Tuesday, August 11, 2015

You are loved by the King, Sister

Tonight I went to the hospital to see two newborn babies. Two of our most precious friends delivered baby girls on the same day. Same hospital. Same doctor. Life is fun! 

I headed to the hospital after our kids were in bed and their Daddy was home from his evening appointments.

At the hospital, I snuggled one baby blessing and then headed to another room to snuggle the other one. They were beautiful!

It was pretty late when I left. I don't know about your town but in our town the hospital is not in the best area. I always feel a little weird leaving there late at night. The parking garage seems a little creepy when it is so late.

I got to my car without incident and headed towards the highway. As I entered the on ramp I noticed a vehicle was partially blocking the road. It looked like maybe I could fit beside them and be on my way. As I attempted to pass them, I looked in the drivers window to see what was going on. A woman was in the drivers seat, her eyes said it all. She needed help.

I stopped and rolled down my window.

"Do you need help?" I asked (Honestly, I was hoping she wouldn't need my help. It was late. I was tired. I needed to get home.)

"Yes." she said. "Do you have a gas can? Or some money?"

"I don't have a gas can. Let me see if I have some cash." I said.

I dug around in my purse and found NO CASH.

Stinkin'.

"I don't have any cash on me but I could go and get you some gas." I said.

She said, "I'll send my little brother with you." 

I could tell she didn't really want to send her little brother with me. After all, I am a stranger. Truthfully, I didn't feel good about taking a stranger into my car at that moment, in the dark, either.

We were blocking the road and vehicles were beginning to pull up behind us. 

"I'll go get the gas." I said. "I'll be right back."

I headed straight to the gas station. The man behind the counter gave me a gas can that only held 1 gallon. I filled it up but felt unsettled. This will not get her very far. What will she do next? I felt a strong urge to get her some cash. I went to the ATM and pulled some money out.

What will I say to her, Lord?

What do you want me to say?

"YOU ARE LOVED BY THE KING" was my answer.

I headed back toward her car.

At this point, I noticed a very young woman (not the driver) walking with a baby on her hip towards the gas station (she wasn't far from the vehicle just yet). Maybe they had given up on me. After all, they had no idea if I would be true to my word.

I told her that I had the gas. She looked relieved and headed back towards the car.

I pulled up behind their vehicle, put my hazards on and got out of the car. I handed her little brother the gas can and he went to work filling up the gas tank. I walked up to the drivers side window and handed her the money. I put my hand on her shoulder and said...

"You are loved by the King, Sister."

That is all that needed to be said.

He loves her.

I am honored that He let me tell her.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

China Baby

(Note: I wrote this blog post on May 22, 2015)

This started 10 years ago. 

2 years of infertility led to serious talks about adoption.

I got a packet of information from a Chinese adoption agency.

I fell in love with the idea of adopting a little girl from China.

There were two problems...

1. We were too young. (You have to be 30)
2. We didn't have enough money.

So...life moved on.

B was born.
Miscarried a baby.
W was born.
Q was adopted at birth.
Miscarried our twins.
Failed adoption with Baby C.
Miss Ruthie was born.
D was adopted at birth 
E was born.

I assumed we would never adopt from China. We had too many children. I assumed China would never be part of our story. "No" was the answer.

Then, China changed their requirements. Big families could adopt!  I took note of this but didn't say anything to anyone.  I just thought it was intriguing.

Next, EJ shares with me about a friend who was adopting a little baby girl with a Cleft Lip/Cleft Palate from China. I was happy for this family and their little girl but didn't think about it much after that.

April 13th, 2015...B wakes up and says, "Mom, I had a dream you and Dad told us you are going to China to adopt."

I thought it was sweet but kind of laughed it off.

After all, that just sounds too crazy...Right???

Shortly after B's dream, W shares his heart with us. "Mom, I just really want a baby sister. I just can't wait any longer...I am going to pray for a baby sister."

He started praying EVERY DAY for a baby sister. EVERY DAY.

Please keep in mind, at this point, I had TWO one year old boys. Do you know how busy one year old boys are????  Do you???

I was finally in a groove with my "twins."  No one needed bottles anymore. They were sleeping through the night. (most of the time)  Baby D was racing towards 2 years old and baby E was right behind him.

I went to my women's prayer meeting during this period of time and shared with them that I wondered what God was up to. Would we have more biological children? Would we adopt again? Is the baby season over for us?  Only God knows. I was at peace with not knowing but my prayer was that we would be obedient to what He wants for us.

Then it started for me.

That familiar feeling.

I felt it when Miss Ruthie was just a baby and I KNEW we had to update our home study and turn in a new photo book. I had no idea what God had planned but I knew we had to be obedient. Take one look at my precious D and his amazing birth family and you will have no doubt that God orchestrated every detail!

So...I had THAT feeling.

This time it was about China. Every where I turned it was China. China was on the cartoon my kids were watching. China was discussed at church several weeks in a row. China was the topic of discussion during a work dinner.  CHINA WAS EVERYWHERE.

I gave the Lord my list of reasons why this was a bad idea.

1. I have 6 children.
2. I don't want to do all that paper work.
3. I could get pregnant during the process.
4. I like..NO...I LOVE sleeping through the night.
5. I will be tied down again while I help this little one bond. Another season of the "baby cocoon."
6. I am busy with the details of our barn house build.
7. I don't want to do the hours of research it would require.
8. I don't want to leave our kiddos for two weeks while we go to China.
9. I don't want want people to think we are crazy.

Mother's day rolled around.

I was praying in the shower that morning. I was thinking about my role as the mother of my children. What a precious role I have been given. How I love this season! 

It dawned on me.

She needs a Mommy.

China baby needs me.

I quickly put the thought out of my mind.

If I really thought about it, I would have to admit that all my reasons are selfish. They are about me. Notice they all start with "I"?  

I noticed that too.

Stinkin'!

I started researching.

I talked to EJ.

We were both praying for clarity.

One day, in my quiet 15 passenger van with my 6 children, I started praying. "Lord, please make it clear."

"Restore." That's what I heard.

"Restore."

"Restore."

"Restore what Lord?  Restore her to a family? Restore her health?"

Wait, maybe He meant Re-Store like the Habitat for Humanity ReStore where we have purchased used items for the Barn House.

That's probably what he meant...right????

I know. That is not what he meant but a girl could try.

Ha Ha!

I shared this with EJ and gave him the information I had learned from my research. I felt confident about the agency I wanted to use. I was at peace. Whatever "Restore" meant, the Lord would reveal.

EJ had lunch with our pastor the next day. They were discussing some mission work being done in China. Our pastor had just returned from a trip there. He shared with EJ about a ministry to people with special needs. That's when EJ heard it..."RESTORE." He started to cry. When he collected himself he told our Pastor about all that was going on.

You see, the Chinese adoption program is now a special needs program. The children may have minor, correctable needs or they may have life long needs. 

They are abandoned.

They need to be restored.

To health.

To a family.

We have a big God and he is in the business of Restoration.

EJ and I are in.

May 21st, 2015...We completed our initial application.

That night, I went to my women's prayer meeting. I shared everything with them. I asked them to pray with us.

After we prayed that night, one of my precious friends said, "I keep thinking that the Lord wants to restore to you what you lost."  Then she read this verse...

    "And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, my great army which I sent among you."
     Joel 2:25

We have lost three babies to miscarriage. We have been gifted 2 babies via adoption. Could this be our third. His plan all along?

Maybe it's not just China Baby that needs to be restored?

One night during this decision making time, I said to EJ, "Do you remember 4 years ago, when a friend at church came up to us and shared that our number is 7?" 

"Yes!" He said. "I have thought about that a lot lately."

At the time we had 4 children. I assumed that the number 7 meant we would have 1 more child making our family a total of 7. Then we rocketed past 5 children to 6. Perhaps our number really is 7.
Stay Tuned...