More beans you say? Well, since you know it is my heart’s desire to keep y’all happy, I’ll share a bit more… but where to begin? is my first question. As with every major life decision, ‘the beginning’ has a hazy definition. Looking back, the beginning is much more distinct than it was while we were fumbling around in the midst of this amazing process, searching for God’s leading. Thankfully the Master has all things under control at all times. It’s just a matter of when He chooses to let us in on His plan.
So forgive me while I back up. Wayyyyy up.
In November I started having occasional
panic attacks thoughts about going back to China. I waxed and waned, but I couldn’t shake that all-too-familiar feeling for long. I can’t really pinpoint the very first nudge, but I recall two events specifically. One was crying to my dear friend Colleen (also my prayer partner) and pouring my heart out to her that I did not want to adopt again. That I was overloaded, overburdened, overwhelmed. I prayed that He would take this burden away from me and let me go back to my carefree days of feeling “done”. It was a difficult time, wondering if I was misinterpreting Him. Or if I just being self-focused and short-sighted and missing His perfect plan. The second thing I recall was being struck by my friend Anne’s post about her new daughter. She and I both have sons with clubfoot and when she shared her story in early November about her newest daughter with orthopedic issues, I couldn’t help but email her with my heartiest congratulations. She and I emailed a bit and she shared more about her agency, WACAP. And I knew something was up. Exactly what, I didn’t know.
I have been in SN China adoption circles since late 2004, so I have read and heard about a lot of agencies, WACAP being one of them. But for some reason, until hearing about them from Anne, my eyes had not been opened to the subsidies they provide for the little ones with special needs. It intrigued me. It frightened me. And yet it beckoned me, somehow. I had had a conversation with God in which I ‘laid out a fleece’ (Judges 6:36-40), telling Him that if He indeed wanted us to adopt again, He not only needed to let my husband in on it, but we needed some $ to get this party started. I wondered about it, if God might be using this revelation about WACAP to lead us forward, but I mostly tried to ignore it. Finally, in January I actually got in touch with them about their program. I was able to rationalize actually calling an agency by telling myself I was researching for the No Hands But Ours site (which I really was doing, it was just in conjunction with satisfying my own curiosity). I then proceeded to tell Chris all about their program, and we were both duly impressed. And somehow (… how, I do not know) I ended up with a password to view the children on their list. And then, somehow, I ended up on that same page every now and then. My heart stung each time I looked at all those precious faces that desperately needed nothing more in the world than a mommy and a daddy.
You guys might recall my post about reentry being rough. And that I was struggling with a burden God had laid on me to do more for Him. Part of that was being more of a wife to my husband, more of a mother to my kids. In honoring God, I felt lead to go to Him first, and then my husband, with all things… big and small. Not that I couldn’t still have my girlfriends, but God wanted me to look with new eyes at my husband. God reminded me that my husband is my partner. For life. He reminded me of the whole “two becoming one” business in the Bible. And that He intended Chris for me and me for him and that I needed to see all the blessings of pursuing that relationship to it’s periphery. That, indeed, investing in my relationship with my husband was second in importance only to investing in my relationship with Him. So, shortly after I came home, I informed my husband that he was now going to be my bff. My go-to
gal guy. The blessed recipient of my ramblings about hair color, PMS and endless introspection.
I have to tell you, it has been an amazing experience. God has blessed our already happy marriage tenfold. My sweet husband has been so patient and considerate as I ponder whether or not I should spend the big bucks for a good hair colorist, or cheap out and risk the results of a not-so-good colorist. Fun stuff. But it has brought us so much closer. I have an entirely new, God-given perspective on this wonderful man, and in return, Chris has gotten a deeper and more honest look into my heart, and what makes it truly tick. And God has used that for His purposes.
Part of this ‘sharing’ with my husband has involved my work on the No Hands But Ours site. The stories. The children. The families. Also, the faces I see on the waiting child lists. The fact that new shared lists are coming out with hundreds of children needing homes. So many children. So. Many. I shared all this with him openly, and he listened. But his response was always the same when I asked if he thought God was calling us to go back: no. And truly, in my heart of hearts, I was okay with that. In a sense it was a very real relief to know that God had not laid another adoption on his heart. That maybe I was just becoming overly emotional and that eventually, hopefully, I’d get over it. After all, I’d spent two weeks in China surrounded by precious little ones. We even visited New Day and not one time did I feel ‘the itch’. And it was wonderful!! I was hopeful God would relieve me of this burden and show me other ways to serve not only Him, but the SN children of China.
Fast forward to the morning of January 30. My boys woke up and came upstairs. I was, you guessed it, on the computer, making my morning rounds. I was checking out Livi Lu, specifically reading about the little girl they sponsor in foster care: Olive. My boys were both immediately taken with her, asking all sorts of questions about her. Dalton asked me if we could adopt her and I said, “No, sweetie.” Then he replied, “Well, then can I have a picture of her?” It was so sweet, it took my breath away. Later that morning, I retold the story to my bff and I could tell by his reaction that the story had impacted him. Just how it had impacted him I wouldn’t know until much later. At the time neither of us were aware of it, but Olive was paving the way for the little girl who was to become our daughter.
The day went along, a usual day, until I checked in on the WACAP site later in the afternoon. There were new kids listed, I had no idea when the site had been updated as it had been
a day or two awhile since I’d last looked. And there she sat. She was outside, perched on a bright blue blanket with a heck of a sassy expression on her cherubic face. A little girl with what was described as a limb deformity of all four limbs. Under her description was a blurb disclosing that many agencies were working to find this child a home and that she would probably find a home very quickly. It also stated that a large subsidy was available for her adoption. I emailed my husband a link and just mentioned how stinkin’ cute she was (my words exactly) and left it at that. Later, when he and I talked on the phone, he mentioned that he was slammed at work and that there was no way he could look at anything until later. It ended up being much later, and when things finally settled down at work he called to tell me he was following the link I’d sent. Interestingly, he wanted us to be on the phone together. He opened it, read the brief description and looked at her tiny picture. I could tell by the questions he was asking (that would be basically any question at all) that he was curious. Intrigued. I asked him if he wanted me to contact WACAP about her. He said yes.