Back in April I visited two orphanages in China where I had the opportunity to meet many children who are in need of families. I asked ahead of the trip to meet the children with thalassemia in particular, since as the mama of two with this medical need, I've seen first-hand the difference that care in the US does for these precious kiddos. Before leaving for China, I'd already seen the picture of our wingman and read his file. I really thought he was supposed to be ours but I also had been given the unique opportunity to go on an advocacy trip to China. I knew how important this trip was, but I also felt pulled to that sweet little guy. So I prayed about it and God gave me complete peace that I needed to go on the trip to China and trust that little wingman's future to him.
As we walked into the doors of that first orphanage, I expected to meet a few kids with thalassemia. Once we arrived I found out I would get to meet nearly all the kids with thalassemia that day. When we walked into the library where we'd be meeting kids, I walked in and saw the cutest little girl sitting quietly waiting for us. As soon as I saw her I looked over at the agency rep and asked him if she was one of "my" thal kids. He asked someone on the orphanage staff and she said yes. A few minutes later, Gongzhan and I were going through the list of children and giving them English names for advocacy. When we got to her, he told me to choose a name that started with an "L" and I told him "Lila"...
We spent some time coloring and I kept thinking what a great sister she would make for Laila. They were the same age with the same medical need. How cool would it be for them to grow up together and always have each other?? But then reality set in as quickly as the thoughts began... I already felt pretty sure I'd seen our next child. HJ needed a family. Chengbin had been praying for a brother. We were going for a boy. This girl couldn't be ours. We would be going for a boy and that was that. I started giving myself an internal pep talk about it. Then I heard more about this orphanage and how few children's files get prepared compared to how many children live there. The odds of any child getting their file prepared for adoption was slim. Even if the orphanage did prepare it, the odds of it getting to a specific agency for us to adopt her were also slim to none. Knowing this helped me push any thoughts of bringing home this little girl far away. I pushed it completely out of my head. No worrying, no wondering, nothing. The facts didn't lie, this girl was not a part of our plans. The truth is I met so many amazing kids on the trip. All of them need families, all of them deserve more. When we got home, I actually took nearly a month trying to get my thoughts back together after everything I'd seen and experienced in China. That trip broke my heart into a thousand pieces and I grieved that I couldn't bring home a few of the special ones that I'd met there. I'd met a special little guy in the next orphanage that I knew we would be able to bring home...
Once I got home, we did decide to begin an adoption and we did decide that we would be bringing home that sweet boy I'd felt was ours even before this trip. Unexpectedly, even to me though, was that I felt like he wasn't all... I felt like God was saying two... And I just kind of assumed that two would be the sweet little boy I'd met in the second orphanage during that trip. The little one who had a prepared file. I continued to advocate for that little guy and it began getting harder and harder to advocate because I wanted him to be ours. One day another family asked about him and I didn't even want to respond. I stopped what I was doing and prayed. I prayed for God to help me push my thoughts and feelings out of this. I asked him to help me to trust in him and his plans. I asked him to take away my own thoughts and desires and replace them with his, because what I wanted most was to trust in him, his timing, and his plans rather than trying to force mine.
That night, he answered me. It was loud and it was clear and it was shocking.
That night, my agency sent me Lila's file. Her file had been prepared, it had gone onto the shared list, and of all the agencies in the world that could have pulled that file, my agency had pulled it. And they had sent it directly to me. I opened the file and looked at her picture.
"No way I just got her file" I kept saying to myself. "No way you just sent me HER file God!!" "Are you serious God??!! HER photo? HER file?? Did you seriously just do this????" All my thoughts of the plans I had wanted to pursue were gone. Peace flooded me. God was not just answering my prayer a little bit, but he was filling me with faith. He was in charge, not me. He can make anything happen. Why was I considering forcing my will when he could so clearly do anything and might have so much bigger and better plans than me??!!! I pulled up my facebook and responded to the family who'd inquired about that sweet little boy earlier in the day. "God's got this," I kept telling myself. Then I pulled her file up again and read her story and my heart broken into a billion pieces. This was our daughter. This was what God meant by two. This was the reason he had sent me to China; so that when our daughter's file was sent to us, I would know she was ours..
To Be Continued... ;)