Monday, April 26, 2010

Backing Up

I have been reading adoption blogs this afternoon and I have come to the conclusion that maybe some of you do not know the story behind God leading us to adopt from China. So if your interested here you go.

I have always had a heart for children. From the time I was little I loved being around kids and taking care of them. I use to help my Mom babysit. It seemed natural to me to love on other people's children. I was young when I got married and we started having kids. I never had an issue with taking care of them and was never burdened by the lack of sleep that is associated with little ones. I loved every minute of being a Mom to three toddlers. Now they are all teens and I still would not trade one minute of their lives.

There have been difficulties at times. When Tommy was born with Hirschsprungs disease and had to have multiple surgeries, somehow I stayed calm. God really just took care of us during all of that. I know that now looking back He was the one who walked with us daily. There is no earthly way I could have comprehended all that the disease entailed and still managed to take care of our other toddlers. God did that. He does it still! I do believe that each obstacle that my children face we face together. He has prepared me to handle pretty much anything when it comes to them. So while two were in elementary school and one in middle school God decided to surprise me to see just how much I could handle.

We had some friends that were adopting from China, two friends to be exact and they were able to walk through their journey together. I had heard of some other church members adopting and I thought it was very sweet that they were giving a child a family. I didn't think to much on it but when are friends that were adopting from China were in the waiting process, (Those of you who have adopted from China know what I mean. They were waiting for final permission to go get their girls.) I began to feel this burden to pray for them. I mean on my knees and pray for one of the two she was struggling with the waiting and was just on a roller coaster of emotions. In the midst of all this God began to speak to my heart.

He was gentle at first. A nudge here a reminder there. Then all of a sudden I was so aware of the plight of these little girls from China that I could not get it out of my head. In case you do not know China has a one child policy in their government. It started in the late 70's to limit the population growth. It was deemed to be a temporary thing but has continued and will continue through the next decade at least. Fines, pressures to abort a pregnancy, and even forced sterilization accompanied second or subsequent pregnancies.It is not an all-encompassing rule because it has always been restricted to ethnic Han Chinese living in urban areas. Citizens living in rural areas and minorities living in China are not subject to the law. However, the rule has been estimated to have reduced population growth in the country of 1.3 billion by as much as 300 million people over its first twenty years.This rule has caused a disdain for female infants; abortion, neglect, abandonment, and even infanticide have been known to occur to female infants. ( Girls are discarded because boys are the ones throughout their society and history that take care of the families as they grow old. Girls will help their husbands take care of their husbands families. So little girls have been left anywhere you can think of, never in the same province that they're born in for fear of the law  in hopes of being found and being able to live and have someone take care of them. You see in China it is also illegal to abandon your baby as well. So their orphanges are full of little girls all ages needing homes to live in. The more God nudged the louder their voices were heard in my heart.

I am a reasonable person but at first I wanted no part of this. We could not afford it, we had three children of our own, we were about to go through the costly high school years. All arguments I set at with God and He just remained quiet. Signs were everywhere, I could not deny He was leading us to this. So again I thought I would negotiate with Him. Looking back not a good idea. This is the God of the universe, you know He will always win. I read the book I know how it goes :) yet my humanness had something that needed clarifying. International adoption is expensive. There are children here in America that need homes. Lord could we try and adopt one of those sweet ones? So after this negotiating He finally got a little, how would I say this, um, upset, no more like FIRM! Now I do not know if you have ever had God speak to you in prayer or dreams or through His word. That is normally how he speaks, scripture says "My sheep hear my voice and they know me." Well apparently He was done reasoning with me.

I was at work one day, at the time I worked for a contract company for immigration. Some of His reminders came across my desk daily of these sweet little chinese faces. You have to understand some of His reminders were Steven Curtis Chapmans adoption stories. His songs plus other stories as well. I remember well the day I heard that they came back from China with Maria Sue. On this particular day I was listening to my headphones along with everyone else in my area. It was dead quiet. Focus on the Family was on and Dr. Dobson had some guests on talking about adoption and then SCC came on and sort of bookended the program. During all this was when I was "negotiating" with God. At the end of the program, I said "Why not God" why not the little ones right here, its so much cheaper." And I am not kidding, I have never heard this before and have not heard it since, but there was this voice, and audible voice, loud and clear, that said, "I didn't say domestic, I said China!" I literally took off my headphones and looked around actually looking for someone. It sounded as though they were right behind me. There was no one there, everything was still quiet. I just sat back in my chair and went, WOW! That was God!! Totally blew me away. I have held on to that so many times. He knew I would need it.

So I went home and told my husband and he just sorta looked at me like what? Are you serious? Adoption?? Just sat real quiet and still. I asked him to just pray about it and see what he thought. So over the next few days I began to pray, Lord this is not something I can do on my own. If You want this then Your gonna have to put it on his heart too. A few days later I came home from work and he sat me down and looked right into my eyes and said as serious as the day he asked me to marry him, "I think we are suppose to adopt from China." So the waiting on God began.

Throughout the past six years we have done things to learn more about international adoption. We've went to seminars and gotten tons of information and God has just been very gracious to us. There are times I have tried to move forward without waiting on Him and it never goes well. We've lost money that way and we've been discouraged. It taught us a lesson though. Waiting on Him is best, trying to do it on our own, heartbreaking. I know He has taught me so many things through the waiting and I know He has more to teach me once we really begin.

I have collected things for our China girl throughout the years. Its sort of a 'faith" thing. I buy these little things stepping out in faith knowing He has promised us this and that He never goes against His word or His promises. Two things I have learned about through this, and the chinese culture, that are positive that bring me encouragement, 1)There is an ancient Chinese belief that an invisible, unbreakable red thread connects all those who are destined to be together,regardless of time or circumstance. it may stretch or tangle but it will never break. We are connected to her. 2) Is the ladybug I first started liking ladybugs when I read a bit of Mary Beth Chapmans Shaoey and Dot, it is a view of one little ladybug, Dot, who happens upon a mysterious bundle in China one sunny day. Dot stays with the little bundle as she is carried to the place "where babies come to be found" and promises to stay with the little one throughout her journeys toward getting a family. They are also said to be of good luck when it comes to Chinese adoptions. I myself do not believe in luck, so I asked God to show me one when I get discouraged and when I feel like we are "stuck" Its like getting loved on by The Father. He has been wonderful to oblige my silliness.

Lately I feel as though we have begun to move forward, small steps but important ones. My husband is still hesitant because he does not want our hearts broken again. But God has been very affirming in what we are doing lately. All I need is baby steps to get to my girl. One step one nudge and one ladybug at a time. Please join us on our journey to get our own sweet little ladybug that God has promised us, "Not domestic, China!!" Thanks for reading today. Tell me what you think of our awesome God and His promise to us.

Blessings and Ladybugs!