Fei's Journey

By Brian and Renée Luwis

The Birth of the America World Adoption Association

On a warm August evening in 1994 our newly adopted eight month old daughter, Fei Hao Renée Luwis, got off an airplane and greeted the United States of America for the first time. Her arrival marked the turning point in her young life — a life full of uncertainty, hope, and finally, deliverance. And just as Fei’s journey to America marked a profound turning point in her life, it marked a profound turning point in ours. Joyfully, our lives would never be the same again.

Fei's journey began long before her arrival in America. It began when my wife and I decided to start a family. Like so many childless couples, we explored the possibility of adoption after struggling with infertility. We knew it was a good desire of our hearts to have children but we did not know what God’s desire was until we opened our hearts to adoption. We started gathering information from different adoption agencies but nothing felt right. Then something happened. For the first time in our lives we came in contact with China’s abandoned children through a brochure. We based our decision to adopt from China on the relatively short processing time and the fact that many infant girls were available for immediate adoption.

Before long we realized that we needed help with the adoption process so we turned to Tony Brewer, a Christian friend with experience and a deep commitment to help the orphans of China. We also turned to Tony because we had committed our adoption plans to the Lord and we wanted someone who would do the same. We prayed for our future child as did our pastor and church friends. The knowledge of this prayer support and the knowledge of God's faithfulness served us greatly throughout the adoption process.

After many months of gathering and preparing our required paperwork and completing our home study, we set off on our journey to China to bring home our new baby girl. We arrived safely in Shanghai on a Sunday evening and were met at the airport by Mr. Zhao, a friend of Tony’s who escorted us to our hotel for a much needed rest. Mr. Zhao became our constant companion and confidant. During our twelve days in China he took us under his wing — escorting us everywhere, translating for us and giving us valuable advice and information about the foreign system in which we found ourselves. He will forever be affectionately remembered by us as our much needed "security blanket."

On the Tuesday morning after we arrived in China we travelled to the orphanage where Fei lived. When she was placed in our arms for the first time we were moved beyond words. Any frustrations and worries we had during the adoption process melted away as we held this little bundle of joy — this wonderful gift from God. We brought Fei back to our hotel that day where we began to see her personality shine forth.

In time we learned that Fei was abandoned when she was a newborn and that someone saved her life by taking her to an orphanage. We also learned that she spent most of her time alone in the orphanage where receiving the love and attention a child needs took more people than they had on staff. Breaking our hearts further, we learned that she had little to play with but her hands and feet. Today our precious Fei has plenty to play with, most importantly her two sisters and brother. Three from China. One from mommy and daddy. All from God.