The idea to create this blog “Because She Chose” was born out of my desire to showcase women whose stories inspire me. I wanted to create a space where their triumphs can be celebrated. When you share your story, powerful things happen. Not only are you empowered to do great things, but your story can empower others as well.
Of course, I believe choices are an important part of what makes our stories so powerful. Like anything in life, change begins with choice. We have the ability to make better choices every day. Jim Rohn was an entrepreneur, author and motivational speaker who stated, “If you don’t like how things are, change it. You are not a tree. You have the ability to totally transform every area in your life—and it all begins with your very own power of choice.” Most mature trees have a deep root system and cannot move. We all have the ability to not only move, but to spread wings and fly. This woman, whose story I want to share with you, does just that.
Meet Janet Seacott. She is one of my dearest friends. We met early on in our marriages and we’ve been friends ever since. We’ve shared so much. We had our children at the same time and enjoyed learning and growing together as new moms. Here is her amazing story of choice.
-What was it like before this change in your life's path happened?
Janet: My husband and I had two daughters at the time, elementary and middle-school age. We were happy with our family life and did not feel a change was needed but I knew that my life was meant for purpose and there was more in store.
-What was the defining moment that brought about this change in your life?
I grew up with Dyslexia and for years I was made to feel stupid by others, as if I couldn’t accomplish anything. One day, I attended a conference where I came to understand that was not the truth of who I am. The speaker had women take a stand against “giants” that kept defining them and from believing who they really were. We stood and declared out loud those mindsets would be broken. It was from that moment that I was stirred to read different things about adoption and orphans. The idea followed me wherever I went. After months of having adoption on my heart, I realized the idea was not going to go away. That’s when I shared it with my husband, Jim. After praying together, he began to feel the need to adopt as well. We included our daughters and they agreed this is what we were meant to do.
After attending conferences on adoption and speaking to others that had adopted, we began the process. We knew we wanted to adopt a little boy from China. It was such an emotional and spiritual experience. I began to fully realize the connection and meaning behind how the Father (God) feels about adopting us into His family. We knew from the very beginning that financially, the cost would be great. Every step of the way, when different fees would arise, somehow each need would be met. A check would come in the mail as a refund and it would be the exact amount we needed at that moment. Most of the finances came through various ways. Family, friends and church family also contributed.
The process was also very emotional. We researched special needs children because China only allowed adoption of boys with special needs. We submitted a request for a boy with a limb difference. We were presented with pictures of different children to choose from. We looked over one little boy's picture but before we were able to decide, we were informed that someone else submitted paperwork for him and he was no longer available. I was devastated. It was as if someone had taken my child from me. After that difficult moment, we had home studies and interviews, inspections needing to be made and passed. It was not an easy process and took 18 months from start to finish.
-What were the choices you made that led you where you are today?
We received an email with a picture of a little boy with a limb difference where his hand and forearm were missing. The family gathered around the computer to view the picture and we all knew that he was our son. We chose him and put in the paperwork to bring him home and then the waiting game began. Finances were needed every step of the way and the money just kept coming in as it was needed. Our entire family made the trip to get him. We named him Jeremy.
The day we went to meet our son for the first time, Jeremy immediately reached out to Jim. We didn’t know what would happen upon seeing him. Not knowing how he would react, it blew us away. At that moment, I had the most amazing realization. Seeing Jeremy reach out to his father who went to great lengths to meet him and bring him home, made me think of our Heavenly Father and what lengths he went to do the same for us, to welcome us into His family as we reach out to Him. The moment will forever be impressed on my memory and heart.
-Where are you now in your journey?
We came home with Jeremy and settled into everyday life. As we were in church one day, I was holding him and again I experienced the same, powerful feeling of how much the Father loves us. He was 14 months old when we brought him home and we had to teach him everything. He quickly learned and caught up to where he should have been at that age. He adjusted well to our family life. Today, he is 9 years old and has many friends that love him.
Even today, he is still experiencing miracles. Jeremy was featured on the news when a company on Staten Island called 3D technology gave him two prosthetic arms. One of the arms is skin tone and the other looks like something from the “Transformers."
Jeremy is a very special part of so many people’s lives. He has made a great impact on everyone who knows him. While in the orphanage, he was cared for by a special nanny from a foundation called Half the Sky. Not all children had access to this program. The nanny made him a book, recording all of his time with her while waiting for his forever family to come for him. Her care helped him in his development and she loved him very much.
When he was between 2-3 years old, the family had to go through a re-adoption process. Although he was a US citizen the day he landed, this process gave him a US birth certificate. He has a Chinese birth certificate as well. The judge had a heart for the re-adoption ceremony and made it extremely special when he made it official as Jeremy became a Seacott. He said it was the highlight of what he does. Jeremy even made an impression on this judge, that’s how sweet he is.
So much of the Seacott’s story of making Jeremy part of their family, speaks of choice. Janet chose to believe there was more for her, beyond the label society placed on her. She and her family chose to take a leap of faith and bring home a boy from China who changed all of their lives and those who know them. Because she chose, not only are their lives changed forever, but their choice has impacted others who have expressed interest in adopting. Life after life continue to be touched. We may never fully know the ripple effect of how many lives have been impacted just because they chose to love a little boy from China.