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Photography by Empire Photography Website

“Do you want to be pregnant, or do you want to be a parent?”

Those words, coming from the sweetest of lips 10 years ago, shaped the lives of both Mark and Christine Smith, and those of three little boys who would one day make them a family.

The Smiths desired to be parents, and they had hearts full of love. This love came without borders. They have fought to create a family in extraordinary circumstances.

This great love would first take them to China to adopt a special needs child who, born with a cleft palette, was abandoned on a park bench as an infant. This baby is now loved deeply by Mark and Christine, who consider him the inspiration of their lives.

This extraordinary love would also pull them through the tragedy of failed IVF attempts and an ectopic pregnancy and instead deliver them a second son from Taiwan.

However, when they held their middle son for the very first time, they where then given the heartbreaking news that their new son would not be granted a Visa to come back to America with them. Upon receiving this devastating news, Mark held his distraught wife in his arms and said, “What you are saying is that we are going to lose our son?” The Head of AIT replied, “Yes.” To that, Mark said, “Then you do not know my wife.” Thus, they moved to and lived in Taiwan, then Australia, for a period of two years until they were permitted to bring him home to America.

Their third son was also adopted earlier this year from Taiwan is two years old.

“Your child is your child, no matter how they become your child. They are your world and your heart, no matter how they got there.” Christine says to me with a smile, and as an adopted child myself, I nod in understanding.

Christine doesn’t wish things had been easier for them, as this is what has made her who she is today. These experiences have caused her to parent and view life differently. Eight years and 4 countries later, she feels a true sense of achievement and loves it when her three boys climb into her lap and call her “Mommy.”

Christine wishes that the people that thought about adoption actually did it. “If one in every 100 Christians adopted, there wouldn’t be orphans. Don’t let money stand in the way.”

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