Audrey Shook started dating her husband Brent when they were in high school. And since then she knew she wanted to adopt a child from China.
It started when she saw a documentary about children in Chinese orphanages.
“I knew in my heart that someday I was going to be a family to one of those babies,” Audrey told TODAY.com.
She and Brent were married when Audrey was 21. But she put her dream on hold when she became pregnant with her biological children.
The Shooks now have five biological children.
As those children got older Audrey started feeling the call to adopt again. They had planned to foster some children for a while but when they saw Lucy’s photos, it was all over.
They immediately knew they wanted the little girl to be their adopted daughter forever.
“My husband and I had it in our hearts that we couldn’t just have her here for a month and send her back, especially with what we were feeling about her,” Audrey said.
Lucy has special needs, specifically down syndrome, which made Audrey want to adopt her even more.
“I’ve always loved kids with special needs, especially kids with down syndrome,” said Audrey told USA Today.
Lucy has been in an orphanage for the first six years of her life and was among an “unwanted” population of children.
“These are the kids that are unwanted, they are the kids nobody else wants, they’ve been sitting on lists for their entire life or sitting in an orphanage,” said Shannon Phillips, with Great Wall China Adoptions.
The Shooks filled out all the necessary paperwork and waited until they were able to pick up Lucy from the Houston airport.
“She’s beautiful and sweet and we just can’t wait for her to be ours,” Audrey said.
Lucy’s arrival was truly heartwarming. The moment Audrey laid eyes on her daughter she immediately recognized her. Her hand flew to her mouth as she began to cry happy tears.
She scooped her daughter up and said, “Hi, I’m Mama.”
And Lucy knew exactly who she was too.
“Mama,” she replied.
It was the kind of moment that lets you know that this family was truly meant to be.
“We don’t see it as we are going to help her, we see it as she’s going to help us with our lives,” said Brent.
The Shooks were a little nervous about how their 5-year-old would react to a new child in the house.
But as soon as they had a dance party while watching “Frozen” they immediately became inseparable.
“Something clicked in their hearts that they’re going to be sisters forever,” Audrey said. “It’s crazy to think that just over a week ago she was a baby in an orphanage and now she’s a princess. She’s so treasured here.”
Watch Lucy’s meet her family for the first time in the video below.
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Source: USA TODAY