There was a time not too long ago, when I never thought I would be writing this. But I want to share this journey, to also have a place to document it, but to also have a place to share the amazing road God has put us on. As my husband said not long ago... this isn't about us, it's about Him.
So where to start?! I guess the beginning is the most obvious place so I'll start there. I never thought we would be the ones to adopt a child. We have six healthy children, and we love them ALL to the moon and back. They are Jeff's and my world and heart. I was adopted as a baby, at three months old, and raised by parents who loved me. But I never longed to adopt, because there have always been issues about being adopted that I didn't want to deal with. So many who have gone before us on this journey have always known that they would adopt one day - not us. Imagine our surprise when God placed this on our hearts then! We felt smacked. Us adopt? We have SIX children! Are you kidding us?!
There's a wonderful organization called Love Without Boundaries and they do amazing work in China for orphans and children. While taking the Snap Shop course last Spring offered by Ashley Ann, I followed her journey to her little one and watched as they waited for her to come home. At first, I just thought how wonderful that they are doing that! Then while they waited, the very long wait - she raised funds for an incubator for her daughter's orphanage. She hoped to raise enough to cover the incubator....she raised A LOT more...and through LWB support was able to help dozens of orphans have surgeries they needed and receive the care they so desperately needed. I contributed - it was the least I could do (isn't that how most of us think?).
I must have signed myself up through my donation for the LWB newsletter as it started arriving in my in box a bit later. My interest in China adoption had definitely been sparked. Through a series of articles called "Realistic Expectations" in the newsletters, I sat in my room reading one day... I felt God speak to me. As an electrical numbness ran through my body, like I had just been shocked, I read each and every article in the series. I'll never forget the fear/excitement I felt as I paced afterwards, prayed and wondered if this is really what we were meant to do. There's nothing logical about it. But there's one thing I know and that is that journey's of faith are often of limited sight.
"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and he will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6
Jeff and I talked, walked (we talk most when we walk), ran, prayed and researched all Summer long. Each blog or article I read, led me to another, and at every turn I read just what I needed to know next. I found some wonderful women online willing to talk about their experiences. We found New Day. The day I found them, I clicked on their contact information and about fell down when I saw the US contact address was in our very own town. Goosebumps. Everywhere we turned, we felt that we were being led to start this journey and to share the blessings we have been given. So we gave our fear and faith to God and said "yes"! I have found a lot of comfort in these Bible verses as we contemplated what to do.
"Once our eyes are opened, we cannot pretend we don't know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls, knows what we know, and holds us responsible to act." Proverbs 24:12
So we begin! The peace I feel now that we made the decision to do this is amazing! The children are excited...we are excited... and we know there's a sweet little child out there in China waiting to become a part of our family and us a part of their life. We pray for support from our family and friends as we begin our adoption journey and hope you'll follow along. I want to write all of this down, to share one day with our sweet child. I know it will mean a lot to know how someone on the other side of the earth loved them and waited for them. In the meantime, I just pray that God will wrap them in His arms with love and comfort until I can do the same myself.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Phillippians 3:6-7