Sunday, November 10, 2013

Our Baby Girl

Many have inquired, "Do you know who she is yet?"

The answer is yes. We know who she is. Our love for her is growing already.

I can't say too much, because we haven't received confirmation from our agency (and China) that she's officially "ours," but inside our hearts, we do feel like she is meant to be ours.

I also sense that there's another book in the making here, but for right now, I'm just going to record the short version...

This time around, I have felt a strong calling to the "waiting children," those with moderate to severe special needs who have been designated as "special focus" in order to match them with families expeditiously.  This has been a much different experience than the referral process with our other three children, whom we trusted our agencies to match us with. This time, I felt strongly urged to seek her find our daughter, and then file the necessary paperwork to make it happen. So, over the summer, I began looking at files and searching to find our baby girl.

I remember the night I first saw her face. Her eyes called out to me instantly, and I immediately contacted the agency that held her file. It was not an agency that we'd worked with before, but that didn't bother me in the least. Since I've been part of the Waiting Child Advocacy Group on Facebook, I've learned a lot about the various reputable agencies and how they operate, the dedicated people who represent them, as well as the angels who advocate for the waiting children designated to these agencies. At that time, I also reached out to the remarkable woman who was advocating for this child who'd captured my heart. She has become a good friend and a true source of encouragement.

For two months, the kind-hearted and efficient agency contact worked with me. She tried and tried to get updates from the orphanage where our little one resides to no avail. Her file hadn't been updated since she was a baby, and we continued to receive only sparse details. Jimmy and I didn't feel comfortable moving forward without more information, yet I knew in my heart that I didn't want to lose her.

During that time, we moved ahead with our home study. I knew we had a couple of months in which our home study process would take place, so that gave us some time to try and get the information we needed.  But then, time flew by, and finally, our home study report was ready. The only thing missing was the name of an agency. Jimmy and I sat down one night and had a heart to heart about this child, and our agency. That's when my husband sincerely divulged that he would really feel more comfortable using thte same agency that brought us our two sons.  There was one big problem though. Our daughter's file was not with them.

Suffice it to say, a string of miraculous events took place, and the agency who held her file graciously released her to our agency for us. This compassionate woman, who could have scripted this story differently, truly acted on behalf of the child, and chose to help us. We are so grateful for her decision. But there's just so much that happened in between. So much that I'll have to save for another post...or a second book perhaps...

Jimmy and I have, honestly, both encountered temporary waves of fear, mostly about her health concerns, that kept us from initially saying yes to this child. And it bothered me. I mean, didn't I write a book about listening to God's promptings and leaping in faith? But then every time I've had a weak moment, the Holy Spirit has brought me something...some sign of HOPE, some confirmation that we should trust God and fear not. In a few cases, even a friend or family member has delivered a message of faith and hope. One of those inspirational messages came from a truly amazing mom named Andrea, who currently sits by her precious daughter's side, as she fights for her life in a hospital bed on life support. Andrea took a few moments to share a piece of her strength and grace with these words of wisdom...

"I think that it is perfectly normal to have fear, even when the child is meant to be yours. But courage is not the absence of fear, it is action in the face of it. Anything that might come up that you weren't expecting, well, you will rise up to meet that challenge and it will feel like a privilege to do it because you love her."

She is so right. And each day, as we've looked at our baby's precious face, we've realized that we do love her, and we simply can't afford to be afraid of the unknown. Or we might just miss the blessing of a lifetime.

So, in our obedience to God's calling, we submitted our Letter of Intent several days ago to bring her into our family, and we are now waiting for confirmation. It could take could take months.

So, are you dying to see who she is?  I know...and we're dying to tell you all about her.  But we can't share just yet.

Time will tell, and God willing, she'll be our daughter.  Please pray for our baby girl.

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