Updated: Dec 17, 2021
Author: Steven Shen
Adoptive mother Lisa Lumpkins
She is a mother who has many Chinese children, and she is constantly creating a record of adopting abandoned babies. If the China’s judges were willing to appoint an overseas mother who adopts China’s abandoned children with disabilities as the person of the year, then this person must be her—a mother, Lisa Lumpkins!
This woman is living in Kentucky, USA. She has two children, and when they grow up, Lisa wants to be a mother of more children. At one point in time, she learned from her friends that there are many children, abandoned by their parents in China, who are waiting to be adopted. Thus, she decided to adopt these babies and give them a home. Since then, her life has been completely changed, and today she has become a mother who has legally adopted many Chinese babies.
In fact, Lisa is all the more impressive for her strong determination throughout the adoption process for her children.
After Lisa adopted a baby girl with cerebral palsy, she stumbled upon the fact that one of children from a Chinese orphanage looked very similar to her own adopted child. She wondered if they could be sisters. Lisa didn't give up; she insisted on finding out the truth even though her husband doubted her. Finally, she found out that these two girls are twin sisters! This was a mother's intuition! What Lisa didn't know was that this child, who was waiting for adoption, also suffered from cerebral palsy.
She immediately adopted the girl, and successfully brought the twin sisters to a permanent reunion in her home!
Many people don't understand that adopting a baby in China is a very expensive thing. When adopting a Chinese child, the average family must pay the Chinese government $30,000 dollars. This does not include the various associated costs that must be paid from the time the application is submitted to the time the child leaves with a family from the United States. When Lisa adopted six babies from China, she paid a total of 200,000 dollars. She also faced the medical surgery expenses to pay in the United States to care for her children's disabilities. These costs would accumulate immediately, and would be difficult to calculate. Moreover, Lisa's six adopted children all have different disabilities. How would she pay for these expenses?
If you think that Lisa is a rich woman, that is untrue. The usual source of income in her family is just her husband's salary. Therefore, whenever she sends in an application for adoption, it is the most economically-tense moment for her family. But she did not stop. When she didn't have enough money, she would set up GoFundMe to raise money.
When there is not enough money, she also sells what she has at home through yard sales. It was in these sales that she sold her original Lexus and replaced it with a 1999 Toyota.
As a woman with limited work experience, she couldn't think of how to get money. When she does not have enough money, she is a part-time babysitter. The busiest time she has been was when she watched 8 children on the same day. She recalled that time: "At that time, I was so tired and I was too busy to even change their diapers."
Despite this, she adopted more and more babies from China. When money was tight, she went straight to mortgaging her house out for the adoption expenses.
In order to adopt more children, Lisa kept going without a doubt. This mother does not forget her heart's initial goal; she is fearless and not afraid of sacrifice. Her actions are reminiscent of an ancient legendary figure in China, like the goddess of the heart in real life.
With her husband's income, it is more than enough for her to raise two children, as the family of four has enough to live better than the average middle-class in the United States. But since the beginning of Lisa’s adoption journey, she has become a person who is always short on money. That's because of her continuing loving actions and the challenges that will pop up along the road.
In 2016, Lisa was working with a Chinese child with cerebral palsy. The girl, named Avery, was more than 13 years-old, and the legal deadline for adoption was in less than one year. It usually takes more than a year for overseas citizens to apply for adoption in China. Lisa saw that if she couldn’t complete all the procedures in time, Avery would be over 14 years-old and would no longer be able to be adopted. Therefore, Lisa was completing the adoption work under intense pressure.
At this moment, she heard from a contact person from a US adoption agency that there was a girl in another Chinese children's orphanage. She was close to 14 years-old and upon seeing many of her friends become independent at the age of 14, she started to worry about her own life. Living with cerebral palsy, her legs couldn't walk upright, so she couldn't imagine what kind of life she would have in the future if she were to face society on her own. Thus, she prayed every day in tears, hoping to be adopted by a family before her 14th birthday.
At the same time in the United States, when Lisa heard about the incident, she did not hesitate to add Molly to her adoption work. The mother did her best to race against time—she handled all kinds of complicated procedures: health certificates, proof of a clean record, financial ability certificate, etc. She was simultaneously fundraising on GoFundMe. The household income was not enough, because the adoption of the two children required them to pay the Chinese government $60,000 dollars. They could not get the money themselves—they could only ask for help from society. During that time, what appeared in front of her eyes every day was the deadline. No matter what she faced in the future, she had to complete the applications before the deadline...
Finally, Lisa successfully adopted the children! When she signed the last adoption document in China, one was three months away from her 14th birthday, and another only two days away!
It is this strong-willed mother who I invited to the opening ceremony of 10th China-US Business Summit this year. When I asked Lisa how she felt on adopting these Chinese abandoned babies was, she said:
“I learned more from the children than they learned from me—they made me understand how much more important the spiritual world is than the materialistic world!”
I asked her to share her future family plans. She said: "The current legal limit for a family to adopt a child is 6. I am already full. But as long as my children reach the age of 18, I can legally adopt more children, and I will continue to adopt more children when the time comes!"
Lisa is not only resolutely giving a mother's love, but her efforts have also achieved unimaginable success. This success is not elsewhere, but in the faces of every child she adopts—
Their faces were full of sunshine. These smiles remind us of what we should think about—we use all of efforts to take care of our own children, but those children will never have such bright smiles like these children. We all know that these six Chinese children come from five different families. Their personalities should be different. Their intelligence and disabilities are also different, but they have one thing in common: being healthy, happy, and full of confidence.
Looking at Lisa and her children, I feel that she is the true embodiment of A Perfect Love's literal translation of "perfect love." The smile on every child she adopts is the best interpretation of our foundation's slogan, "Love Without Borders, Love Casting New Life!”
As a 60 year-old, I have seen many kinds of humanity, but I rarely see Lisa's kind of humanity. If this radiant moment can illuminate my life, this radiance can warm the world!
Chair of China-US Business Summit
Founder of A Perfect Love