Luke poses with his family after they adopt Lin from Tianjin. Lin will leave the next day to be welcomed to his new home in the United States.
Luke poses with his family after they adopt Lin from Tianjin. Lin will leave the next day to be welcomed to his new home in the United States.

Finding a Forever Home

Children playing with toys and receiving help occupy the inside of a rehab facility in China. Suddenly, an overjoyed young teen looks up with a bright smile that flows from ear to ear as he stands up to make eye contact for the first time with those who would soon become his family. Senior Luke Sims waves back at the new brother who will soon fly home with him to America.

Luke and his family recently adopted 14 year-old Lin Sims from Tianjin, China August 10. Lin was born with cerebral palsy and has been under the care of the Prince of Peace rehab facility until his adoption.

“When we went to get him from the agency, it was a lot different than I expected it to be,” Luke said. “I expected Lin to know more English. When I found out he didn’t know any, I was kind of surprised, but I was still excited about getting a little brother.”

While Luke was working at church camp this summer, he received the text from his family about adopting a child from China. He welcomed the idea because he has always wanted a little brother, but his family took some time to consider the challenges and arrangements that would have to be made regarding Lin’s condition before finalizing the adoption.

Luke’s parents, Ben Sims and Carla Sims, received an email about Lin in a business letter from the Hawaii International Child adoption agency which has relations to the facility where he was located. They called an advocate about the adoption later that day because they were really interested in Lin’s story and wanted to help.

“His story resonated with us,” Ben said. “This was something truly special, and sometimes in life when you’re at a crossroads you just know the right decision to make. I call it a God thing.”

The family started paperwork quickly after talking to the advisors which usually takes about a full year to confirm. Through a cohesive effort with the family and adoption agencies, however, Lin’s adoption was finalized in only six weeks.

“I think it’s a wonderful thing for a family to do,” Luke said. “It means that we have a lot of faith and courage to add a new member to our family in a snap.”

This is not the first time the Sims family has adopted from China. Luke’s sister,  12 year-old Lillie Sims, was adopted through Chinese Children Adoption International when she was just under a year old after being left on a doorstep for the agency to take in.

“It hurt me that there were so many kids that were in need of a family,” Carla Sims said. “This whole experience has been amazing, and a lot of people have helped us to make this process work .”

Now that Lin is home with his family in the United States, he has adapted well to the Lindale atmosphere, and he especially enjoys supporting the Eagles at games. He has created a bond with his older brother, and as most brothers do he enjoys messing with Luke by calling him “dee-dee” which means little brother in Chinese instead of “gu-gu” which means older brother.

“Although he like to mess with me, it is completely different because I’ve always had sisters,” Luke said. “It’s a change of pace having someone who likes the same things as you like and shares the same interests. It’s nice to have someone to interact with that is more on your page or wavelength.”

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