Saturday, January 12, 2013

Our Sweet Baby Girl

They say, “If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.” When Stephen and I began to feel His call to international adoption, we went through the process of preparing ourselves, and even our children, for how different our family would likely look. Adding a child from China, with the typical beautiful, glossy black hair and olive skin, would be a major shake-up in the Sanders family portrait. We also prepared ourselves for the fact that our new little girl would have some sort of special need, and what that might mean. And we weren’t just open to these changes--we were excited about them.
After receiving "the call" from our social worker, imagine our surprise when we opened our referral file to see a beautiful two-year-old little girl with downy blonde hair and what appears to be blue eyes. (We've temporarily nicknamed her “Shu Shu,” a butchering of the Chinese name we can’t pronouce). Shu Shu has albinism, the genetic defect that causes a lack of pigment in the hair, skin, or eyes. In China this defect is culturally feared and rejected, meaning that her prospects in her home country would be grim, even if she had parents.

But God (Don’t you just LOVE that phrase that changes everything?) had other plans for Shu Shu, and we’re overcome with thanksgiving and joy to announce that her forever home will be with us. Yes, another blonde Sanders!!! It’s not at all what we had imagined in these months of praying, waiting, and daydreaming about our little girl. But to us it’s clear evidence of God’s grace and mercy, and that He once again has done “exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ask or imagine.” (Ephesians 3:20-21) The sense of peace and joy we feel is overwhelming!

So if you are wondering about the boy's response to Shu Shu--
After some time of prayer, research and discussion, Stephen and I decided it was time to share the exciting news with the boys. When we showed them Shu Shu’s picture, Harrison(3), with a look of total confusion, said, “Wait a minute...‘her’ looks like me!” We laughed through tears of pure joy.

Here’s what we know:
**Her caregivers describe her as outgoing, loving, and easy to care for. They also say that her favorite hobby is eating (hilarious, right?)--and she occasionally will steal toys from the other children. (Don’t worry, she’s about to meet her match...Harrison Sanders is waiting.)

**She does have weak vision (a common trait of albinism), but we are unsure of the severity of that impairment.

We can’t wait to share the photos of Shu Shu with you.  However, we aren’t allowed to do so until our Letter of Intent (LOI) to adopt Shu Shu has been processed and permission granted. Until then, if you’d like to see how beautiful a little Chinese girl with albinism is, check out this beautiful story of a Charlotte family’sadoption of a similar little girl.

We hope you’ll join us in thanking God! We are awe-struck at the work of His mighty hand...


  1. Wonderful. Isn't God's plan amazing! He has a plan from our mother's womb.

  2. Oh I'm so excited to read this! Some friends of ours from our old church adopted a little girl from China with albinism. She is the sweetest, outgoing, adorable little 6 yr old now! I pray and thank God with joy for you both stepping out in faith to adopt and how God works all this for her (and your) good! Love to you Sanders fam!

  3. Congrats, we just got home with our new blondie, age 8. In a sea of black and red heads it's different but so precious:) God does perfect matching, for sure.

    Just a MINute MOM