He Adopted Us…We Adopted Her

Infertility, transitions, blessings and love: Blog entries from the Palmberg Family

IMG_1594Many years ago, my husband, Erik, and I agreed that it would be great to adopt one day. We had traveled to Europe after college and spent time with orphans in Romania. It was a beautiful and life-changing experience. Of course, we thought then that we would have birth children and then adopt. Well, of course, God has His own ways and plans and they are not always ours, but they are always better! So almost 10 years ago, He blessed us with Gabriel. We prayed for him for years, and he came to us at two days old. We then began the trying journey to finalize his adoption. What a day of celebration his adoption day was for us and still continues to be! Gabriel, full of life and enthusiasm, has blessed us so much and brought so much happiness to our family. Our greatest joy has been to see the Lord working in his life and to experience him sharing his faith with others.

While we loved our family of three, we had always felt that God was not finished with us yet. We talked and prayed and believed that one day God would add another to our family. We just did not know how or when. Gabriel prayed many times for a brother or sister, prayers that would move your heart to tears. So we waited, not always patiently, until the Lord really moved.

Then, almost three years ago, we began to feel in our hearts the pull towards international adoption. We had said many times, “maybe one day” or “if we do”… but now it just became clear that it was the path He had for us. I had felt it for some time, and then after a prayer for orphans at a pastor’s conference, Erik returned with that same heart’s desire. In time our excitement grew. We knew we were to adopt again, but this time we believed that God was calling us to China! And on November 28th, 2011 that is where He sent us, to bring home a little girl with a heart condition, who we called Liana.

Home With Liana

 March 10, 2012 — It’s hard to believe that we met Liana just three months ago. We have fallen in love with her, and she has transitioned so well. We realize smooth transitions aren’t always the case with adoption, so we are truly grateful.

Liana is our precious girl! She smiles at us each day when she wakes up and seems so happy to be in our family. Every child should have a family! It still grieves us to think of all those children left behind. We feel as passionate as ever that every orphan deserves a home and feel so blessed that God chose our family for Liana. She has brought us much joy. She is bright and determined, loves to figure things out and is typically sweet and a good listener. She understands everything we say now and is beginning to learn more English words. On occasion she can get a little sassy, usually speaking in Chinese, so we don’t know exactly what she’s saying…which is probably a good thing. She comes to us for affection and loves to be playful. She loves girly things, baby dolls, lipstick, and hair bows. She loves her big brother and Gabriel has been amazing with her. He takes her outside to swing or play on the trampoline, and she just squeals and runs circles around him and then collapses on top of him. Even at eight years apart they can still get along like true siblings.

Liana with her big brother.
Liana with her big brother, Garbiel

Sleeping Transitions and Food Anxieties

Since we have been home, we feel that she transitioned well into our family, and has done fairly well with sleeping. While the first weeks she fussed some, we can now rock her and then give her hugs and kisses, pray for her, and then put her down to go to sleep on her own. We read her a Bible story every night and she is learning to pray right along with us!

Probably the biggest issue we continue to work on is the food anxiety issues, which is quite common with adopted children. I remember the first night I met her and gave her a bottle, she gripped it tensely and tightly with both hands. It was a blessing to later rock her with a bottle and see her more relaxed, letting me hold the bottle, and teaching her to trust and relax. We are still working on food issues, and some meals can still be a challenge, but they have improved over the months.

Good News from the Doctor!

As far as Liana’s health, we are rejoicing over her heart report! Liana was born with a VSD, a small hole in her heart. After chest x-ray, EKG, and echos, her cardiologist confirmed that she does not need surgery or have any restrictions. Now, the tissue is trying to form around it, so while not closed or fully healed, what was a small hole is now miniscule and only needs monitoring. We also received a good report from the international adoption clinic in Charleston as far as her development and adjustment, as well as from her pediatrician. The only concern now is that we just learned that she is quite nearsighted, so she will soon be sporting some new glasses!

We are still in transition and continuing to make adjustments, but we just thank the Lord for calling us on this journey and making us a family. It is interesting to think back to how devastating infertility felt so many long years ago and then to realize how many times we have since thanked God for it… for it is what brought us to our beautiful children and made us a family. While my heart goes out to anyone struggling with it, I know for me, it is one of the greatest gifts the Lord ever gave me. We just had to get to the other side of it to really see His beautiful plan. We love adoption! He adopted us, and we feel privileged and honored to experience what many people never get to experience, and that is adopting and nurturing a precious life that God has given you.

The Palmberg family
The Palmberg family

  By Erik and Susan Palmberg, Guyton, Georgia





Holt currently needs families interested in adopting a child from China. To learn more about Holt International’s China program and requirements to adopt from China, please contact Beth Smith at beths@holtinternational.org



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