If you have a couple spare hours. Just sayin’.
Okay, back to the story, right?
I left off with our stepping out in faith.
Yeah. We’ve been doing a lot of that lately. In fact, when I shared about my broken heart, it was at a time when I realized just how far out of my “comfort zone” I had actually stepped.
Way, way further out than I’ve ever been.
In January, after Chris and I committed to God and to each other that we would do everything in our power to bring Esther home, things got crazy. Really crazy. And yes, we had to decide whether or not we were going to truly ignore the ‘world’… as well as our fears. If we were really going to go hard after God.
And it wasn’t without trepidation that we stepped out on this journey. But time and time again, God gave us just the reminder or reassurance we needed to persevere. And at just the right time. I am so, so grateful for those who came alongside us during this time to pray, encourage, support and just simply love on us…. the community of believers is a powerful and beautiful thing.
As determined as we were to do all we could to bring Esther home, exactly how didn’t matter. We were okay to bring Poppy home and then travel for Esther later. Or, bring them home at the same time. Of course, we wanted to bring both our girlies home as quickly as possible but, above all, we wanted to be open to His plan. Since, really, this wasn’t “our” plan at all. So, as things moved forward one step, and then back two steps, we continued to stay open to whatever He wanted us to do.
And, ever so slowly, things did fall into place. But as that happened, we found ourselves further and further from any previous adoption road we’d ever traveled. We have found that most of the time God only shows you the next step, not the entire view. And this has been oh, so true for us recently.
So we stepped, one foot in front of the other. Soon, though… wow, we were so far away from the ol’ familiar road we had been on, we couldn’t even see where we’d turned off. We were in a whole different land than we’d ever been in, and honestly, it was scary.
Because, I’m really a big fan of my comfy, reliable, and reassuringly familiar comfort zone. But God wanted us to step away from the comfortable and the familiar. He wanted us to not just trust Him with our lips, but trust Him with our hearts.
And, as the road unfurled in front of us, we had to cling to that trust, that basic belief that God IS who He says He is. And He WILL do what He says He will. But some days, well… I faltered. Because I am not a woman of great faith. But I am a woman of a great God.
So, here we go… laid out… the map of the road we’ve been on:
We approached our agency about bringing Esther home.
We also approached the agency that had Esther’s file.
We were advised it would be best to bring both girls home together.
We asked our first agency to release our family.
We switched to the agency that had Esther’s file.
We lost all our original agency fees.
We had to relinquish our LOA for Poppy.
We sent in our LOI for Esther.
We received PA for Esther.
We were told our local agency could write our HS update.
We were then told this local agency would not be able to write our HS update, our social worker had left the agency.
We found another agency that would write our HS update.
We were told, after two months of effort, that this agency would not be able to complete our HS update due to a CC@@ requirement that the update be written by the original HS agency.
We were told, at last, that our first agency would be able to write our HS update.
We had to relinquish our PA for Poppy.
We had to release Poppy’s file back to CC@@.
We waited to be “matched” again to Poppy – this time through our new agency.
We had to submit another LOI for Poppy.
We finally received PA for Poppy.
We received our final copy of our HS update. It wasn’t quite right.
We received our second final copy of our HS update. It wasn’t right either.
We received our third final copy of our HS update. No, still not right.
We received our fourth final copy of our HS update. Praise the Lord, it was right.
We sent our HS update off to USCIS, requesting a new approval for both our girls instead of one.
And now, well, we are ridiculously happy to be here. Ridiculously. Waiting for LOA for both our girls, and expecting to travel some times this summer. And resting in the One who showed up to fight with us, and for us, on this crazy, not-so-well-trodden road.
And we look forward to finally meeting our beloved daughters, and sharing the amazing God-sized story with them someday. How He showed up to intervene for them, right on time. And how, although He asked us to do some crazy stuff, to go with Him down a narrow and sometimes frightening path, how He not only stayed right with us, but He often carried us.
God is not human, that He should lie,
not a human being, that He should change His mind.
Does He speak and then not act?
Does He promise and not fulfill?
I have received a command to bless;
He has blessed, and I cannot change it.
– Numbers 23:19-20
We are beyond excited to officially announce our newest daughter, Esther, who is 19 months old and waiting for us in Hunan province. Her special need is unconfirmed, either Tetralogy of Fallot with pulmonary atresia, or truncus arteriosis. And, because of her heart defects, we expect that she will need surgery very shortly after coming home.
Your prayers for her, her heart, and our sweet Poppy are most appreciated.
I do so wish I could share her precious face with y’all, she is positively precious. I really can hardly bear it. She looks like a little pixie. With eyelashes a mile long.
Coming next week…
So loved… bringing Poppy and Esther home.
It’s a giveaway – filled with some of my most favorite things.
It’s also a t-shirt – created in honor of our girls, just for this event.
And it’s so much more.
I think y’all are really gonna dig it. And, of course, I’ll be sharing a picture of our Esther, as well as more details on both our girls… and more info about our fundraiser.
There will be several ways to win, with a very special giveaway for just for those who help us get the word out about “so loved”. And for every donation of $35 or more, y’all will receive a very special t-shirt, as a token of our gratitude.
Hoping y’all will join in the fun.
And, most of all, I can’t wait to see what God does with it and through it.
Now glory be to God!
By His mighty power at work within us,
He is able to accomplish infinitely more
than we would ever dare to ask or hope.
~ Ephesians 3:20