Aubrey, an 8-year-old girls living in an orphanage in southeastern China, was in the process of being adopted and planned to come home to her new family in later 2011. But along the way, plans changed. Rob and Shawnee, a couple living in Kentucky who had already adopted two children, were planning on fundraising in fall of 2011 in order to afford the adoption of Aubrey, when they were asked to advocate for 14-year-old Amber who was about to age out of the Chinese orphanage system. Instead of just advocating for her, the couple decided that they would adopt both Amber and Aubrey, and so had to rush through the adoption process before Amber aged-out.
The quickness of the adoption meant the girls had to suddenly adjust to new people, new routines and a new culture. At first, this was especially difficult for Amber, who had spent such a long time in her orphanage in China. Aubrey had an easier time with the process and Shawnee shares that Aubrey “is utterly thrilled with her adoption”
Since arriving in their new home, both girls have felt more and more at home. Shawnee says, “now that [Amber] is in her new home with her family, she seems to be accepting her lot. She loves to sing and has shown me many photos of her in music groups during her growing up years. She starts middle school next Thursday and is scheduled to take a choral class, which makes her very happy.” Aubrey also doing great and “is a ray of sunshine, sweet, affectionate, smart, and so hard-working and helpful that we often have to ask her to stop helping!”
Both girls still face several challenges. Amber has heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis and Aubrey has ataxic cerebral palsy, pronounced, visual tracking problems, speech impairment and serious dental problems. But their new family is already working to get them the medical treatment they need A grant from Gift of Adoption funded by donations in memory of Maggie Bevenour made this trip possible – giving Amber and Aubrey a permanent family and a chance to thrive. The couple promised, “We will be their family forever. They will never ‘age out’ of our family.”