Our first adoption journey was all about hope…we hoped that God really had promised us a daughter…we hoped that our paperwork would all get done in a timely fashion…we hoped that the process really did work the way that they said it did…we hoped that we had not seriously just screwed up our lives. God really did help us walk a path of hope.
We knew our next sweet girl would be named Naomi Grace. And sure enough the path God set in front of us was full of grace… He gave grace for us to make the decision to adopt again…grace for us to see this precious little one and say “yes” even when we felt very little emotionally…grace to secure Naomi’s referral even though we missed the deadline…grace to have once again a baby girl waiting on us in China.
Yet something did not feel right. I know our walk with God is not based on feelings, but David and I had been ready for the hard…we had syked ourselves up for it. We were ready to take on giants and it just seemed as if God had given midgets. We were surprised and even a little disappointed…
So God added faith lessons to our journey. One day I was scrolling through Facebook and I came across a girl named “Jolie”.
This beautiful girl will age out of the system in China in November due to her age. I sent a message to the lady who had posted her picture and asked for more info, but never got a response. Although there was still a prick in my spirit, I let it go and went on with life, until one day, in the car, on the way home from Bible Study, the boys reminded me. “We want an older sister.” they said, “Why can’t you adopt an older sister from China?” Now I was completely taken aback because up to this point the boys had not exactly been on the “continuing adoption” train. I mean, they love Kate and all, but they wanted off at the next station. So for this to come out of their mouths, God was speaking. “How about a 13 year old?” I asked. “Yes! Yes! We want her to be older.” So much for my grand plans to not displace my birth order (don’t ever tell God you “wouldn’t ever” do something).
I went back to Facebook (you know, that horrible time waster that makes you look like a bad mom if you are ever on #rantover) and messaged a woman that I thought might know about this girl. Within 5 minutes she had found the woman who had spent over a year advocating for this girl and I had her whole file in my inbox. Talk about heartbreaking… “Jolie” has been in the system since she was 3 days old. She was found near the drain of a military barracks as an infant. A few months later she was placed into foster care where she sits 12 years later waiting on a family. “Jolie” has a problem with her left leg that is diagnosed as far as I can tell as severe hip dysplasia. She was born at a time when the “special needs” program was nearly non-existent because of the normal of healthy baby girls that needed families. By the time the “special needs” program was popular enough, “Jolie” was too old to receive a family quickly.
Within a few days, we were calling this girl Jessica Faith. I looked up the definition of Jessica and it means “God beholds” or “God sees”. God’s had His eye on this precious one since the beginning of time.
We didn’t lock her file immediately because we were still trying to reuse our dossier in China and normally they will only let you do that for one referral. Our agency’s team in China, however, thought they might make an exception since she is aging out. Our date for reuse came on May 7th and left us ready to make an important decision. Would we follow God in total faith…faith that we can manage 5 kids…faith that He will handle the transition of this older child…faith that He will provide the money to bring home both of our girls…faith that He can do the impossible in messed up people like us? Some of you are clucking your tongue and thinking “Why mess up a good thing? Stop while you’re ahead.” Some of you might be thinking “But that’s crazy…how will you handle two at once? How will you teach her? What if she has emotional issues? Have you totally lost your minds?” Some of you may be thinking, “You have no idea what you’re getting yourself into. Kate was easy. You can’t expect something that good the second time around.” You know what? I have had all those exact same thoughts… EXACT ones…then I stopped thinking and started praying. Jesus has our “yes”. And with that “yes” comes provision for anything and everything we will ever do in obedience to Him.
We asked God to open up the doors and to lead the way if this was His Will…and guess what, the doors stayed open. We took a chance, by not locking Jessica’s file right away, that someone else would lock it. The precious lady who spent time advocating and praying for Jessica messaged me one day and said that 3 families had inquired after the file and one was serious. She asked me if we were still intent on locking it and what she should tell these families. I told her that we had placed this girl in God’s Hands and whatever He wanted for Jessica is what we wanted too so she should give them whatever they needed to make their decision. I was surprisingly disappointed as I said it, not realizing how attached I had gotten…but His Will, not mine. The next day her name popped up on my Facebook screen and my heart pounded in my chest as I opened the message, expecting that it would be to inform me that the other family was taking her. I simply could not imagine anyone saying “no” to this file. But these people did…and they did because Jessica is our daughter. When she was born Nov. 2, 1999, almost exactly a year after David and I were married and almost a year before Jordan was born, God already knew she was ours…and somehow over time, He prepared us…and we believe He is preparing her.
I don’t have the answer to the questions…I just know that locking her file today was obedience to Christ and I cannot wait to see what He does with Jessica’s life. I am so entirely privileged to be her mom…to be the one who will grieve with her as she makes the transition away from everything she’s ever know… to be the one who will teach her a new language and new country… to be the one who will take her shopping and buy her new clothes… to be the one who will watch her graduate, maybe go to college, and maybe one day get married… to be the grandmother to her children… to be the one making up for lost time every day until my life or her life is over on this earth…and most of all to be the one to show her faith and introduce her to her Savior who has been watching intently all along.
Grace falls like rain on this house…and lately, faith moves mountains.