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Homecoming Story: The Smiths

June 19, 2015

At New Beginnings, we love sharing successful adoption stories with our supporters, and the Smiths have a beautiful story to tell. We touched base with Atonya Smith recently to get an update about her family’s adoption. Here is their story.


Michael and Atonya Smith began their adoption process over a year ago. It all started during an adoption meeting when their pastor spoke about a little 8 year old boy in Taiwan, and they immediately knew they would adopt him. So, they started the long process.

As Atonya described during the interview, the entire process of adoption, from paper work to bringing their son home, was like a rollercoaster ride.

“There were a lot of ups and downs, highs and lows, rushing and waiting. But in the end, we loved every minute of it,” Smith said lovingly.

With about 24 hours of flights, Atonya along with her husband, Mike, and  their 11-year-old son, Josh, traveled to Taiwan to bring Gui Gui (David) home. After living with his foster family since he was 6 months old, there was a rush of many emotions, happy and sad, upon meeting and leaving with his new family.

“We spent a week exploring Taiwan as a family. Josh and Gui bonded immediately. Gui loves his big brother so much,” said Smith.

When the Smiths returned home, family and friends were at the Memphis airport to greet them with a proper homecoming. They had signs and stuffed animals waiting on Gui. He greeted them with tons of hugs before they made their way home.

Atonya describes the first night home as bittersweet for Gui. He was happy to be with his forever family, but he also missed his foster family and country. As time passed, Gui has become more at home here and is enjoying life with his family.

We asked Atonya what advice she would give prospective adoptive families, and she replied, “Just know God’s will for your life. Adopting won’t be easy, but the blessings are incomparable. Give everything time to work out and have lots (and lots and lots) of patience and faith.”

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