Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's just the beginning...

Her name is Elizabeth Hope and we will call her Elli. We haven't met her yet but we've already committed a whole lot of time, energy, money, and heart to her. It is true, you can love a little girl you haven't even met when God has placed a spot on your heart with her name on it.

 My Elli Hope
It's really a bit surreal. I am 49 years old in just under 1 month and I am adding another child to this crazy family. Granted we have a big spread. Four kids ages 21 - 9 but MY plan was to just ride out the rest of Kate's childhood and then who knows what big things God would put in my path. If I was really "lucky" He'd put really big things in OUR path. The idea of Michael and I serving somewhere together whether it be just in our local church or on the mission field together was a dream that I knew had potential but wondered if we would be mobile enough as we'd be REALLY OLD by the time Kate was on her own.

Isn't God funny? In case you don't know how to answer that, the answer is YES. Yes He is. He is very, very funny. Actually He is HILARIOUS. Did He not understand my plans? Actually, I think He understood my plans very well and he laughed at them. This had nothing to do with my plans at all.

He spent two years using our daughter Kate to warm us up to the idea of adoption. An idea that was not foreign to us but one that after all these years and all these kids just didn't seem to be a part of our vocabulary for our family. Oh we of little faith. Once the seed was planted there was nothing left but to watch it grow.

This is Kate.
She is nine.
She wants to be a big sister.
And grow it did. Taller and Taller and stronger and stronger and thicker and thicker until it burst through the clouds and could be contained no longer. OK, that was the Beanstalk that Jack planted but it was too good to pass up. Needless-to-say, we were hooked and before too long, as 2011 ended we had and agency and decided that we all - children included - wanted to adopt from China.
Our file was twice this size
before today.

So here we are, February 2nd, 2012, just about finished with all the initial paperwork necessary to get our dossier put together and shipped out to China. I wish that it was as easy as Fed Exing everything to the proper agencies and then mailing it off to the other side of the world but it's not. We are beholden to people all over the country in government offices in many states to run background checks, and write reviews and send it all back in a timely fashion to the right person so she can put it all together for the Chinese authorities. They aren't adopting. Most of them have never even considered it. They have no idea that every day that goes by turns into a week and that turns into delay and delay can mean a myriad of things in terms of international adoptions.

But God's got it. Really He does. It was His from the beginning and just like our 4 children here with us He's got Elli too. Wherever she is He knows her name. He knows her Chinese name and he knows her face and he knows her precious little heart. It's our job to wait on Him, however fast or slow that wait is. To trust Him with our whole hearts knowing full well that at just the right time - His time - He will introduce her to us and we can then begin the plans to travel across the world to pick up our little China princess.

Just as HE adopted us forever,
We too will be Elli's FOREVER family.
My Elli's Hope is also our hope - that sooner than we can imagine she will be looking into the eyes of her forever family. That sooner than she ever dreamed someone in her orphanage will come to her and tell her that a family in America loves her and wants her to be their daughter. What a day that will be - My Elli Hope. I love you already. You have stolen my heart and my arms are open and waiting to hold you.

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