One month ago we met Clementine. And, to be completely honest, those first moments – after months of waiting, mounds of paperwork and countless prayers – were far from storybook.
Before we even realized what was happening, she was rushed passed us in the police station, being carried flat on her back by what seemed like an army of somber-faced Chinese women, and bundled in layer after layer topped off with a hooded yellow snowsuit.
All we could hear was the rattling of her labored breathing.
So very grateful that Chris and I had, to each other and to the Lord, committed to this child no matter what long before then. Because this mama was scared.
As I was trying to gain my composure, the orphanage official clamored out of the tiny photo room and into the waiting area, Clementine facing out, and walked up to me. I thought she was giving me an opportunity to take a photo but instead, without a word, she deposited our new daughter in my arms.
But God’s plans are never storybook. He designs His stories with each of His children specifically in mind. And He uses every bit of the brokenness in this world, and the brokenness in our own hearts, to teach us. Change us.
To separate the wheat from the chaff.
I am a different person than the one that walked into that police station. I needed sifting. Still do, but some chaff has been blown away. All by His grace.
And, all by His grace, I have fallen head over heels with this tiny little slip of a child. She is magnificent.
And Clementine is a different person than the one I met in that police station.
She needed to be loved. Protected. Cherished.
My prayer for her is that she one day come to know and love the true Hero in my life and hers.
After all, He is the only real storybook ending.
Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;
when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. – Isaiah 43:1-2