Saturday, September 15, 2012

Full Circle

On September 19th of 2011 I began writing this blog on behalf of our family to benefit our adoption.  On September 19th of this year we will stand in front of a judge and petition to adopt our little girl.  What a journey it has been.  So much has changed, so much has transpired and my goodness how we've grown. 
When we started this whole process a year ago, we had our sights set on a little girl with Spina Bifida.  A little girl who had spent all five years of her life waiting.  We were captivated by her and more than willing to do whatever it took to bring her home.  Finally after mounds of paperwork and signatures and hoop jumping we were invited to travel.  Two days, TWO DAYS before we departed we received the devastating email that will never be forgotten.   Our little lady was being adopted domestically.  Two days.  Our hearts were crushed and our momentum paralyzed.  We knew the story wouldn't end there so after being brought to our knees by such devastating news we folded our arms and we prayed.  We knew the Lord was with us and we felt His strength and comfort like never before.  The journey wasn't over.
We traveled on to Eastern Europe two days later and me the facilitator there.  Together with her we narrowed down to search to about 4 little girls who met our homestudy's criteria which was female with special needs ages 4-7.  I'd asked the Lord to give Chris "an immediate connection" to the child since that is sometimes harder for fathers than it is for mothers.  He used that exact phrase concerning one little girl in the selection of 4 and I knew.  She was meant to be ours. 
We prayed for confirmation and the words barely needed to be spoken before we knew this was our child.  The Lord being as omnipotent as he is placed both girls at the same orphanage and we were allowed to meet and know the child we were originally pursuing.  At the time that was so difficult, to be holding what you wanted for so long but knowing you can't actually have it but He knows better than I do and looking back now I am so unbelievably grateful for those moments we had together.  Time enough to know her, to hold her, and time enough to know she had the strength and spirit to blossom wherever she was planted.  That was a gift. 
We will never stop loving her and and forever indebted to that little face for drawing us in and showing us what we were capable of and the strength we didn't know we had.  We're forever blessed because of her.  Thank you M for leading us far across the ocean to our little girl.  It could have only been you.
Again the Lord, being so remarkable in his ways, was able to weave a more magical story.  The daughter we will stand before the judge for in just a few short days was listed as having cerebral palsy and strabismus which means lazy or crossed eye.  After meeting her on that first trip we modified our homestudy to approve us for not just the one child with SB but another child with CP.  We read books and studies and made connections with other parents who have a children with CP.  We knew her case was mild but we wanted to be prepared.   After initially welcoming a child with SB who was wheelchair bound we were shocked at the thought of a adopting a child who could walk.  That in and of itself was an unexpected blessing and with four other little ones at home it certainly would make things less complicated.  Needless to say we would have happily parented a child who was wheelchair bound. 
Now here we are on our court trip and we learn day one what we expected all along.  Our little girl doesn't even have CP.  The crossed eye and her poor poor vision (like her momma) are all the medical issues we'll be dealing with.  We haven't even digested the news completely.  All of it seems too easy.  Not to mention the bond between us, each time we visit her we are reconfirmed that she is our daughter.  I could go on and on about every moment when we know AGAIN how she is meant to be ours.  It was always her.
So when I look back to a year ago, to our naivety and our determination I can't help but smile.  Little did we know.  I can say for sure that when the Lord asks us to go and we go it is on His terms, not on our own.  I suppose part of me thought in the beginning "we're doing His work, this is what He wants us to do so it will probably go just like *I* expect it to.  Haha!  One of my favorite artists says "God plays his flute we all dance along".  We're the characters in His story, not the authors.  Even still He is looking out for us and for His children and the story that unfolds when we step out in faith will always be a good one, screen worthy even and it doesn't end there.