Saturday, September 10, 2005

Back to the Basics

It never ceases to amaze me that God is such an awesome provider. This whole experience of adoption has reminded me of this over and over again.

First, there is Angie, an adoptive mom to two girls from China whom I just "happened" to meet at the library (in another town) but who lives in the same (small) town as me. (And I could walk to her house in 5 minutes!) When we met, she was waiting for the referral for her second daughter. She has provided information over and over again. She has been the person I called up on the phone and read our referral to - all the "boring" stuff that no one else wants to hear - she listened. After hearing it, she said she needed to come over and see the pictures... and that she was coming over NOW! She arrived with a gift and proceded to ooh and aah over Bao's pictures. Now she is offering those last minute items, like a thermos and an electrical converter, that we didn't want to buy for our trip. She is a blessing to me.

Second, there is Diane. I mentioned Diane a few times recently. But let me just tell you how nice it is to talk/e-mail with someone who is EXCITED to HELP. Do I want information about sites in Kunming? Do I want some language lessons before I leave? Do I want a letter to the orphanage director translated? Do I want a description of Kunming for Bethany's scrapbook? Do I want the name of a good travel agent in Hong Kong? Diane has offered all of these things.

Third, the ladies at church. Anyone who goes through any major life event without the support of "the ladies at church" is missing out. What do you need? They'll get it done. They got us all the silly stuff that our agency said we needed to bring - ointment for a yeast diaper rash, ointment for a bacterial diaper rash, little dixie cups, ziploc bags, and, as all good church ladies do - CLOTHES! Stuff that their kids have outgrown. Stuff that they picked up at the department store. And they are so anxious to meet Bao. Not a trip to church goes by without someone asking "when will you be able to bring her home." Soon, ladies, soon.

Fourth, the Church ladies. Now, by this I mean fellow believers (members of God's Church) who don't go to MY church. The Church ladies are blowing my mind. Ami is one of them. I met her through MOPS, and we have become good friends. She has offered to take the kids for a few days while we are in China. (We won't need that, but the fact that she offered is a big deal, to me.) At the last evening of scrapbooking at Ami's house, I got re-acquainted with Kristy, whom I'd met ONCE before. ONCE. That evening, Kristy took me aside and told me how much she had been praying for us and for our daughter. She told me how she had a GIFT for us, and that she wanted to do whatever she could to help with what we needed. She asked questions, and she let me answer them FULLY. Then she'd ask more questions. She was genuinely interested in what we were experiencing, and she was committed to supporting us EVEN THOUGH WE ARE STRANGERS! (I hear you, fellow Christians, we are not strangers in the Body of Christ... but...) This is how God has chosen to bless me. He sends a stranger to me and gives her a heart for what we are experiencing. My heart is forever endeared to Kristy, and to the God who sent her my way. (And all the scrapbooking ladies - who, save Ami, I have not hung out with more than 4 or 5 times - have decided to have a shower for me during our next scrapbooking time. I am so amazed by their outpouring of love towards a family they hardly know!)

Fifth - people who are going through the same thing. Four of the ladies that I lived with in college have already or are in the process of adopting. (Just for perspective, I lived with 9 girls at different times during college. Of the seven I am still in touch with, five are in the "having kids" stage of life... and four of them are doing at least part of that by adopting.) My spiritual mentor while in college - planning on adopting. The coolest part is that my closest friend is along for the ride with me. When I told Helen that we were going to adopt she said, "No way." She was stunned - because she and Jeff were planning the same thing. We'd both been praying about it with our husbands, but hadn't told anyone else. She's waiting for her appointment to go to Ukraine. I call her and tell her every development on our end. And she's always so excited for me. Such a blessing.

Sixth - folks. I can't tell you how many e-mails I have received in which people have just encouraged and supported me. And so many people have prayed. Sometimes when I get overwhelmed, I stop praying. But someone has always been praying for us even when I'm not. I think some people have prayed for this adoption more than I have.

I don't know how God orchestrated all of this. I don't know why he even chose to - other than the fact that he loves me and he knows how to bless me in just the right ways. I think of what I would be like right now if all these people had not been involved. I would be a nervous wreck. But I'm not. I just get to sit around here at home watching my other two kids and thinking how fantastic it is going to be when Bao is able to join us. There isn't enough room in my heart to hold all that love. I feel like I am about to explode.

Thank you God. I am overflowing. I am simply too blessed to keep it all in.

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