Tuesday, January 1, 2008

His Perfect Timing

Wishing you all a Happy New Year!!!

Things are happening very fast now!! We may be leaving on January 9th to bring Hope home. Wow. We should know later this week a definite date, but our Travel Approval from China came yesterday and we received a call from our agency to see if we would be still be interested in traveling that soon. The 9th and the 16th are the most likely departure dates for us. Please pray for us and especially for Hope that when her little world is turned upside down and the only life she has ever known is changed forever that she will be covered with God's peace and comfort as we bring her home to her forever family.

When we first started this site to document our journey to our precious little girl, Ronnie wrote a post titled "The Journey of a Lifetime." Now that we are just about to leave on that journey I thought I would share the same story with you again. It is quite lengthy and I am not that great a writer but the words are from my heart.

In the spring of 2004 the Lewis Family who were at the time working in China as teachers visited Harvest Time and shared with our church much about their experiences in that country.

Mrs Lewis worked in an orphanage in China and she presented a slide show and commentary about China's one child policy and it's effect on the children of China especially the little girls born to families there. We had also heard previously from our daughter Bethany about these little girls when she attended a presentation while in high school that touched her heart and she still to this day says she feels such compassion and love for them. (hmmmmm)

In reality China's one child policy, the age old preference for having a son to carry on the family name and also because traditionally in the Chinese culture sons care for parents in their old age has created an environment where little girls born there are not wanted. A lot of baby girls in China are abandoned. Of course there are many different reasons for this besides the before mentioned preference for sons. China has a huge population to feed and oftentimes families just do not have enough resources to support more than one child even if they were allowed to have more.

Little girls in China are not valued and while over the past few years they are working to change that, it is still a reality. When Mrs Lewis showed a picture of a very long row of baby girls in little seats as she explained more about the plight of children in China she mentioned that China had opened it's doors to international adoption several years ago and many of these little girls and some boys were finding their way into the homes and the hearts of American families, many many of those homes were Christian homes.

When you think of it...we are the adopted sons and daughters of our Lord. He made a way for us to be a part of His family. Mrs Lewis closed by mentioning that if you had a place in your family for one of these little abandoned children to consider International Adoption from China, that if you had room in your heart and your home what a blessing this could be for your family. We knew at that moment that we had room in our home and especially in our hearts.

Now, when you look at our family from the natural point of view you see a couple who has raised three beautiful daughters who they are very proud of and who are married to good men and have in turn blessed our family with five precious grandchildren. Time to sit back and put our feet up, enjoy our blessings, and relax...not exactly!! When God tugs at your heart and places a desire there He eventually makes His plan for you very clear. He did just that with us. We never would have imagined that He would give us the desire to raise another daughter for Him.

At the time we were in our early fifties and ready to slow down just a bit, but God had other plans for us. I looked at Ronnie and said "we have room." He knew as did I at that moment that if there were any way to make it happen we would bring one of those little girls into our home. It was just that simple. God very often manifests His will in the lives of His children just like that. You may not see the end result or how in the world it will ever happen but you know very simply in your heart that He has placed a desire there that cannot be filled by anything other than His perfect plan.

It would be great to say that we simply did what He asked us to but it was just a bit more complicated than that! First of all after the service I visited with Mrs Lewis and learned a little more about the process, and the costs involved. It was staggering. Undaunted we went home and that very day went to the computer and searched out the website of one of the adoption agencies she mentioned. Right away we saw that just maybe we were too old ... Dissapointed but still with a feeling in our hearts that for some reason God had touched us with a great compassion for these children, I decided that He had called me to pray specifically for these little girls and boys.

At Christmas time that same year 2004 we talked with my cousin who lives nearby and told them how we had been so touched by Mrs Lewis's message that day about the little girls in China, funny how God works...recently Carla who is a court reporter had worked in the courtroom when a couple who had adopted a little girl from China went before the judge to get a Texas issued birth certificate for their daughter...and she was also touched. The Lord had also been working on Ben. They had two children and really wanted more.

About three and a half months later our phone rang one night and Ronnie answered it. I heard him talking and saw him smiling and saying things like " that is wonderful" and "it will be a girl" and "is that right?" Of course my thoughts were "someone we know is having a baby...who? " When Ronnie got off the phone he simply said "that was Ben and he and Carla are adopting a baby girl from China!" For about five seconds my heart was so full I thought thank you Jesus for bringing another little child from there into a Christian Home when Ronnie completed the sentence with, "Oh yeah, Ben also said that the agency they are using said that they will allow you to apply for adoption from China through the age of fifty-five!" Bombshell.........right when I thought that I finally knew why God had given me such a burden for these little girls...He surprised me again.

I had been praying for the little girls in China and I must admit that I was a little bit relieved as the months went on that my comfortable empty nest was still an empty nest. My heart once again soared. It was like that comfortable feeling flew right out the window and was replaced with excitement and expectation of what was ahead. I also knew at that moment that I was just one half of this marriage and that I could not presume to know how Ronnie felt. We talked for a while about how excited we were for Ben and Carla and then barely touched on the other facts that had been revealed to us that night. I went to bed knowing in my heart that I could not say anything at all to try to convince Ronnie that we needed to seriously consider this step for our family because if God was truly speaking to me (and I felt certain that He was) He would speak also to him.

The next night after supper I was in the living room and Ronnie was in the kitchen when I heard him say..."Hey Becky, come in here I have this adoption agency that Ben and Carla are using pulled up on the computer...I want you to look at it with me!" Praise God. When two become one God never speaks to one of you without confirming that through the other.

We applied a few days later, were approved on May 11, 2005 and then the extensive paperwork, costs, and wait began. At the time we applied the total wait from application to having your child home with you was about one year, which seemed a lifetime then. Because of a series of cirstumstances that are complicated to explain and also still not completely clear the wait began to increase for those who wanted to adopt children from China. We waited, studied and learned what we could about what was going on. Our wonderful agency kept us informed and answered all our questions as best they could, but it was not in their power to change anything. Finally after two and a half years of waiting we were matched by the China Center Of Adoption Affairs with a precious little girl who was abandoned when she was two days old one week and a half before Christmas 2004. So when we were talking with Ben and Carla at Christmas 2004 this little tiny baby girl was being cared for by an orphanage in Anhui Province, in the Peoples Republic of China and our God wanted her to be our daughter.

We may be leaving as soon as January 9, 2008 to bring little Huai Dong Tan home to be with her forever family. We will name her Hope Marie and are so very thankful that God has trusted us again with one of His precious children. You never know when you get up on Sunday and head for church how God might decide to change your life forever... in just a moment ....in the twinkling of an eye...give you the desires of your heart... desires that you did not even know you had.



Shawnstribe said...

Becky we will be following your journey : )
im so pleased that you will be going soon
dont over pack so you can bring lots home ; )
shawnstribe RQ

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing Hope.