During our 9 years of waiting for God to bless us with a child, I can honestly say that adopting a teenager was not on my radar. Little did I know the effervescent overcoming powerhouse of a 4 foot 11 inch girl, would wrangle her way into my heart forever. I always trusted God’s plan for our family, and boy, did He ever have something good for us. Over the last 4+ years I haven’t spoken publicly about this big part of our life, but now that she is officially our daughter, I can–with her elated approval–shout it from the rooftops! We’re both excited to share our story of her teenage adoption and the ways in which we can already see it turning into a beautiful story of redemption! Our God is so good y’all.
We first heard about Teck through a student at our church in Georgia over 4 years ago. The girl briefly told us Teck’s story and how she was left in Malaysia at birth by her biological parents to be raised by what we believe to be distant family members. Teck was never told that the people raising her were not, in fact, her real parents. So she grew up calling them ‘Mom’ and ‘Dad’ and believed their children were her biological siblings. They were hard-working parents, but still very poor and every member of the family slept in one room on the floor. They loved her.
When Teck was 8 years old, a woman and her 18-year-old daughter visited and asked her to go to lunch. Feeling reluctant, Teck asked if her brother could come along too, and they agreed. After lunch, they brought her back home but then asked her if she wanted to go back out for ice cream, too. This time, however, her brother was not allowed to go with them.
She never got to eat that ice cream.
She was taken to Singapore where she was temporarily enrolled in a new school. The woman who had taken her left her with her daughter and another girl and she went back to the United States where she lived.
Would she get to say goodbye to the only family she’d ever known?
She was terrified and had no idea what what was happening. They took her to get her picture taken, which later she found out was her passport photo. She was only there for a few weeks until the day came that they put her on a plane to the United States along with the two girls.
Teck was now in a foreign country where she didn’t understand the language, didn’t trust the people and didn’t know how to get help. She was told to call the woman ‘Mom’ and she was introduced to a man she was to call ‘Dad’. She also learned that she had an older brother and two sisters. These people were the only ones who spoke her language, so she had to learn to trust them.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
The family in Malaysia attempted to contact her by phone numerous times and eventually the home phone was disconnected to ensure that wouldn’t continue. While I know now that they had to have known she would one day be taken back by her biological family, I can’t imagine their pain after raising her for 8 years.
I know you’re already wondering and the answer is yes, the people who took her to the U.S. are in fact, her biological family. But Teck was always treated much differently than her 3 siblings. She was never hugged or told she was loved. She was never given any answers as to why they left her in Malaysia, nor did she even know if they were actually her parents. But she was told many times to go and get adopted or that she was never even wanted in the first place. The Mama Bear in me gets heated just thinking about those words being uttered to a child.
So why would a family leave their child to be raised by another family for 8 years?
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