Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Journey

We had always talked about adopting. We just thought we’d have kids and then adopt. God had a different plan. It all started at a Steven Curtis Chapman concert. We've seen him play so many times; it’s hard to remember which show it was. At the concert, Steven paused to tell the attentive audience about his family’s experience adopting from China. Literature from what eventually became our adoption agency was distributed which we sat on for I don’t know how long. My wife began to investigate. She, seemingly hesitant, approached me to tell me she made an appointment for us to go to an informational meeting at Harvest Christian Fellowship in Riverside. At the conclusion of the presentation I don’t think we said much. I was just kind of processing all the information. Unbeknownst to my wife, I was 100% sold on the idea. Walking back to the car she asked, “So what do you think?” not quite sure as to how I’d respond. Upon my, “Let’s do it!” she burst into tears. Beautiful tears of joy. The first of many from both of us. How amazing that this was God’s plan for us from before time began. Is He an awesome God or what??? This was in August, 2004.

Then next fifteen months entailed applying to our agency and compiling mountains of paperwork: birth certificates, marriage certificate, medical reports, background checks, homestudy reports, employment verifications, tax records, and letters of reference. Additionally, we were fingerprinted several times, an experience we had the privilege of repeating because apparently fingerprints expire! As if that were not enough, every document had to be notarized, then certificated by the Secretary of State’s office, then authenticated at the Chinese Consulate. But finally our dossier made it to China on October 31, 2005. That’s when our official wait began. In that time, we kept busy with everyday life. Her room was painted. Her beautiful name was chosen: Lily Grace. Time passed slowly, yet we were at peace. Knowing all is within God’s perfect timing was of utmost comfort.

May, 2007. Life changed. We were finally matched with our long awaited, long hoped for daughter. We found out who she was. God had worked the miracle of adoption through the hands of men to join us with our daughter. The following day we got to gaze upon her precious face for the first time. “I’M A DADDY,” I cried inside. My wife is a MOMMY!

From that day until now, the wait has been almost unbearable. Knowing she is waiting for us in an orphanage in China makes our heart yearn for her. Is she being well cared for? Are her needs being met? Is she happy? We are so close. This wait, since we've found out who she is, has been immeasurably harder. Soon we shall be past this stage. Once we have her in our arms, this wait will mostly be forgotten. I joke that we have much to hold over her in the future. When she gets in trouble, I can see myself saying, “Do you know what we went through to get you???” Yet the time has been good to us. Her room is filled with all-things-baby from the wonderful shower. Her room is now partially furnished. It should be complete by the week end.

Hold tight baby girl. Mommy and Daddy are coming soon.

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