Monday, April 11, 2011

Our Journey to Mei Li "The call" . . . Part 1 . . . a recap of our story

As we are approaching our 4 year mark since the beginning of our adoption journey, I think it appropriate to recap a little. Our story may be fuzzy to those who have followed over the past years. And, for our new friends. . . you may be downright confused about why our URL is "calledtotaiwan". So. . . Part 1 of our journey to Mei Li. . . in a nutshell. ;) The other parts will follow soon.

In the fall of 2007, Geoff and I were at a place in our lives where we were seeking God's guidance and direction strongly. We felt a pulling and restlessness. . . like there was something we were supposed to be doing. Yet, we didn't know what that was. We felt like we were "spinning our wheels". . . so to speak. We weren't miserable. . . we just had this restless, anxious longing to discover what it was that we were "not doing" that we were supposed to be doing.

So, we prayed this prayer. "Lord, you put us here on this earth for a reason. You gave us the gifts, the experiences, the passions that we have for a reason. You know how it all works together "for the good". You know how every part of who we are, without wasting a single experience, personality trait, or gift. . . works together to serve the purpose you placed us here for.
And. . . we are available. Use us and all that you've given us. . . to your honor and glory. Amen. "

Almost immediately. . . I KID YOU NOT. . . we began running into people (some strangers, some acquaintances, some friends. . . ) who began suggesting that we should consider adoption. In a period of about 2 weeks, we had about 8 different encounters. Adoption was not even on Geoff's and my radar up to this point. But, at the end of that 2 weeks, it was as if it were being shouted from the heavens. Honestly, I got a little irritated, at first, with folks "out of the blue" suggesting that we should adopt. Who were they? And, what did they know about us and what was best for our family?

LONG STORY SHORT, the two-week "peppering" culminated in a birthday party held in Gadsden of one of our daughter's friends. We went to it, and lo and behold, there were 3 internationally adopted children there. Two from Russia. . . one from China. Two of them, only home for less than 2 weeks. I remember nothing else from that birthday party of great significance. . . except that these children were absolutely beautiful. I realized that they had been (not two weeks before) sitting in an orphanage on the other side of the planet. . . a huge ocean and continent away. . . all alone with no family, no hope and no future. And, today. . . two weeks later. . . they are in a loving family, thousands of miles separating them from the orphanage that once held them and provided them with enough resources to survive--but no love and nurture to enable them to thrive. They now, have a hope and a future. I could not take my eyes off of them. And, that was the moment God popped me right between the eyes and opened my heart to His call to care for the orphan. And, His call on our family. . . to complete our family through this amazing thing called "adoption".

Geoff and I talked and prayed about it. It was on a Wednesday night at 10 p.m. that we prayed and asked God "to confirm" that He was, indeed, calling our family to step out in faith and adopt a child. And. . . if He was calling us to adopt. . . to please direct us to where we were supposed to go? There are orphans all over the world. . . over 200 million of them. . . in our own country and across the globe. We needed to know where "He" had a child chosen for our family.

THE NEXT MORNING, our answer came. I went for a walk with my friend, Amy, and took Anna Grace (who was 4 yrs. old at the time). After our walk, I took AG to the park for a few minutes to play. We were the only people at the park. Not 5 minutes into our playtime, a van pulls up and a family gets out. A beautiful girl, a couple of years older than my daughter (and resembling our daughter in a striking way), steps out of the van holding the hand of her two year old sister from China. . . My heart nearly exploded! I asked the girl, who looked like an older version of my daughter, if this was her sister? And, she smiled and answered, "Yes. We adopted her from China 8 weeks ago."

WOW! He spoke quickly and answered all of our questions in one powerful moment. The mother got out with their other children a few moments later, and shared with me that their little girl from China had special needs. She was adopted from a "blind" orphanage. But, when they brought her home. . . fully expecting to bring home a blind child. . . they took her in for vision testing and she was NOT blind. I watched her run all over that playground and climb and slide. . . Truly miraculous!

And, as if God were saying to us , "And, just in case you didn't get the message the first time, here's another "confirmation" for you!" :)
Later, that SAME DAY, Geoff got home from work and brought the mail in. He asked, "Kristy, did you send off for information about passports?" I said, "No, I printed off a passport application form last night (before our prayer asking God to confirm His call) from the site. But, I haven't filled it out or even found out where to take it to get it processed. That's my goal this week. Why?" Geoff walks over and hands me a postcard from the US Post Office entitled "Passport Fair. . . this weekend. . . Bring x,y and z to the Roebuck post office and get your passport processed quickly". . .

Whoever heard of a "Passport Fair?" You better believe we showed up on Saturday!!!

So. . . Geoff and I began our homestudy paperwork to go to China in September 2007. We began our journey, however, going the route of a "healthy child adoption". We weren't quite ready to grasp that ultimately God was calling us to adopt a waiting child from China. That realization came much later. . .
But, now that we look back at the moment He confirmed His call on that playground. . . He was calling us to a SN adoption all along. We just had to catch up with Him.

And, He had some work to finish in us in the meantime. . .

Stay tuned for more of our "condensed version" of Our Journey To Mei Li. . .
Thanks for following!