Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Isn't She Lovely?

~Meet Charlotte~

Last Tuesday morning (March 20) at around 8:00 we got the phone call we've been waiting for! My heart started pounding and I ran to the computer to get my first look at the child who has been in my heart for 2 years. It was so surreal to see this actual little person! We had 72 hours to pray, take her file to our pediatrician, and send back the paperwork to accept her. I was thinking as I rushed to the doctor's office with her file that there wasn't anything he could say that would change my mind about her! :) We also took her file to a cardiologist because her special need is a heart murmur which has already been repaired with surgery in China. The sweet receptionist on the phone told me it was my "lucky day" because the cardiologist is only in the local office one day a week ... and it was today! By the end of the day we had received a personal phone call from our pediatrician. He spent time discussing all the details of her file with me and told me she looked healthy. We also heard back from the cardiologist that day. By the next afternoon our paperwork was sent and we began waiting for pre-approval (PA) from China.

Over the next few days I read her file over and over and over – just trying to learn everything you can know about a person from three pictures and a few pages of information. :) And God began to connect a few dots for me. The first time I ever called the China program coordinator from my agency was March 2010. We read the information she sent and prayed ... not really sure what direction to take. On May 26, 2010 I emailed to say that God was stirring our hearts through stories of other families and through lots of prayer. We didn't have the green light to get started, but we were committed to keep seeking God's direction. Our baby was born 5 days later on May 31.

I'm not a patient person. In fact I can be pretty impulsive once I get an idea. With each of my other adoptions, things moved very fast ... just the way I like them. But this time, I did not get peace about moving forward for almost a whole year. Last April 17, I was sitting in worship at church and just feeling the presence of the Lord so strongly. Without thinking I wrote something down on a scrap of paper in my Bible. I wrote word for word what I sensed God saying to me. "If you want to experience ME ... know more about ME, Go GET HER. James 1:27"

We started the process right after that. We knew it would be a long wait. I was pretty calm about the whole thing. I asked God to ordain every circumstance. I felt that if there was a snag or a hold-up in the process, He had a reason for it. But a few weeks ago, without warning, I just lost my patience. I had a sense of urgency that I really haven't had this whole year. I even told my program coordinator I didn't know if it was God's prompting or my own impatience, but that dossier HAD TO GO. It got to China just a little too late for the previous list of children that were made available. But just in time for this list. The one with her on it.

In January 2011 (way before we even applied with our agency or talked to the kids about adopting from China) Jackson had an unusual prayer request in Awana. He asked his class to pray for his baby sister. His teacher asked if he meant his big sister? But he was insistent that they needed to pray for his baby sister. As I was reading Charlotte's medical report I noticed that her heart surgery was in December of 2010. Afterward she had to spend 20 days in the ICU. She needed prayer.

Some people might think these events are coincidences – or at the least a stretch to try and make them fit together the way I want them to. But what prompted me to write these seemingly insignificant things down in my journal over the past two years? Why did God direct my attention to the dates on the first of over one hundred emails related to this adoption? He wants to prove His sovereignty. He wants me to know He's answered my prayers. He wants me to know when I wonder if she's really my daughter ... she is.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Exciting Times

So many of you know the AWESOME news that we got our REFERRAL!!! It came last Tuesday morning at exactly the same time that my sweet baby nephew was being born! We can't wait to share info and pictures, but are waiting for pre-approval from China. So until then ... just know ... God is SO GOOD and continuing to reveal Himself so mightily through all our circumstances!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

God is Faithful

This has been a tough week. No referral. Anxiety over finances. Paralyzing fear that we've bitten off more than we can chew.

But God is faithful. He met me right where I was. I am trying to catch up on a Bible study that I didn't finish last semester. On the darkest day I've experience in a while I read these words in 1 John ... "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear." The Word says, "God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." WOW!  The words I should have read months ago, God saved for that moment. When I needed to hear that perfect love casts out fear, and that if I abide in love I'm abiding in Him and He's abiding in me.

Why am I doing all of this? Why did I quit my job and spend all my money and months of my time and commit a lifetime of myself? LOVE. I asked God to give me love for this child. Enough love for the times when I can't see how it's all going to work. Enough love to keep me going though I don't even know what she looks like. And He answered that prayer. He IS love. Did you know that Romans 5:5 says "God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom He as given us"? It wasn't even a challenge for Him to give me that kind of love. He pours it in!

God also knew how alone I was feeling. He surrounded me with a group of women at my Bible study to pray over me and encourage me. Thank you.

And late that evening I checked my email and received the news that we were approved for one of the grants we applied for! Oh God, THANK YOU!

Our journey is far from over. We still have a wait in front of us. We still have money to raise. But we know that God is faithful and will supply all our needs according to His riches in glory. And we are encouraged.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Waiting on Adoption Referral Psychosis

Okay ... I take it back! The waiting patiently and savoring every moment thing was last week. Now I'm starting to lose it. I stumbled on this post on "waiting on adoption referral psychosis" and it says perfectly what I really could not come up with the words to describe. So check it out and say a prayer for us as we wait for a referral that could come "any day." (So we were told last Monday!)