On April 15th, 2013, exactly one-year from the day that we carried Moses and Miriam out of their orphanage in Ethiopia, we found ourselves staring into the strangely-familiar eyes of a little girl in China with dwarfism and special needs.
Panic swirled in my chest and fear filled my heart, because this was not part of our plan, nor did we feel equipped. Then one word came so clear and yet so soft, like a whisper, and everything went still:
I was newly pregnant, and we were beyond ecstatic. A few weeks later, that baby skipped ahead in the line that I am still waiting in and was delivered into the arms of Jesus. I praise Him for His plan and His purpose for that baby...Hallelujah.
Because nothing is lost in Him.
We felt His presence as we assumed our new role as parents to four children; which now including two tiny Ethiopians who moved into our family carrying big, painful baggage.
God guided our hearts as we helped them to unpack it, one screaming fit at a time. A picture of Heaven descended upon this house as He showed me what Redemption looks like through the eyes of our broken daughter and our beautiful son, healed by His own Hand. I saw miracles.
Throughout the year that followed, Chinese adoption impressed itself on my heart, and I began to fight against it. No Way. For many years, we had "known" that we were "not qualified" to adopt from China, and besides, we had never "felt called" to do so. I frequently told people this.
"We will never adopt from China."
Fast forward to April 7th of this year.
I found myself at a friend's 5K for Love Without Boundaries benefiting a Chinese orphanage, surrounded by Chinese daughters with their adoptive families, and God tapped on my heart.
"I don't think we should ever adopt from China, do you? Let's not. Great. Glad that's settled." (I didn't give him time to respond, so I was talking to myself.)
One week later, with one click of my mouse while helping a prospective adoptive parent look into the ethical standing of an agency operating in Ethiopia, I found myself staring at this picture of my daughter; our Haven.
I put down all the fight that was left in me. I knew her, and I had loved her my whole life without knowing it. Paul and I had to laugh at the situation, because we had never considered dwarfism or any of her other needs when we had prayed about a waiting child adoption. We had considered many special needs, but hers were not among ANY of them! And here we were, already her parents in our hearts.
So you can imagine our surprise when we heard back from the agency:
"Haven is on hold with another family."
And then, just days later,
"The family who has her on hold is moving forward with their paperwork for her."
Then, the agency presented us with the idea of adopting another waiting child in place of Haven, and as we looked at the waiting child list again, we were certain of one thing:
...She is yours...Wait for Me....
And I did not doubt Him.
And two weeks later, because He sits on His throne:
"Dear Missy, Haven has become available again..."
We said yes in 10 seconds, despite the fact that it did not appear we would qualify. We asked the agency to try to obtain waivers for the unmet qualifications, because at this point we knew without any doubts that He was clearing the path for her.
One of the qualifications we did not meet was financial. It pained me to think of asking for a financial waiver. While we were scrambling for documents to obtain approval and brainstorming the financial solution, our tax return from the last adoption was deposited into our bank account from the IRS unexpectedly and unannounced, in almost the exact amount needed to meet the financial requirement, two hours after we said YES.
that normally takes 5 days, China approved our Letter of Intent,
This child is coming home.
He has brought me to my safe place, resting in His peace that passes understanding, so we have named her accordingly from this verse:
And because He has become our Refuge,