- Phone: 979-268-8900
- Address: 700 University Drive East, Ste. 115, College Station, TX 77840
It’s been a year since we last wrote about New Life member Beth Cloutier and her two girls. This time last year, Beth was in the beginning stages of adopting 12-year-old girl Qing Qing from China, and in the middle of the long process of adopting her 10-year-old, Christina, from Haiti.
This year, both the girls are officially adopted by Beth and living with her in College Station.
“It’s kind of surreal,” Beth said. “I’m so thrilled they’re both here.”
Beth first met Qing Qing in the summer of 2016 through an organization called Here I Am Orphan Ministries, which partners with an adoption agency in Colorado. The agency brings kids from foreign orphanages to the United States to increase their chances of being adopted. While in the US, the child stays with an American family who will either advocate for the child’s adoption or adopt the child themselves.
Over the weeks Qing Qing lived with her that summer, Beth continued to pray over adopting Qing Qing, and decided to go through with the adoption in early August 2016. The adoption was finalized on June 13, 2017, and Beth brought Qing Qing to America from China that same month.
“I don’t think I could be going better,” Beth said. “She’s been in a new country, new culture, new language, so many new things, but she’s doing well adjusting. She’s been so brave.”
Christina’s adoption was finalized on July 14, just a month after Qing Qing’s. Beth says the two sisters have bonded quickly and love spending time together. The girls like to sing together, and Qing Qing loves to cheer Christina up when she is sad, and Christian loves to watch her sister dance.
As smoothly as the transition has gone, Beth says there are still hard moments as Qing Qing adjusts to life in America. Although she’s been parenting Christina, who has agenesis of the corpus callosum, a disease that causes developmental delays, for more than two years now, she realized as she added Qing Qing, who has Down Syndrome, to her family that parenting older, adopted children with special needs doesn’t look like typical parenting.
“When things are hard or she gets upset, we use silliness to get it back on track,” Beth said. “I have to remind myself what [Qing Qing’s] been through. It helps to have compassion, rather than responding in frustration.”
Through it all, Beth expressed the role of God’s faithfulness to provide for her family, one step at a time.
“I’m so thankful to be their mom,” Beth said. “I can’t imagine life any other way.”
As the family continues to adjust to life together, there are a few ways we can pray for Beth, Christina, and Qing Qing as a New Life church body. Pray for Christina’s citizenship process - although she is fully adopted by Beth, she is still in the process of applying for American citizenship. Pray for Qing Qing’s heart condition. It is currently stable and not an issue, but it could be a problem later in her life. And finally, pray that the family to continue to bond together and that God would give Beth wisdom as she makes decisions for her family.