Imagine you are walking on a street. You see a box left on the ground with something inside. As you open the box, you see a blue jacket wrapped around something. Then a sound. It’s a baby girl only a month old and completely on her own in the world.
While this might sound incredible, it really happened in Hunan Province in Southern China in 2003. The baby was taken to an orphanage, where she lived for a year before Charles and Kim Walker, a couple from the United States, came to give her a forever home.
But as soon as her new parents brought her back to their house, something strange happened. The moment they walked in, their old-fashioned clock began chiming the hour. And their new little daughter, whom they called MacKenzie Grace, sang out with a loud voice, imitating the clock with perfect pitch and intonation. It was a sign of things to come.
For MacKenzie, who goes by Kenzie, it was a series of miracles. As she told CBN, “God sent a stranger by to rescue me [in China]. I was saved […] Then God sent me parents who adopted me and brought me to live in America. I was saved a second time.” Her parents Chuck and Kim had already had a boy of their own and adopted another girl, but they felt particularly led toward adopting from China.
Having heard about the number of baby girls in orphanages due to the country’s loosed up “one-child policy,” Chuck said to CBN: “of all the countries, including the United States, that we could have gone to for adoption, it just hit both of our hearts that was the place we needed to go and that God had a little girl waiting for us.”
As Kenzie grew and thrived in her new home, her parents realized that singing with the clock was just the start of something great. Her mom, Kim, told CBN, “wherever we went, she would hum along with music, it became obvious that it was a part of who she was.”
Fed on a diet of songs from church and Disney movies, Kenzie kept singing. She said to CBN: “I honestly don’t remember a time I [didn’t] sing. I started singing everywhere.” Her mom took her to voice lessons when she just 5 years old! Even then, Kenzie knew what she wanted to do with her life.
Kenzie remembers saying, “Mom, I want to be a famous singer.”
But Kenzie doesn’t want fame for herself; she wants to use it to make the world a better place. This girl who was left in a cardboard box near a train station remembers where she came from. “I was alone, nobody was with me, and nobody cared,” as she said to CBN, until an unknown man came along and showed compassion.
Kenzie has taken her voice to incredible places, including singing the National Anthem and “God Bless America” several times at Houston Astros baseball games. She even recorded her own album Smallest Gifts in 2015 at the age of 12!
This former orphan has gone on to work with a charity, International Cooperating Ministries, which helps build orphanages around the world. As Kenzie said to CBN, “I was an orphan. And now I have a family. There are kids out there who are still [orphans] and they don’t have a family. I need to help them, because God helped me.”
For her parents, the pride they feel when she sings the anthem in front of tens of thousands of people takes them back to that first day. “To hear that little voice just boom out over the loudspeakers, you can’t just help [having] your heart swell,” Chuck said to CBD.