HJ/EDMay 29, 2006

Couple awaiting adopted daughter from China

By Kristen Miller
Staff Writer

Infertility many times is perceived as a curse, but Lee Shelton, formerly of Dassel, and his wife Dawn, patiently await the blessings of their adopted daughter.

Shelton, son of former pastor Lee Shelton of Lake Jennie Covenant Church, met his wife Dawn at Northwestern College and were wed December of 1991.

After two failed pregnancies, and the uncertainty of a biological pregnancy, the Sheltons were presented two years ago with the idea of adoption.

They encountered a single mother who was considering giving her baby up for adoption, but later decided against it.

After this, Lee and Dawn began considering an adoption agency and found America World Adoption Association.

AWAA is a Christian adoption agency and works with the adoption of orphans in the Ukraine, Russia, Vietnam and China.

The Sheltons chose China.

“We both felt that’s where our daughter was,” Lee said.

In China, they tend to still favor boys over girls and therefore abandon the newborn girls, according to AWAA web site.

The males are favored because it is their custom that the son will take care of the parents at old age whereas the girls would take care of her husbands parents. Abandonment is also a problem due to China’s one-child policy.

In February, the Sheltons completed the necessary paperwork and sent it in.

They were notified in March that the Chinese government received the papers.

“Now it’s just a matter of waiting,” Lee said.

At the beginning, the couple were told it could take six to nine month before they would meet their daughter.

“The time frames changes all the time,” Lee said.

Waiting was easier when they had the paperwork to focus on, Lee explained.

But now the paper work is done which has taken up a vast majority of their time, he said.

“The hardest part is waiting,” he said.

When the time comes, the Sheltons will receive an e-mail notifying they have a child waiting.

Then they will receive a package with a picture of the child, her name, age, and province.

After receipt of the package, it could take six to eight weeks before they will travel to China to pick up their daughter.

They are hoping it won’t take that long, but they understand “It’s in God’s time, so when it happens, it’s supposed to happen,” Lee explained.

The Sheltons recieved “tremendous outreach” after attending their new church, Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

“We fit in quite well and we receive both moral and prayer support,” he said.

To keep family and friends updated on their adoption process, they have a web site at http://thesheltonfamily.blogspot.com.

About America World

According to their web site, America World Adoption Agency is a non-profit, Christian based organization, dedicated to “helping families adopt children from around the world.”

It is declared in its mission statement that they “are committed to helping America’s families and the world’s orphans experience the love of God in Jesus through the spirit of adoption.”

The organization began after Brian and Renee Luwis of Washington D.C. traveled to China to bring home their newly adopted daughter.

After seeing the needs of the many Chinese orphans, the couple created the AWAA “a ministry dedicated to sharing the belief that one of God’s most profound blessings is to experience a child by adoption.

The Luwis family have three adopted children from China as well as their own daughter.

For more information on America World Adoption Association visit their web site, www.awaa.org.

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