(Written by Emme's biggest, big sister- Melissa)
Just typing that precious, beautiful name brings me straight to tears. Two days ago we found out that our sweet Emelia Rose Ai Ni (Emme) went home. Really home. Not to our family’s home where we imagined we would get to see her grow up and know what it’s like to have a mom and a dad and six siblings who love her more than words can say. She skipped right over our home and went straight to be with Jesus. She went straight to her eternal heavenly home, where her broken little body is now perfect in every way. She now knows just how loved she is… By us, and most of all by Jesus.
When we were first hit with the news that Emme had gone to be with Jesus, I was completely heartbroken, overcome with grief, and to be honest, I was angry. I didn’t want to be angry, but I was. The entire night questions were racing through my mind…Why would God do something like this? What if Emme had never had surgery in China… would things be different, and would she still be here? Why wouldn’t God let Emme come home to us? What if the orphanage had let us come to get Emme sooner? Why would God put this little girl in our lives, If He planned to take her away from us like this before we were even able to go to China and get her?? Truth is that we could ask all the “whys” and “what ifs” that we want to- they don’t change what happened. . . And as I’ve had the last couple days to reflect and really process this situation, I’m finally beginning to see what God did through Emme’s life, And why He did what He did.
Through Emme, God showed us what it means to love dangerously. Loving Emme was not safe. At all. Her heart was very sick, and we knew from the very moment that we were matched with her, that we could lose her at anytime. But we chose to love her with all of our hearts anyway. Because she deserved to be loved that much.
God also showed us how to really obey and trust Him throughout Emme’s adoption. As soon as we saw the picture of an adorable little girl sitting on a plastic green seahorse, with bumble bees on her tiny toes looking back at us from the computer screen, we knew deep in our hearts that she was the one God wanted us to make a part of our family. And even though the severity of Emme’s very complex heart condition made us fearful, we trusted God with all our hearts (Proverbs 3:5-6), and kept in mind His promise- that He will never give us more than we can handle. So we obeyed what God told us to do, and I believe that in many ways The Lord confirmed to us that we were on the right path all throughout this journey. Even though Emme is in Heaven now, and we never got to hold her in our arms, I will never question our decision to work and fight towards being Emme’s family. I know with every part of me that God put Emme in our lives for a reason… wanting her and loving her was not a mistake. We obeyed and trusted God, and our reward was being able to love Emme during her short little life here on earth. Loving Emme was a beautiful gift… and after all “there is no greater gift than Love.”
I could go on and on about my youngest little sister… She had the most beautiful, big brown eyes I have ever seen before in my life. The quote “The eyes are the window to the soul” is very true. Emme’s eyes were the window to her soul. Through those big brown eyes I could tell she was sad, lonely, scared, longing to be loved, and strong. Although I never got to meet her, I know she was a very strong little girl. She had to be. She experienced so much sadness and pain in her little life then any child should ever have to face. Our sweet girl had a smile that melted our hearts. She was so precious, and so loved.
Although my heart hurts so much over the loss of our Emme, I’m finding comfort in knowing that she’s not in pain anymore. She’s not lying in a cold metal crib for hours upon hours, or in a hospital hooked up to machines. She’s not suffering anymore... She’s perfect now! And her broken little body has been made new. She knows how much we love her. Emme is with Jesus for eternity, and there is so much peace in knowing that one day we will get to be there too… With her, and with our Savior.
Sweet Emme Rose, We love you so very much! We will hold you in our hearts forever.