Archive for August, 2013

Adoption prayer reminder magnet from Zazzle.com. The sentence on it -- I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. --  is a Bible verse (1 Samuel 1:27)  which comes from the story of Hannah.

Adoption prayer reminder magnet from Zazzle.com.
The quote on it  — I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him — is  a Bible verse (1 Samuel 1:27).

Hannah is a biblical character. Her story is found in the first and second chapters of 1 Samuel.

Summary  of Hannah’s story from the Bible :

Hannah was one of two wives of Elkanah. She was barren. Though she was the favored wife of her husband, it was great sorrow to her to be childless. Her husband’s other wife not only bore children but taunted her.

Every year she would go with her husband to a place called Shiloh to whorship God and offer sacrifices. And every year Hannah would pray to God for a child.  One year, she prayed in anguish weeping deeply and she made a promise that if God made her bore a son, she would give Him back for His service.

As she was praying, Eli, the high priest,  saw her lips moving and thought she was drunk. After she explained herself, he sent  her away saying her  prayer would be answered.

Subsequently she became pregnant. She  gave birth to a son, Samuel.  After he was weaned, she brought him to the temple  along with sacrifice. She said to Eli, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him. So now  I give him to the Lord. For his whole life he will be given over to the Lord.”

Every year after that, Hannah went to Shiloh with her husband to offer the yearly sacrifce. God blessed her more with three sons and two daughters.

Modern versions of Hannah’s story :

We’ve just seen that the story of Hannah from the books of Samuel is a story of miracle: a barren woman who prayed for a child gave birth to a son, which led her to say, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” (1 Samuel 1:27).

As we can see on the image of a magnet above, Hannah’s word is used by many adoptive parents, Christians and non-Christians. Let’s now see some of their stories.

For simplicity’s sake, we’ll keep the names of Hannah, Elkanah and Eli in the following modern/adoption versions of Hannah’s story.

Modern version 1:

Hannah and Elkanah had been praying to God for a baby many years when they heard of Eli facilitating adoptions of   mixed race babies abandoned in Korea. They believed it was also the will of God for them to adopt a baby. They begged Eli to help them get a baby.

Eli heard the requests of Hannah and Elkanah  and of hundreds of other couples like them. He told them, “I’m a humble servant of God, your prayers will be answered.”

In Korea, Eli and his team collected Amerasian babies  abandoned under bridge, in streets and other places. They also collected babies from the mothers who brought them to their office to be adopted. The children cried for their mothers, kicking and screaming when they took them off their moms’ backs.  One mother tried so hard to keep crying that she couldn’t speak. Eli tried to comfort the sobbing mothers by telling them about Jesus. One mother whose baby  wasn’t weaned yet almost had hysterics in their office.  She didn’t know what adoption was, she thought she could keep track of her baby, so Eli told her it was a clean break and forever.

One of  the babies was assigned to Hannah and Elkanah. Hannah said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”

Modern version 2:

Hannah and Elkanah had only one child, adopted domestically. They wanted a second child from Korea.

Eli and his team were deluged with inquiries from couples like Hannah and Elkanah. They had trouble finding the little ones, as other agencies were grabbing them, and some weren’t released by mothers. Since the number of families wanting children increased far beyound the number of Amerasian children available, Eli decided to meet the demand by assigning full Korean children.

He had the assurance of working for God from the Bible verse, 1 Samuel 2:8, “He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap; he seats them with princes and has them inherit a throne of honor.”

He traveled to Mexico to see if there were “orphans” available. The Mexican authorires were insulted when he asked if they could be adopted by North Americans. Eli went to Mexico again. He met one governor favorable to adoptions.  He ordered a round-the-world ticket through Washington, D.C., to Germany, Austria, Beirut, and Korea  to see more orphans, but he was unsuccesful in Europe.

A man of Eli did good job of talking to mothers when they went to the country to find more Amerasian babies and to pass out gospel tracts. He told the moms who they were and why they had came and asked them if they had thought of allowing their children to go to America. Always they had thought of it. Of course he never pressured them. In the evenining Eli team split into teams of two or three to visit homes and gave tracts and told them, “Buddha’s bones are still in his grave, but Jesus’ grave is empty.”

Eli team  worked hard finding children (and evangelizing). Some mothers watched their children being carried onto the plane and sobbed quietly.

Hannah and Elkanah got one of those babies. And they said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”

Eli team and competiting teams did great job in Korea. They sent over 2 800 babies just in three years to waiting couples like Hannah and Elkanah.

Modern  version 3:

Hannah always wanted a large family, but she was infertile. She and her husband Elkanah were Christians and believed in miracles, so they cried out to the Lord for children.  God finally called them to adopt children with the reputable Eli international adoption agency.

The Korean international adoption program which had began as post-war rescue operation grew  from small to thousands per year in the 1970s, reaching its peak in the mid-80s with more than 8 000 children sent overseas per year.

Thousands of children had ended up in Korean orphanages for a variety of reasons, all due poverty, rapid industrialization and urbanization.

Hannah and Elkanah easily adopted four children from Korea, two girls in the 1970s and a girl and a boy in the 1980s.

The first girl was sent to the orphanage as a temporary measure by her mother because of poverty; the second was kidnapped and brought to the adoption agency by her paternal grandmother; the third was sent to the orphanage by social worker after her alcoholic father lost his parental rights; and the boy was lost by her parents and brought to the orphanage by a police officer.

But they will never know the true stories of their adopted children. Their adoption records declared them as abandoned respectively in the doorstep of a police station, in the city hall and a market for the three first children, abandoned  by unknown parents for the last.

At the arrival of the first, Hannah said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”

After they got the three other children, they said, “Lord is good, he blessed us with four children.”

Modern version 4:

Hannah and Elkanah were infertile. They believed their infertility was a sign of God calling them to adopt from Korea  where single mothers are shunned from society.

In Korea, an unwed woman in her mid twenties was pregnant. Her boyfriend left her soon after hearing of her pregnancy. She had no support. She prayed God to help her to raise her babay.  She found Eli maternity home which provides housing and counseling for single mothers. Eli, a religous man, belives it’s improper to have a child outside of marriage. He counseled her to give up the baby for adoption. She wanted to keep the baby, but at the end she had no other choice than giving it up.

Her baby girl was adopted by Hannah and Elkanah.

Hannah  ordered from zazzle.com the adoption prayer reminder magnet llke above with the Bible verse, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”  (1 Samuel 1:27)  below the picture of her adopted daughter.

Modern version 5:

Hannah and Elkanah had three boys. Hannah always wanted a girl. They didn’t want to take the risk to have another boy, so they decided to adopt from China where girls were abandoned because of its one-child policy and Chinese preferrence for boys.

In  poor rural areas of China, local officials took infants aways from dozens of families who could not pay  fines for violating the  one-child policy. The infants seized by offical were put up for international adoption in exchange of money with falsified records.

In China,  every year, 70 000 children are kidnapped and sold on black market. Younger kids are sold to orphanages for adoption and older  kids are sold for forced labor.

Hannah and Elkanah adopted three Chinese girls. After getting each girl, Hannah said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”

Modern version 6:

Hannah and Elkanah had been trying to conceive for years. After a last failed IVF treatment, they adopted a girl from India.

The girl was stolen from her family by child traffickers and sold to an orphanage director who put her up for adoption with falsified papers.

While waiting for the arrival of her daugther, Hannah proudly wore a t-shirt with “pregnant on paper” written on it. She started blogging the process of adoption where she wrote their feelings and some nice quotes found in a group for adoptive parents, such as “adoption is love” and “childbirth is an act of nature; adoption is an act of God.”

On the wall of their living room is a picture of their daughter with the verse “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.” 1 Samuel 1:27.

Hannah and Elkanah are not Christians, but they say the verse fits to them because longing for a child is like praying for a child. They could instead say, ” I longed for this child, and the destiny has granted me what I had been longing for.”

Modern version 7:

Hannah and Elkanah suffered long years of infertility. They adopted a girl from Guatemala because it was then the “hot” country for adoption.

Hannah said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”

Hannah and Elknah learned that the birth mother of their daughter  had kept her two older children. They found it unfair that the siblings were separated. They wanted to adopt them but “the birth mother selfishly refused,” they said.

They finally adopted another girl from Guatemala, even if they had heard of corruption was rampant in that country.

Between 1998 and 2008, nearly 30 000 Guatemalan-born children (mostly infants and toddlers) were adopted by Americans. The adoption process was worth tens of millions of dollars a year. NGOs and news organization reported in details, repeatedly, that babies were systematically being bought, coerced, and kidnapped from their families.

Hannah and Elkanah said their daughter was truly abandoned by her birth mother, as the DNA test proved it.

News have also reported about babies given up for adoption by fake mother (woman posing as their mothers), and doctors signing the falsified DNA tests.

They still thank God for blessing them with a second child.

Modern version 8:

Hannah and Elkanah were sad because they had no children, but they had been prayer for a child.

A teenage girl  was pregnant by rape.  Eli counsed her to give up the baby to the loving couple.

Hannah and Elkanah said, “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him.”

Modern version 9:

Hannah and Elkanah adopted a girl from Ethiopia.

International adoption system in Ethiopia is nothing more than a baby selling business, just like in every sending countries. corruptions, lies, coercions, kidnappings and money keep it going.

When the child started speaking their language, she said she has a family in Ethiopia.

The natural parents had been told that they would regularly receive reports and pictures of the girl and would see her for summers.

Hannah and Elkanah put on their refrigerator a magnet of the girl’s picture with the verse “I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him ” written under the picture.

And all the Hannahs and Elkanahs say, “Thank you Lord for the Korean war, thank you Lord for the natural disaster, thank you Lord for the poverty, thank you for social injustice, thank you for the child traffickers,,…, thank you for everthing you had done in the birth parents’ lives and countries that allowed us to have their children. Amen!”


If you want to add another modern/adoption version of Hannah’s story, you can write it on the comment section.


Versions 1, 2, 3 and 4 inspired by Korean international adoptions and by adopters who believe adoption is an act of God.

Versions 5 inspired by Chinese international adoptions and  by adopters who believe adoption is an of act God.

Version 6 inspired by Indian international adoptions and by adopters who believe adoption is an act of God.

Version 7 inspired by Gutemalan international adoptions and by adopters who believe adoption is an act of God.

Version 8 inspired by a domestic adoption (found on Pound Pup Legacy website).

Version 9 inspired by Ethipian international adoptions and by adopters who believe adoption is an act of God.

Suggested readings:

1) A brief history of Harry and Bertha Holt’s works and the origin of international adoption)

2) Chinese parent of missing girl travels thousands of miles reuniting lost sons and daughters as  he searches for his own

3) Carried Off: Abduction, Adoption, and Two Families’ Search for Answers

4) China’s Missing Children

5) Chinese baby sold by doctor to traffickers is  returned to parents

6) New Export from China: Babies

7) China’s One-Child Policicy Leads To Racket of Fines, Kidnapping, Foreign Adoptions

8) Meet the Parents: The Dark Side of Overseas Adoption

9) International Adoption or Child Trafficking?

10) Fly Away Home

Suggested Website: Fraud and Corruption in Internatonal Adoption (The Schuster Institue of Investigative Journalism)é


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A part of Holt's application for adoption form (filled by male adopter in 1975)

A part of Holt’s application form for adoption (filled and signed by  male adopter in 1975)

1)  Age: Holt changed my birthday, they reduced my age (by more than seven months) to make me salable/adoptable.

As soon as I was able to talk to my adopters, I told them repeatedly that they (Holt) had changed my birthday.  I told them of the day my friends and I were given  new ages making us all younger by a year or two and  were ordered to say our new age. “My birthday is not on November. I don’t remember what was the birth date I gave them, but I remember I was celebrated when it was warm in spring or in summer,” I would say.  But my adoptive mother wouldn’t listen to me.  She continued to say throughout the years that I was real Scorpio, just like her mother.

2) Gender

My head was shaved and I looked like a boy on the first photo that was sent to my adopters. They  thought I was a boy.  My female adopter was very disappointed. She called Holt and told them that she didn’t want a boy, but a girl. Holt assured them that I was a girl. From the moment she knew I was really a girl, she loved me and waited for me, she said.

3) Race

I don’t know why my adopters chose Korean as first choice and Vietnamese as second. I don’t know either why they didn’t want a mixed race child. But I know why they didn’t want a Black child.

While talking about racism, my male adopter said, “We didn’t want a black girl because a black girl would have suffered of racism. What you went through on your first year was not racism, it was nothing compare to what Black people are subjected to.”

4) Artistic girl, not sporty.

They couldn’t know  if  I was artistic or sporty. They coudln’t know if I was less or more artistic then other girls.   Holt’s social worker had met me only twice. There was neither sport activity nor art activity at the orphanage. We didn’t have any material. My friends and I weren’t allowed to go to school, so we didn’t even have a pencil or a paper to draw. The only time we were able to draw  was when the social worker lent us pencils and asked us to draw something so that she could send them to our American parents.

Believing that they had received what they ordered – an artistic girl, not sporty – my adopters bought everything a child needs for crafting quietly. I have spent many hours in front of my children’s table drawing, painting, cutting, crafting. I loved it – What kid wouldn’t love to do that?   Anyway I better liked it. I had to like it. I had lot of time to spend alone as I only had one to two hours of school in the afternoon. My adopters were happy to see me crafting quietly.

On the arrival of spring, I discovered I had a bicycle (which used to belong to the neighbor girl my adopter wanted to raise as their own). I wanted to learn to ride the bike, but my female adopter held it only for the time to take a few photos and my male adopter  wasn’t the kind of father to help a child to ride a bike. An artistic-not-a- sporty girl is not supposed to ride bicyle, yet I would learn it by myself during the summer after moving to Canada.

On my first year of school, I was put in a fourth grade class. I had became very good at drawing. Everyone would praise me for my drawing skill.

The truth is that I wasn’t good at drawing. But I was good at copying pictures. I should say I had lot of time to copy pictures. While other kids were busy doing their fourth-grade program, I only had to copy a few words five times each. After finishing my “work”, which would take me less than five minutes, I had to stay quiet doing nothing. Boredom would make me anxious in class. Bullying would make anxious during breaks. So I started drawing, but I was far from being artistic, I never once drew a picture that came from my imagination.

My female adopter firmly believed she got what she asked for, an artistic girl. She would tell everyone that I was talentaled. “She made a bead necklace only a few days after her arrival,” she would say.  Not a big deal. I was nine then.  A two-year-old child could have done it; at least I could have done it when I was two. “And one day she made a nice jar with my pottery wheel,” she would say.  She belived I was naturally skilled in making pottery.  It was the only time she attributed my talent to my Korean heritage. The truth is that I was not talented in making pottery. But I was good at learning fast, at learning after watching only once. I had seen a friend of hers using his pottery wheel and at home I simply repeated what I had seen.

My female adopter told me many times, “I asked them to send me an artistic girl. I told them I didn’t want a sporty girl.  I’m so happy they sent me an artistic girl who hates sport. I would hate to have a sporty daughter. I wouldn’t know what to do with her.”

The first time I wanted to tell her that there was no way for them to know if I was artistic or sporty, but I wasn’t fluent in French.

I told her a few times that  I didn’t hate sport and I would love to skate. My request was ignored.

She always pushed me to  directions opposit to sports.

I became a fake artist, an artist without creativity and I sucked at sports.

I told my adopters that I hated sport, but I never told them the truth. I was so ashamed of my “Chinese” body at school that I couldn’t perform well in sport.

I told her I hated skiing and swiming, but I never told them the truth.  I loved skiing and swimming, but I hated being mocked and bullied for my slant eyes and flat nose during the skiing/swimming lessons.

I liked staying at home to play piano, to silk paint, to read, to do things alone.

I never told them that I stayed at home because outside I was bullied and threatened for having “Chinese” eyes and  flat nose.

I never told them that I wished I had friends to play with or for sports.

Korea had been delivering children on order for  60 years.  I heard that the new adoption law requires the adopters to go to Korea to get the children. Prospective adopters are not happy. It’s so convenient to have the product delivered to them, espcially when they have the  flying phobia, it was one of the reasons why they had chosen Korea. They want the former way of buying babies: they (clients, prospective adopters) order, and they (Korean, adoption agencies) deliver.

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