Growing Faith and a Family of Eight

Art and Jen Powell, parents of six children — four of whom they adopted from China — recently welcomed home two of their daughters, Mercy (age 14) and Zoey (age 5). Mercy and Zoey, adopted through WACAP, joined their family this past summer.

As the Powells have watched their family grow over the years and grow together each day, they’re bolstered by their love for each other and inspired by the Christian faith uniting them. From medical care to a community of support, “we have watched God meet our needs,” they say.  

Here’s a little of their story of faith and family:   


About Our Family

We have added four kiddos from China to our family in the past four years.

Family of eight wearing matching smiling Elmo t-shirts

Happy to be together, wearing sixteen smiles (Back: Art, Mercy, Allison, Zachary and Jen; Middle: Bethany; Front: Jacob and Zoey)

We did a lot of preparing, planning, reading, researching and anticipating worse case scenarios before each adoption. We didn’t enter into adoption with a plan for adopting children who were certain genders or who had certain special needs. We just knew God was growing our hearts and our family in this way.

As we have parented, we have experienced a variety of special needs, and we’ve welcomed children who were older into our family.  

Dad shows daughter how to ride a bike, both smiling

A fall bike ride

Each child brings his or her own story and unique needs.  We have been overwhelmed by the beauty of adoption and how it has changed us as individuals. We feel, as we’ve adopted, God has helped us become more compassionate, patient, loving, kind, flexible and focused on the things that matter the most in this life. The smallest of moments take on the greatest meaning now.  

Some of the most precious things we have experienced these past few months involve watching our newly adopted 14-year-old daughter give and receive love. We have celebrated learning so many new things from cooking, riding a bike and best of all, learning to be a family! We have watched special friendships grow between new siblings. We have watched special needs fade to the background.  

Initially, we battled some fears with adopting our now 5-year-old daughter who is blind. We don’t know braille and wondered if we could meet all of her needs. We prayed and knew … , and wow, what a non-issue now. This little lady is a wonderful addition to our family. She is so very sweet, bright and capable. There are times we forget she is visually impaired.  

Dad and daughter laugh, holding bananas to their heads like phones

Dad and daughter share a laugh

One of the beautiful surprises that has come from the last few months has been watching all the kids grow in language. Our Mandarin speakers are learning English quickly and our English speakers are gaining more Mandarin. We all have a great love for China and the culture. We have worked hard to make our world a bit smaller in the last few months. One of the ways we grow together as a family is to find ways to work in cooperation at home. We enjoy preparing meals together often experimenting with flavors and spices.

We try to incorporate lots of humor and fun. It helps to laugh at ourselves. Our 14-year-old daughter appreciates Mama trying to make authentic Chinese dishes. We can all laugh together when sometimes it is just too terrible to eat!   

Mom gives two of her daughters a hug

A hug with mom

We are so blessed to be a family. We are so very grateful and blessed by the miracle of adoption. We consider it a privilege to be the parents of six amazing children. We are mindful of all the children still waiting for families and we pray regularly that each of them will know the love of a forever family.  

About WACAP

WACAP (World Association for Children and Parents) is one of the largest and most experienced international nonprofit adoption and child assistance agencies in the United States. Since 1976, we’ve placed over 10,000 children with loving adoptive parents and provided food, medical care and education to more than 200,000 children around the world.
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