My Family

My Family
Summer 2015

Monday, September 22, 2014

That We May...astonished, shaken, and prompted (4 of 7)

This is post #4 in the series
Post #1 is here
Post #2 is here
Post # 3 is here

On July 4, 2013 I got an email from another Inner Mongolia mama, Shelly, who was actually advocating for another little boy at the same orphanage.  She had some pictures of him in a dropbox from some people that had gone on a mission trip in 2011.  I thought I'd "just take a look at it", not because I was interested in the little boy, but just to "see".
He was very precious.
But, there was one thing that caught my eye.
One of the pictures was actually a video.
So, as I sat at my kitchen table, I casually clicked on it.  Not thinking anything of it, I began to see the little guy playing with those who were visiting.  He was adorable.
Then shortly after that,
just seconds into the video,
a "little girl" showed up on the video
---with a crutch
---just one crutch
I choked.

It was as if I'd seen a ghost.
My heart raced.
My heart began to break.
I was on the verge of tears.
I knew immediately who it was.
There wasn't a doubt in my mind.
I was completely choked up, and my heart was pounding out of my chest as I sat alone looking at it.

It was her!

---and as I watched the brief 2-3 minute video,
at about :36 in, I also noticed "a boy" walking behind her with a turned in foot and a football.
Yes, way...
It was him.
Keep in mind this was sent by a mission group that went to the orphanage in 2011.
So the kids are a lot younger in it.
I did Not seek this out.
I just "fell into my lap"

My world was rocked.
I was visibly shaking.
I was Astonished!

Could it be?
I wasn't looking for this.
I didn't ask for a visual.
It was like a precious gift but I didn't quite know what to do with it.

I was only looking to see the other little boy my friend was advocating for.
I'm innocent.


I hit play again...
and again....
and again....

I was still shaking.
I was still Astonished!

Out of the 100+ kids in the orphanage, BOTH of the kids were on that video.
There wasn't another video--
Not of them, not of anyone else.
And the video was MOSTLY of "her".  With a bonus photobomb appearance of "him".
Not even as much of the little boy it was intended to be about.

Have I said, I just about fell off my chair?
I called Lucas over and he verified that those were his two friends.
"yes, that's.."the girl" and that's "the boy".
I didn't have anyone else telling me who they were.
I didn't have any connections to anyone that worked at the orphanage to check to see.
But, I didn't need that.
I had Lucas.
He had LIVED with them.
He probably knew them better than anyone.
They were his peeps.

Can I just say, it's a whole lot easier to say "no" to something when you don't have pictures and/or videos that make things come to life?
It's a lot easier to say "no" without a real person, like Lucas, to tell you all about the kids.

It's easy to say "no" to a "need" or the "cost" or "age of the child" or whatever barrier or wall you can come up with in your mind until you "see" the reality of a precious person/people in front of you.

Suddenly, the impossibilities and unknowns seem to fade into the backround.
A real person is attached to a list of "issues" and "needs".
And your heart begins to soften, melt, and see the privilege God is placing in your path.
I became very nervous.
Oh my.

Of course, you do appropriate research and get prepared.  You don't jump into something like this based off of emotions only.  But, it had been over a year of Lucas's prayers remember?

We began to wonder...

Was God beginning to seal this for us?
Was he prompting us and nudging us?
I still get a lump in my throat when I recall how I felt that day.  And how many times I have seen that video.  My friend had no idea that the video was even on that set of pictures.  She was simply trying to show me pictures of the little boy she was advocating for.

(update on the little boy Shelly was advocating for with those pictures....She just got home from China because she brought him home and into her own family... that is one of the hazards of being an advocate---but a sweet "hazard"---)

I began to search around and ask an adoption agency some questions.
Just questions...
I was "just curious"...

I needed to know if "the girl" was even available or on The Special Needs List.
Remember from my previous post, China has a list of special needs kids that are available for adoption.  If a child is not on that list they are not available.  Not all special needs kids are on that list.  If she was not, then I would have to deliver a hard message to Lucas. And I'd have to rethink a few things myself.

I inquired, and found out on July 12, 2013 that indeed her paperwork was prepared. She had been on the list for a while.  I believe they also found out it was currently being updated.

Do you feel the temperature rising on this thing?
We are in summer of 2013 at this point.  I'm still recovering from my mother's loss, but God is working.  Things are heating up.

God was slowly but surely revealing things to us and seeing if we were going to follow His lead.

Since I had never really considered a child with spina bifida before, I have to say I was nervous.  I talked to Peter about it and he was nervous.  But, I thought I should at least get information.  So I found people, I learned terminology, I talked to mama's, and we prayed.  We asked friends to pray.

It would have to be a matter of deep trust and faith.  And we began to see God was placing a privilege before us.  He had shaken us up and was prompting us to do something.  This was not a burden or a "should".  The motivation wasn't guilt.  He was laying out a privilege before us and taking our breath away while doing it.

As we looked further at "the boy's" information we realized he had a foot issue that is correctable.  His issues don't scare us much.  Without sounding simplistic, he was kind of becoming a "no brainer".
Of course the whole issue of adopting "older" children is always there.  But, after weathering our journey with Lucas, we feel a little more prepared than we would have 4 years ago.
Lucas has said he has a wonderful personality.  And others that have spent time with him have told us the same.

"The boy" is almost a year older than Lucas and "the girl" is about 4 months older.  So they are very close in age.  Suddenly we are talking about three children about the same age (currently 10/11).  How would their adjustment be?  What would it be like to bring home not one but two "older" children?

We've tossed around a lot of questions.
We've prayed.
We've heard the prayers of our Lucas boy.
We've been prompted by the Holy Spirit on several occasions.

In August I got an email from someone with this quote at the top:

God Had a Dream and Wrapped Your Body Around It.
-----Lou Engle

and this verse kept coming forward in more ways than one:

Eph. 3:20-21
(20) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, (21) to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.
These are only 2 of the many promptings we heard.
How do you deny God is at work in this thing?
Some people jump right in Love at First sight with adoption.  God has chosen a different path for this adoption.  Both are valid, both bring children home into families.
For some of us, this whole thing is a longer process.  And God is always at work.  The one thing we know, is it all needs to be For His Glory.  It has to be obvious by now that this is not about "us".  

Our hesitations along the way have been merely about looking at our own limitations and not always looking "Up" to Him who can do Immeasurably More.  But, I do think God used our hesitations for His timing and purposes too.  I may never know all the answers to why they had to stay there for an additional period of time.  But, I do know God has had us on a journey.

He was shaking us up and prompting us more.....(to be continued)

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