This blog is a chance for us to tell our story and shine the light on the God who wrote it.

It is also a place for me to bring into the spotlight the millions of orphans around the world who are waiting for the Body of Christ to fulfill God's command to "care for orphans and widows in their distress" (James 1:27)

Soli deo Gloria... (All Glory to God Alone).

3.02.2014

The Night Before I Meet My Oldest Child

It’s 2 am (a la jet lag) here in China- March 2nd, 2014.
In just twelve hours we will meet our fifth child.  Our oldest.
Scott and I were married August 14th, 1999.  She was born just seven months later and we didn’t even know it.  Didn’t even know there was a little girl growing up on the other side of the world that would one day be our daughter.
Tomorrow I will have an almost-fourteen year old daughter.  Who speaks Chinese only.  And has Down Syndrome.
I’ve never parented a teenager.  All I can say in Chinese is “Thank you”, “Hello”, “Sister”, and “I love you”.  And I’ve much to learn about Down Syndrome.
There is so much I don’t know.   I don’t know how she is feeling or how hard this transition may be for her.  I don’t know what makes her happy, what scares her, or what comforts her.  I don’t know what she likes to eat or how to make her laugh.  I don’t know any of the things I often think I need to know to parent and love my children well.
There is so much I don’t know.  So.very.much.   And this could paralyze me with fear.

But.  But this I do know.
I know the God who created my daughter.  Knit her together in her mother’s womb. 
It is, after all, the same God who created my other four children.  The ones I know so well.  Yeah, I know what makes them laugh and what they like to eat and what scares them.  I know them so well.  Except not really.  Except how many times have I been on my knees in tears before the Lord acknowledging that This is beyond me!  I do not know this child.  I do not know why he acts this way or why she seems so angry or sad lately.  Nothing I’ve tried to speak to his heart seems to be getting through.  And I just.don’t.know. how to comfort this baby so she will sleep or convince this child not to be so hard on himself.
Maybe there’s a lot I don’t know.
And maybe it’s supposed to be that way.  Maybe it puts me in the perfect place for God to parent through me?  Is there any greater role in life where a woman ought to just cry out- Oh, that I might decrease… that He may increase?

So here is what I know.  All I really know.
I know God.   I mean I don’t just know Him from a distance- like I know He’s there and it will all be okay.  I know Him intimately.  His spirit lives in me and guides and instructs me in ways I could never articulate.  Ways I don’t even see.
And the Truth is that I know what I need to know to love because I know Him and He is Love.  His Love lives in me.  And I cannot even believe I am writing that. He lives in me.  His love lives in me.  What a crazy, presumptuous thing to say!  Unless it is true.  And then there’s nothing to say.  You just bow your knees in wonder because you know it’s all gift and it doesn’t have a dadgum thing to do with you.  It’s all grace.  So.much.grace.  And how does it ever cease to bring me wonder?  How am I not always walking around in wonder?  God is not just near to me.  He is in me. 
I could have read a hundred books about Down Syndrome and garnered counsel from fifty adoptive parents with older children.  And those are all good things.  I have done and will continue to do some of these things and God will often use them to instruct my heart.
But when it comes down to it tomorrow…  when I bend down and look at my daughter for the first time, I’m not banking on what I’ve learned from books or the eleven years of parenting I’ve got behind me or the two adoptions we’ve done before.   I’m whispering a desperate prayer (because it’s okay for me to be desperate)… a hope-filled declaration of belief (because he who asks for wisdom must believe and not doubt)… and I’m letting go.  Letting Him love her, speak to her, parent her
Look, we’ve done this adoption thing before.  It’s still beyond me.  So far beyond me.  The pain, the loss, the brokenness … the redemption, the hope, the creating of a new family. 
So far beyond me that it has to be… God.  All Him.
And I’m just here … just standing on this Holy Ground.

4 comments:

  1. Love this! How very humbling and what a great perspective! And you are right-one we can use with the children we have now!!

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    1. So grateful for you, Whitney. For your constant encouragement and the role you played in bringing sweet Eden home !

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  2. Your heart is a beautiful reflection of His! I just came across a link to your blog earlier (as our newly adopted 16 month old naps) and realize that it was Daphne (now your precious Eden)!!!! We were in GZ for 15 days and just flew out last Friday night. I'm not sure of the morning but I remember taking a double look over my shoulder while at breakfast and thinking "goodness, that girl sure does look a lot like Daphne". Our family has been praying for "Daphne" for so long and it is such a great JOY to know that the Lord has placed her with you. And, now, my boys will be thrilled to get to follow Eden along through this medium! We are praying. He is moving. So. SO.much!

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    1. Wish we could've met you in GZ Rebecca! It i so encouraging to know you and your family were praying for Eden (Daphne). We are finding that this sweet girl had prayer warriors all over the U.S.! I hope one day God may allow us to share more openly all the mountains He moved and miracles He performed to bring this precious child into our family. All glory to Him! Congrats on your new little one and blessings to your whole family :-). Haley

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