Kacey Xing-Yu Powell
For years Heather and I have been advocates for adoption. We have supported families, given financially to various non-profit organizations, and been part of ministries that support orphans all over the world. Decatur First Church of the Nazarene, where I previously served as lead pastor has over 70 adopted children in the congregation. The congregation is deeply committed to helping orphans find forever families.
In January 2014 as I was scrolling Facebook I noticed that a friend from Decatur First Nazarene had posted the following on her timeline: “Friends, this is Kacey. Kacey is a beautiful 13 year old girl, who is waiting for her forever family to find her. She has Beta Thal major… She ages out of the adoption program in October 2014. What this means, is that if she doesn’t find a family by then, more than likely her transfusions will stop. If her transfusions stop, her life will end. Please help me pray that her family will step up, and she can live life to the fullest!!! If you are interested in learning more about her, please contact me!”
When I read the post, tears came to my eyes and I sensed God say, “rescue her.” Immediately, I sent a text to Heather, without telling her anything that I was feeling, I ask her to take a look at the Facebook post. Within five minutes she sent a text back with three words, “Let’s get her.” From that moment we pressed forward and things advanced quickly.
Several months before we were set to travel to China to finalize the adoption we received word that Kacey had undergone a major surgery. She had a splenectomy due to swelling from iron overload. With Beta Thalassemia Major the body doesn’t produce oxygen in the red blood cells. Therefore, Kacey receives transfusions on a regular basis. With the transfusions she gets the healthy red blood cells she needs, but also gets an overload of iron, which builds up in other organs such as the spleen and liver. We were hoping to have her home before she had any major surgeries. However, the orphanage thought it was critical to have the splenectomy. Please pray as she continues chelation therapy to bring the iron levels down.
Excited doesn’t begin to explain how we felt the night before leaving for China. “Surreal” may be a better word. Heather and I were overwhelmed as we boarded an airplane to fly to Guangzhou to get our new daughter, Kacey Xing-Yu Powell. Never would you have convinced us twelve months before that we would have another child less than one year later. God did an amazing work in our hearts as we prepared to bring this beautiful little girl into our lives.
Through the process we learned that we are often victims of our culture. Society teaches us that we need to do things a certain way, and that our families should function according to societal expectations. In the months leading up to getting Kacey we discovered that if we will commit to do what God calls us to do, he will take care of all we need in the process. It’s called seeking the kingdom first. I’ve seen this illustrated over and over again by amazing missional-minded people. Being missional isn’t about “what you do,” it’s about “who you are.” If “who you are” is right, “what you do” will be right. To my readers: if you prayed, gave money, or provided encouragement through the course of Kacey’s adoption, we thank you. Whether you realize it or not, you have played a vital part in saving a life.
It’s really about unconditional love being extended to the people God brings into our lives and watching those people blossom into everything God desires. The pure happiness that comes from saving a child is beyond the most satisfying thing you can imagine. It has fulfilled my life in a way that I cannot describe with words. Think about it this way: being born into a family happens biologically, there is no choice in who your family will be, but adoption means that someone looked out at the entire world and chose another person. I don’t think we can conceive the gravity of what it means to rescue a child: to choose another human being to love unconditionally, the same way God loves us. It really is a miracle.