CONTINUED ( Part 1 here: Journey to Happily Ever After )
When I left the orphanages, I left even more determined that I had to do more. When we ask God to break our hearts for the things that break His, we need to be prepared for that to actually happen. Never have I felt so broken for the children we were leaving behind, and the millions of children their faces represented. And yet, never have I felt so hopeless in trying to help them. My "little" feels like nothing in the face of the overwhelming crisis. Yes, we made it to Stori in time just weeks before she aged out, and yet, standing right in front of me is another amazing little girl who forever lost her hope for a family. Staring me in the eyes are countless children who aren't even listed for adoption because no one is coming for the children who are. What can I offer them? I can't whisper in their ears "Hold on, sweet one. Your mama is coming". I offer them the little I have. I whisper "I love you". I whisper "Jesus loves you". And I wonder if they will ever hear those words again. I wonder if they realize how true those words are. I wonder if they know how much they are loved. I wonder if they know how valuable their lives are. Because on the outside, those words feel like empty words. How will they know unless we show them? How will they know unless we come for them?
"I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." John 14:18
You see, that is what Jesus did for us. He didn't leave us where we were. He came for us. He rescued us from a future without hope. He showed us our worth in Him. He loved us so much that He gave up everything for us. You want to see a picture of the gospel? It's that right there my friends. It is when we abandon ourselves to His call. It's when we say "Here I am. Lord, send me". Adoption is a real life representation of what He did for us. "We adopt not because we are rescuers. No, we adopt because we are THE RESCUED" (David Platt). He rescued us, and He longs to rescue His children through us. ARE WE WILLING?
I knew that one day we would be back. I knew it deep in my soul. I assumed it would be years in the future. My doing more for now would be advocating for these children. My doing more would be praying for these children. My doing more would be giving so that others could bring home these children. Those were my plans - my plans. We were still adjusting to adding two more amazing children to the family. In fact, I was still in China with our newest children.
And yet, God had different plans. Out of nowhere, on the way to the airport, I asked our guide if she had ever met a specific child. If you know me really well, you know there is a girl in China I have loved for a very long time. In fact, if you know me really well, I have probably tried to talk you into adopting this amazing girl. But, she had been the last thing on my mind this adoption trip. I was focused on our two newest children and the faces of the children we were leaving behind. And, yet, out of nowhere, as we are on a bus late at night, on the way to the airport for home, I get this sudden urge to ask about her. Our guide had been to her orphanage several times, but she couldn't place her. And yet, I still couldn't get her off my mind.
A few days after arriving home, I learned my friend was going to her orphanage. While at the orphanage, she met this girl and had the chance to spend some time with her. She sent me an updated picture of her, and the moment I saw her face, it took my breath away. I knew in that moment she was meant to be ours. It didn't matter that we had only been home for a week, she was meant to be our daughter. Just 8 days after coming home from China, we said yes to bringing her home.After years of living in an orphanage, she was going to finally belong. She was going to know what it meant to be loved. There would be no empty words, only words full of hope for the future. Her beginning may have felt hopeless, but her story would have a happy ending. We found our Happily Ever After.
And so, we would like to introduce you to our amazing, almost 12 year old daughter, Ever!!!!!
If you don't recognize her face, she was listed as Saige on Reece's Rainbow!!!!
Yes, we are bringing home TWO children again!!!! We actually started the process for Ever first, and already had our approval from China for her when we found Brave. We had to change agencies in order to bring them both home, and then resubmit our paperwork for her again. We now have approval for BOTH of our amazing children! We are SO EXCITED to bring them both home!!!!
There are millions of children out there still waiting for their happy ending.
Will YOU help them find their Happily Ever After??