Last week I posted a verse from Lamentations 3
vs. 38 "Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that both calamities and good things come?"
It was a week of calamity with the devastating tornadoes that ripped up our state, ripping up lives in its path.
And it was a week of good things, too.
And now, by God's mercy, I can share those good things. ;)
All along this adoption process, we knew we should get approved to adopt two children. We didn't know if God would give us two children, but we definitely felt led to at least be approved for two. So our home study, our immigration application, all of the paperwork went through the channels to allow us to bring home two children.
Part of our paperwork was a paper to fill out called the "Child Desired Form"...an extensive checklist of all manner of special needs. We were to check which needs we would be willing to accept. We also had to check off if we desired a boy, or a girl. And we had to decide upon an age of that child.
That was a very hard form to fill out. All along, we wanted to be matched with the child GOD WANTED US TO HAVE. How could WE pick?
So, we didn't. We checked off every little bitty box for every special need. We marked boy OR girl. And the age? We left it blank.
We really wanted to surrender our desires to the Lord. Who would He pick out for our family?
Did it make us nervous to check everything? YES. But ultimately, it was a time for the Lord to teach us about total TRUST. And I'm not saying we passed the test...or that we've even completed the course!
I *think* we filled out that form in December. We had already had our eye on little Keith...but he was listed with a different agency and so we were just trying to be open to God's plan. Then, through a series of God ordained timely events, we were matched with KEITH in January! (his story is here)
He is ALREADY so loved!
We continued to wonder if there was another child...would we bring home Keith plus one more? We waited on the Lord to tell us.
And we waited. waited. waited.
Fast forward almost 4 months.
A couple of weeks ago, Karla asked us if we were still interested in bringing a 2nd child home. YES! She asked some questions about our bedroom situations, who we felt like God was leading us to, etc. She asked if there were any children on the special focus list that we felt drawn to...I mentioned little Paul but that I really felt like we were not supposed to adopt him, but try to help find his family. (my heart still just aches when I think about that)
And then I said we were interested in ALL the ones on the SF list! LOL! Who wouldn't be? They are all so precious. (have you seen them? oh my...go here!)
Karla said there would be new children added to the shared list the next week, and since we were very close to being DTC (our paperwork going to China), that Lily would look for a 2nd child for us.
The day before the new list of children was posted, (last Monday), Karla called to get some more specifics. What were we thinking age-wise? We had left that blank on our form. I told her that I really wanted to leave that up to God. I didn't want my flesh to get in the way. I said when I imagine another child, I vision a younger one, but that might just be me. Bottom-line: we want the child God wants us to have!"
Karla said Lily wanted to find *this type sex* child, with *this type special need*, that is *this age*. She asked, "Would that be alright?" The special need was one we have EXPERIENCE with, so I said "YES!"
Karla said she would call me that night if Lily had a child for us.
How does one function when you know at any moment God could reveal your 2nd child to you? This is how I functioned: I made dinner, I got ready for the next day, and I went to bed EARLY! Can yall believe I went to bed EARLY on a night like that? I was amazingly tired--and I just couldn't cope with the waiting, I believe. So I took the phone with me to bed and prayed for peace and fell fast asleep!
It was a restless night. My alarm went off at 4:00 a.m. Tuesday morning (we had SAT testing and had to be out the door at 7:00--it takes a long time to get us out the door...:)
As soon as I got up, I realized I hadn't got a phone call...and I just told God, "That's okay. I'm disappointed but IT IS OKAY! YOU'VE got it! It's just not time yet!"
I made my coffee, checked my email...and yall...there it was. An email from Karla.
This would be a GREAT place to stop this post and write a part 2. But I'm not gonna do that. :)
The email came in at 10:30 Monday night and all it said was, "Is it too late to call?"
Um...at this point all manner of focus left the mama.
It's 4 o'clock in the morning. And I missed whatever she had to tell me! So I quickly sent her an email saying it's never too late OR too early to call! LOL!
Remember we have to be out the door by 7:00?
6:30, our phone rang.
Karla said Lily did not find a child for us with the special need that she was looking for.
I think I said something like, "That's okay!" and then she said...
Lily did find a child for us that caught her eye. Lily did lock this child's file for us. Karla wanted to tell us a little about this child before she sent the file, in case we knew right off that this was not the little one for us.
So Karla told us the sex, birthdate, and the special need. It was a special need that we have absolutely NO experience with. Did we still want to see this child's file?
YES! This could be the one God picked out!
Keep in mind the clock is ticking down quickly to our departure time for these tests. And all routine has gone out the window. (in other words....morning chaos times eight)
Being reasonable and having my priorities in order (LOL!), I quickly raced to refresh my inbox every second until I received the file.
Here it is! I opened it up...raced into the bathroom with my laptop (reasonable Rob continued to get ready for work during all the excitement)....
He took ONE look at the picture. And said...
"When can we turn in our LOI?"
I love that man.
I, on the other hand, surprisingly enough, wanted to pray and make sure. I wanted to call our international adoption doctor and get her opinion on this special need that we knew nothing about. All the while, I am looking at the pictures and thinking "How in the world could we say no?" AND I'm thinking "This child looks so familiar, maybe it's because this child looks like *****'s child...I wonder if they're from the same orphanage."
Now the time is at hand when we really have to leave. I quickly scanned the file to see what I could find out about the special need, the surgery, and the orphanage where this little one is. Wouldn't you know it, the file I opened was the NON-translated one, so I was clueless. It did list the province as Xinjeng. Never heard of it.
We do the mad rush to the car as we meet Tricia on our way out and take her Sydney with us to testing...I quickly mention to Tricia that in the last 30 minutes, God may have just revealed our 10th child! I asked her to pray.
It took about 45 minutes to get to testing and the whole way we are praying praying praying. By the time we arrived, I had the biggest peace that this was our child. God kept bringing to mind Romans 12: "2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will."
We had been praying for WHOEVER. And now, this little one had just basically fallen into our laps. I called Rob after I got the first kiddos situated in their classroom....we talked about how there was really nothing our dr. could tell us that would make us NOT want to bring this child home. We both agreed that we would accept this referral with joy and thankful hearts!
And then...Karla called again.
She found out more information about this child. Lily found out that this particular child had been moved from her home orphanage.
Are you sitting down?
This child is at NEW DAY FOSTER HOME in Beijing.
WHERE KEITH IS!!!!!!!!!!!
I was sitting on a gym floor, completely FLOORED. (and realizing why this child looked so familiar!)
Honestly, I am still floored. Amazed. In complete awe. Humbled.
God, in His infinite sovereignty, wisdom, mercy....I mean what can I say? Nothing. I don't think words could describe what I want to say. I'm not even sure I know a word that comes close to describing how we feel.
Certain? yes, we feel certain this is our child....more than ever.
Unworthy? oh yes....our righteousness is filthy rags
Loved? so very loved
Oh God...to GOD BE THE GLORY. Praise Him!
A sweet, good thing.
Oh....did you want to see who God knew all along would be our 10th child? Our sweet little surprise blessing? (i can't stop smiling...)
Take a peek here.