Sunday, August 25, 2013

One Year

That was me ... one year ago today. Sitting in a restaurant in Shanghai. Just a normal looking tourist eating dumplings and sipping Sprite. But you can see the anxious smile on my face. I was a nervous wreck inside ... waiting to meet a total stranger who I loved like the daughter sitting next to me. I knew this was going to be BIG. Life changing – big. But I really had no idea. 

Today, as I look through pictures of this year and reflect on how much has changed ... I am overcome with emotion. I have had a front row seat to a miracle. 


The physical changes are the most obvious. 
Charlotte has grown! 
Her hair is longer and shinier. 
Her skin has color. 
Her eyes sparkle.

But the changes inside are even more remarkable. 
Fear has been replaced with trust. 
Reluctance with enthusiasm. 
Anxiety with peace.
She knows she belongs here. 
She understands that she is deeply loved.
She loves us back.

One of my favorite things to 
watch was her changing relationship with her Daddy. It has been a longer process than we hoped for. At first he was tolerated. (See right! :) Over time, Charlotte warmed up to him if he was doing something that appealed to her. She willingly went to him if he was going outside or joined the other kids if they were playing on the floor with him. But now... NOW when she hears the garage door open in the afternoon, she squeals and yells for Daddy!  She runs to him after a long day at work. She loves her Daddy! 

As much as Charlotte has changed, though, I wonder if the bigger transformation hasn't been inside of me. Charlotte needed the love of a family. But God has used the love of this child to change my fear to trust. My reluctance to follow Him has been replaced with enthusiasm because I've seen His provision. I am more peaceful. My Father loves me more deeply than I can imagine.

I'll never know why God found me worthy to be Charlotte's mother. I would go to the ends of the earth all over again. Sacrifice every material possession I have just to bring her home. Just to see that smile. 

Thank you, Father, for giving me a picture of Your beautiful, redemptive, sacrificial love for me through my daughter. 

Happy Gotcha Day to my precious Charlotte Abigail Mingdu!