and for the finances we would need to bring her home. Within a week of our decision to adopt, our oldest son won $125 at the State Fair in a “guess the amount of money container." The boys were also offered a weekly newspaper delivery job, which they saw as an answer to prayer. What a faith booster for them.

We applied to America World Adoption Association on August 23, 2004. There were many stumbling blocks along the paperwork journey, yet we clearly felt God’s leading. Our dossier was sent to China in January, 2005, after a 6-week delay due to several reasons. We were officially logged in on January 17th, and our wait began. On July 28th, we found out our agency received referrals for 29 families, but our group of 7 families was skipped. We were devastated, disappointed, sad, yet knew there had to be some reason God allowed this. We were told it could be another month before our referral came, so after many tears, we prepared ourselves for a long month of waiting. On August 3rd, only 6 days after the Chinese Center of Adoption Affairs
(CCAA) was notified of the mistake, our referrals were here. We had a beautiful little girl, born on October 16th, 2004, waiting for us in the province of Jiangxi. We looked at her face and knew she was Kendall, who we had been praying for as a family for over a year. God knew which child He had picked out for us, and she just wasn’t ready on July 28th. On September 1st, we received our travel approval from China, which put us back in with our original travel group. We were unsure of how China would process our travel approvals since our group had not been with the original referrals. Another answer to prayer! His timing is always so perfect!!

We flew out of the United States on September 15th to pick up our beautiful daughter. We enjoyed a wonderful weekend building relationships with other adoptive families and enjoying the wonderful sights of China, but were anxious to meet Kendall. On September 19th, about 4:45PM, Kendall was placed in our arms. No feeling can match that of holding your child for the first time. She came to us very quietly, but very curiously. Within a few minutes, her 2 brothers had her smiling, and the bonding process began. She is absolutely the perfect child for our family. She met her sister for the first time on October 2nd, and it was instant love!

It is amazing to look back after having her in our lives for a year, and not be able to remember life before her. It seems she has always been a part of our family. God placed a dream and desire in our hearts years ago, and it is so amazing to see that dream come true. We feel so blessed to be called by God to raise her, teach her, love her, and hopefully someday lead her to Him. Our job as parents is such an overwhelming job some days, but there is no other place we’d rather be!

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