Lisa and Gene Lumpkins were living the American dream. They were financially stable, they had two beautiful children and they owned their own home. What more could a married couple wish for in life? Well as the old saying goes “money doesn’t buy happiness”, the Lumpkins were still missing that special something. So they decided in 2013 that they would trade in their beautiful cars and relaxed lifestyle for something they found much more fulfilling.
They decided they would adopt four special needs orphans from China. For Lisa and Gene, it appears that raising children and helping the less fortunate is what wakes them up every morning! While all of their adoptive children have their own unique stories that brought them to this point, one in particular stood out. Aubrey struggles with cerebral palsy, but she also has to deal with emotional pain. Tragically, when she was younger her birth mother neglected and abused Aubrey constantly. Aubrey’s birth mother even attempted to smother Aubrey to death! A truly horrifying childhood, but thankfully one that was in the past as she was thousands of miles away from her abusive mother. Life seemed great, but then one day she would learn that her life’s story was about to have another unexpected turn.
In February of 2016, Lisa noticed that one of her friends posted a photo of an orphaned girl on Facebook. The picture seemed eerily familiar to Lisa but she couldn’t figure out why. The picture stayed in her mind until she realized who she looked like — Aubrey! There were so many similarities that Lisa ended up posting both photos on Facebook together and friends and family universally agreed that they were very similar. They were simply too similar for Lisa to ignore, so she decided she would get a DNA test done for Aubrey so they could find out once and for all. So they sent in a swab of Aubrey’s saliva into the lab and patiently waited.
When they compared the picture of Aubrey and the picture of the orphan girl, many similarities become readily apparent. But similarities don’t necessarily mean that the two are related. They were very similar, but due to China’s strict 1 child law, it seemed incredibly unlikely the two were related. That’s when they decided they would send in the DNA test to get true confirmation. When the results came back they were shocked to learn that Aubrey was not actually an only child. The 13-year-old girl that they saw in the picture was actually her sister! They decided to name the little girl Avery. Just like Aubrey, Avery also suffered from cerebral palsy.
When Lisa and Gene heard this news they knew that they needed to do their best to unite these two sisters. Unfortunately, the two had sacrificed a lot of their financial assets during the adoption of the four children they already had. Those adoptions can cost as much as $35,000 per child! Without the necessary money, Aubrey and Avery may never meet each other!
To make matters even worse, they had to adopt Avery before August 2016 or else Avery would be too old to be adopted. Aging out of the orphanage system means that the child will no longer be able to be adopted out of the country and will instead be forced to live out on the streets of China. For far too many girls, aging out of the orphanage system railroads them into the lives of sex trafficking. A horrific fate.
That’s when the Lumpkins decided that they would ask the internet to support this adoption process. They put up a GoFundMe page and were immediately flooded with donations. Lisa and Gene’s fears of never being able to adopt Avery quickly faded. By the end of the campaign, the Lumpkins family managed to raise over $50,000 dollars! More than enough to handle the cost of the adoption fees.
Then in August 2016, when all the paperwork was done the Lumpkins family began their journey to China to adopt Aubrey’s long lost sister, Avery. The family would arrive just two days before Avery would “age out” of the orphanage system. Lisa told NBC News how stressful having it so close was.
The stress of wondering if we’d get it all completed was totally overwhelming.
Thankfully, all went to plan and Avery was adopted the Lumpkins family so that she would be able to live a happy and healthy life with her sister Aubrey all the way back in Georgetown, Kentucky. Incredibly, when the Lumpkins were adopting Avery, which can take several months, they also stumbled upon another video of another young girl. The Lumpkins decided they would adopt her too and give her the name Molly. Molly, like Aubrey and Avery, also suffered from cerebral palsy. The Lumpkins’ hearts are almost too big for them to handle!
Lisa Lumpkins always knew that she would dedicate her life to helping children in need.
Adoption was a childhood dream of mine. I feel any child is better in a loving home instead of institutionalized.
Not long after the sisters were finally reunited back in the United States, safe and sound. The Lumpkins family have forever changed the lives of these two children, along with the other children they adopted. With the skin of their teeth they were able to save Avery before she was tossed on the streets to fend on her own, even though she suffered from cerebral palsy!
Be sure to watch the video below of the incredible story.