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I prayed for this child

by Dannah Gresh

I Samuel 1:27 finds Hannah declaring, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” Do you know what it’s like to be able to say that? I do.

I know that writing this will be a catharsis. I am an adoptive mother struggling to reach into the recesses of a broken heart,-that of my precious fifteen-year-old daughter Autumn (Cloud) Gresh. She is in her bedroom writing too. She is having a bad day. Having been adopted at the age of thirteen, she misses China today. I encourage her to write her emotions in the pages of a journal. Some of her thoughts are too private. She writes those in Chinese so I cannot read them. I feel as if those Chinese characters represent an ancient code within her that I have to crack to find her healing. I’m fairly certain it is going to take me a lifetime to read her.

In 2006, my husband’s best friend Troy VanLiere called him. He’d just come from China where he and his wife, Donna, had adopted two girls a few years earlier. He forwarded this photo to my husband’s laptop.

Troy explained, “All she wants is a mom and dad, but in eleven months she’ll age-out and won’t be adoptable. What should I do?” Before we knew it, we realized that God was dropping a child into our laps.

And she was thirteen.

It took us about two weeks to solidify the decision that adopting an older child was a good one for our family.  If you think that was a reckless timeline, consider that we had only eleven months to get her out of China. On her fourteenth birthday-no matter how far along in the process we were-she’d become ineligible. We had to act quickly. At the time adoptions through China were taking twenty-four months. There were miracles along the way. At one point, USCIS communicated to us that they needed 10-15 weeks for a piece of paper. We only had two or we’d miss our deadline. So, we asked people to pray  with us for our daughter. Soon, we got a call from USCIS that they wanted us at their state facility within twenty-four hours to finger print us (in a good way).

Another time, we realized that we needed $25,000 and fast. A family friend gave us $12,000 and we were on our own for the rest. We prayed because we could see not simple solutions. That week my accountant called and said I’d been reporting my author’s royalties incorrectly for a few years. The IRS owed me $13,060.00.

On days like today when Autumn hurts, I am certain of one thing. God has given me Autumn. I prayed for this child and he has granted me what I asked of him. As I finish writing this, Autumn has finished her journaling. She came into my office a few moments ago and showed it to me. It is in Chinese and is for her heart only. But, she’s brought it for me to gaze upon, as if inviting me to figure it out. Leaving it on my desk, she’s now curled up on the little sofa in my office. She just wants to be close. That’s all I know for today. And, I’m pretty sure, it’s all I need to know. I’m just going to keep praying!

© Dannah Gresh

About The Author

Dannah Gresh

Dannah Gresh, a best-selling author and captivating speaker, has long been at the forefront of the movement to encourage tweens and teens to be modest in their dress and to pursue vibrant lives of purity. Her most popular works include And the Bride Wore White, Lies Young Women Believe (co-authored with Nancy Leigh DeMoss) for teens, and Secret Keeper Girl series for tweens and their moms. Her websites are and

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