Saturday, January 1, 2011

Our Mei Mei Adoption Testimony

The Dream
Recently, I had a dream.  In the dream, the Lord contrasted man’s ways to His.  He revealed to me that unlike man, when He shows us a need, He will meet it fully and completely.  When I awoke from the dream, I asked the Lord if Sonya’s need for a sister and my need for a daughter were from Him.    Could it really be that Sonya’s growing longing for a sister and my restless yearning for another daughter was actually inspired byGod Himself?  I contemplated on this for many days. 

The Urgent and Prayerful Plea
Then on Sunday, December 5th of 2010 during the morning Invitation at church, I felt the Lord drawing my husband and me up to the altar to pray together for His will regarding another child.   If it was His will that we adopt again, “Show us”.  If it was not His will and only my selfish desire, then, “Please oh please, relieve my burdened heart”.  With a deep sensitivity towards my needs that so defines him, Randy complied with my wish for joint prayer without hesitation.

As we approached the altar and knelt down together I imagined that I was laying my troubles down at the foot of the cross to be worked out in a righteous manner by my Lord and Savior.  And oh what a safe place to lay my burden down!

In amazement and gratitude I listened as Randy prayed a most beautiful and sincere prayer unto the Lord, voicing our need as a married couple only to do His will in all of this.  “Whatever Your will may be for us, let us do it and have peace with it.”  As we stood to walk back to our pew a deacon approached us and requested to pray on our behalf.  Without ever knowing of our humble plea, this deacon proceeded to ask God to hear and answer our prayers.   In that moment, I felt that we were not alone and that we had brothers and sisters in Christ at the church willing to walk along beside us wherever God may lead.  I simply cannot describe in mortal words what an incredible feeling it is to know that we are not alone.

Returning later to the evening service and as the church prepared for the third Invitation of the day, the Holy Spirit moved on Randy and me in a mighty way to go directly to the Preacher and ask him to pray with us for God’s answer.   As we explained to Preacher our situation, he prayed with us and made known our request before the Lord.  Then as if the Lord spoke directly to Preacher instructing him as to how to proceed, Preacher asked us to have a seat in the front pew to wait for the conclusion of the Invitation.  As Randy and I sat there together holding hands while listening to the singing voices all around us, I wanted to simultaneously laugh out loud with glee and sob from the depths of my soul for I knew in my spirit something big was about to happen.    

At the conclusion of the Invitation, Preacher beckoned Randy and me to stand with him in front of the congregation as he proceeded to explain with accurate detail the serious nature of our prayer request as well as reminding everyone that we should always seek the Lord’s will in all things.  Preacher then asked that if anyone present would be willing to pray for our circumstances to please come up following the service and let Randy and me know their intentions and to share with us their thoughts and encouragement.

A prayer at the Offering was even said on our behalf regarding God’s will for adoption, and I could barely believe my ears.   Could this really be happening?  Could we really be sitting in a church who has known us for less than a year praying corporately on our behalf to make known to us the Father’s will regarding the adoption of another child?  In the middle of the prayer it dawned on me - this is what Christians are supposed to be like.  Praise the Lord that we’ve been given the opportunity to be part of His Body at such a church as this!

Directly following the service that evening as Randy and I stood before everyone, it seemed like the whole church came up to offer their encouragement and support, some with tears in their eyes, some with smiles and laughter, with many warm hugs and  handshakes from all.  As I later described to Brother Wayne in an email, “Never in our lives have we been shown so much love and support!  What a difference Jesus has made in our lives and the caliber of people he has surrounded us with now compared to what we experienced in our past.  Truly, the Spirit of the Living God dwells within our church through the people!”

The Power of Prayer!

The next morning, and customary to my personality, I immediately started asking God that if adoption is His will for our family then where should I begin?  Almost as quickly as I asked the question I knew the answer.  Call Hand in Hand”, the adoption agency that successfully helped us bring Sonya home from China almost seven years earlier.

That very morning I called Vickie Truelove at Hand in Hand and explained to her our situation, believing at that moment that she would say we no longer qualified for China adoptions due to Randy’s and my combined age.  Incredibly she told me China has a Special Focus Program that we do qualify for. 

When Vickie sent via email written descriptions of the various children in need of “forever families”, I narrowed down my search to three little girls a little younger than Sonya as I would like to honor Sonya’s request for a younger sister while preserving her role as the first born.  When I received an email back from Vickie with the information I requested I eagerly opened up the first file, and what I saw made me tremble and weep with joy because I knew I was staring at the face of my little girl!  A little girl resembling Sonya in her earlier years, a little girl filled with sweetness, joy, life!  My daughter - my second born!

Then as swiftly as I had felt the joy of beholding the face of my daughter, I felt the jolting reality of the circumstances before us.  How could I approach Randy with this?  How could I make him see that this little girl is our little girl and that we need to adopt her all the while knowing that it is customary for Randy to make important decisions with much deliberation?   So I waited as patiently as I could for Randy to come home from work later that day and immediately invited him to look at little Mei’s picture on the computer screen.  Randy looked at her picture carefully and then simply stated, “She looks like Sonya’s sister.”  Nothing more was said about her by Randy that night.   

The next three days were murderous for me.  I could not find peace anywhere, and I realized that I was angry with God.   An anger I had held against Him for quite some time bubbled up within me and spilled over into my waking reality.  And I cried out to the Lord, “Why did You make me barren?!  Why have You made me powerless to have more children?  Why do I have no say in this, and why are You making me rely completely on You for whether or not I ever have children again!”  Then as suddenly as these angry, sorrowful words spilled from my lips, I understood and was instantly filled with deep gratitude.   Because I knew relying on God fully and completely in the matter of motherhood is the safest place in the world to stand – in the very center of God’s will.

I reflected back on when we adopted Sonya and how I knew in my heart and soul that God’s Hand was over our unified decision to adopt her.  That is why we as a family have been so blessed, and that is why there is so much love between us, because “us together” is God’s will.  And really, I wouldn’t want it any other way.  I understood in that moment that the only way another adoption would prove successful is if it truly is God’s will for us
“us together”.  So…I went back to praying,
“God’s will be done”.

Time is of the Essence

One of the suggestions given to me by Hand in Hand was to have a doctor look over Mei’s medical records to understand any health concerns related to this little child, potentially a doctor at an international adoption clinic located in our home state.  When calling this clinic I discovered they would want $350-400 just to look at her records and share their findings with us!  I couldn’t possibly pay someone this kind of money just to do what is right in the first place regarding the welfare of a child, plus in all honesty knowing we simply did not have that kind of money to spare. 

I called Vickie on Thursday, December 9th to let her know I was very drawn to little Mei, and that is when Vickie confided in me that Hand in Hand would only have Mei’s file until Tuesday, December 14th.  After that date, Hand in Hand would lose their opportunity to find this little one a home. Thursday night I went to bed in tears and cried out to the Lord to relieve me of my heartache involving Mei.  I asked Him if he wanted me to pursue gathering more information about her then He would need to tell me in the morning of a doctor who would look at her medical records for free.  

During morning prayer and forgetting all about my request to the Lord the night before, I recalled a home school family I know through home school gym where the man of the house just happens to be a doctor.  May I also add that this particular family has adopted two children internationally, so I was certain they would understand the need at hand and have compassion for this little girl and not want to profit from her tenuous situation.   I immediately emailed his wife and asked her if her husband would look at some medical records for me.  She emailed back right away with an affirmative, adding that he has done this for other friends in the same situation.  Later I would learn that he would not charge us a dime for the help offered.

Even though finding a doctor presented a bit of relief to my spirit, I still felt heavy laden because I had not yet shared any of this with Randy.  I was waiting for the perfect time.  It was Friday evening, and while standing in the rug section of a department store the Lord spoke to me and said, “Had you adopted six years ago like you first wanted to, I would not have received the Full Glory.  But Now, due to your circumstances, it will be evident to all that it is All Me.”

That night, when I went home, I laid out the entire situation to Randy.  Between sobs, I told him that we didn’t have much time to decide as time was running out.  In an email from December 12th addressed to Preacher and Gayle it reads, “It was just Friday night when it seemed our future hung in the balance.  After I had poured out my heart to Randy and shared with him all that God had told me regarding this little girl, Randy was still not sure. And then we prayed.  Randy's prayer to the Lord was, ‘Lord if this is your will move on my spirit so that I feel it too.’ 

Then Saturday morning as I was getting ready to go to work I started crying because I wasn't sure of things, and then the Lord told me, ‘I will make a way.’  Suddenly, I was filled with peace, and I knew the Lord had a mighty plan in store for our family.  By last night, Randy was completely on board and wondering what name we should give her and where we'll be traveling to in China to bring her home.”   

Digressing, while at work on Saturday the 11th, I felt uneasy about finding out the results of Mei’s medical history before Randy was resolved that we would adopt her.  Then the Lord spoke to me and said, “I want you to trust me.”   When the Lord spoke those words, I knew what he meant. He meant that He wanted us to trust Him that Mei belongs with us.  He meant that He wanted us to trust Him that we do not need to fully comprehend her medical information in order to know what she needs from us.  He did not want us basing our decision to adopt Mei on whether or not she was “perfect” enough or without flaw.   Mei belongs with us, and we love her.  In the end, love is really all that matters, and it is God’s love that will continue to dictate our steps through this journey of adoption.

On Monday, December 13, Sonya and I made our way to Albion, Indiana to deliver an application fee to Hand in Hand and to pick up a folder filled with documents to complete with a list of deadlines and requirements, both financially and otherwise, to be met.  In our minds, the adoption process of Mei officially began for our family on that Monday, a week after seeing her picture for the very first time. Isn’t our God good?!  My family’s prayer is that the three of us will travel to China to bring Mei home in September of 2011 and give her the gift of a Forever Family for her birthday.

As I penned to Pastor Wayne and Miss Gayle in a recent email and as I will pen to all of you reading this now, '"Thank you for all your prayers.  We believe it is the prayers of the Body that brought this to pass so quickly.  We will be forever grateful to all of you for that.”  

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Philippians 4:6-7

Prayer Requests for the Successful Adoption of Mei Mei
1.     Pray that as we apply for adoption scholarships, grants and loans through Christian agencies that our circumstances and adoption story will be deemed profitable to the Body of Christ as to garner our family the necessary financial assistance to secure Mei Mei's Freedom and bring her safely home to America in September of 2011.
2.     Pray that in whatever means God plans to “make a way” for the successful adoption of Mei that Randy and I stay receptive and alert to the Lord’s direction and leaning and hence faithfully follow.
3.     Pray that as the adversary seeks to diminish or lessen our Joy and Faith in the Will of God through this adoption process that Randy and I remain faithful in studying God’s Word as we recognize that “faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10:17
4.     Pray for Mei’s health and well-being and that God will send to her daily His ministering angels to guide, shield and protect her while at the orphanage and outside of our protective arms.
5.     Pray that through this process, God will continue to receive the Full Glory for this unfolding adoption miracle, and that no man will take any portion of the credit for himself.
6.     Pray for the countless children all over the world who, due to circumstances beyond their control, have no Forever Families to call their own.  Pray that God’s people will rise up and step up and take these children in to their homes, lives and churches as He calls them to do so.

“…bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth; Even every one that is called by my name: for I have created him for my glory, I have formed him; yea, I have made him.”
Isaiah 43: 6-7

I am fastly learning through our own adoption experiences as well as hearing the stories of countless others that the miracle of adoption, whether domestic or foreign, is a mission field where many Christian families are being called right now to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ - to go out into the world and secure the safe passage of the countless children desperately needing Forever Families to give them a chance at “belonging” and to be a part of families where they are needed and loved.  By loving and caring for the children that God is calling us to love and care for, we will be demonstrating to them the love of Jesus.  What greater gift could we ever possibly give our children than to introduce them to this man called Jesus and  give them an opportunity to come to a saving knowledge in Christ and invite Him into their hearts and lives as Savior and Lord so that they too can receive the free gift of eternal salvation!   Amen and amen!

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