I was sitting in church yesterday in the morning service, and suddenly it dawned on me what had taken place in our lives that day just one year prior. On December 5th of 2010, on a Sunday, I sat in a pew next to my husband as the Invitation was called, and God spoke to me. "Ask Randy to take you up to the altar and pray for My Will for adoption, and if it is not My Will, then pray that I relieve your burdened heart."
The day following that prayer, December 6th, I stared at a picture of Zhong Feng Mei and knew that I knew that I knew I was staring at the face of my little girl, our daughter, Randy's and mine!
Only a couple of weeks ago, I had so desperately wanted to be in China right now, having boarded a plane last Friday. When I realized it was not to be, i felt desperate inside. You see, i had wanted to bring Cassie home before her 7th birthday on September 24, 2011. When those initial plans of September travel fell through, and i was able to picture that we would get to meet Cassie on the 5th of December and adopt her on the 6th, it made perfect sense to me that God would bring us together at such a time as this. Suddenly, believing God had a Perfect Plan for our union at a perfectly designated hour infused with significance made my long, arduous and at times gut-wrenching wait for my daughter all worth it. I weaped with JOY at the very thought.
Last Wednesday night, as i waited for Bible Study to begin in our church Sanctuary, my mind searched for an explanation as to why December 2nd travel couldn't be. "Lord, I don't get why you're making us wait and travel on December 9th? It's just that, to me, December 2nd was a perfect plan..." Then as suddenly as I asked the question and began searching for an answer, the Lord answered, "Think back to what you were doing on December 9th of last year. What were you doing on December 10? December 11th? December 12th? What were you doing on December 13th of last year?
My mind immediately went back in time, and searched for an answer. What was I doing on December 9th of last year? Then in front of me I saw a series of events unfold before my eyes. And i saw what i was doing on all of those dates, and i marveled.
Because you see, on Thursday, December 9th of last year, i went to bed with a deeply burdened heart. I had not been able to find a doctor who would look at Feng Mei's medical records for free, the fee quoted to me just the day before by a doctor at an international adoption clinic in the way of $450.00. On December 9th of last year, when I found myself at the end of my day, I also found myself with little hope because not only did we not have $450.00 to pay someone to look at Feng Mei's records but i wouldn't dare ask Randy for permission to spend it due to the fact that he didn't believe we were supposed to adopt her.
"But God. If we are not supposed to adopt this child, then why can't i get her out of my head?"
My simple prayer to Him that night as i lay down to sleep, "Father, if You want me to pursue gathering information about this precious little girl, then send me word in the morning of a doctor who will look at her records for free." The following morning as i was praying, having forgotten all about my prayer request the night before, the name of a doctor did pop into my head, and when I emailed his wife requesting his help she immediately responded with an affirmative. In my mind, that meant I was not to give up.
What was I doing on December 10th of last year? That was the night I sat in front of Randy's chair on the floor and I poured my heart out to him, sobbing. I begged him to consider that what i was feeling for this little girl, what Sonya was feeling for this little girl, was REAL. I told him we didn't have much time to decide as her file would be returned to the orphanage on December 14th. I told him I knew i couldn't force him to see what I was seeing, and I wouldn't want to do that to him or to us, but i asked him to please, please consider that what I was saying was a fact.... That that child, that little girl, was ours and we needed to go get her and bring her home.
With such a strong element of compassion in his eyes, Randy said to me, "I really feel for you and Sonya, and I am really trying to understand, but I don't feel that way, Cheryl." "Then Randy, let's pray." As we clasped each other's hands with heads bowed the night of December 10th, Randy prayed to the Father, "Lord, if it is your will that we adopt this child, then move on my spirit so that I can feel it too." Then a peace overcame me as I was enveloped in calm. After that prayer, I thanked Randy profoundly because I knew that he prayed a perfect prayer. It was the BEST prayer because it was so simple and so honest and so forthright and so searching and so yielding TO THE CALL OF THE LORD. And no matter what, I knew everything was going to be alright after that because my husband knew how to pray...
The following evening, as i headed home from work, I clung to the hope that Randy was now open to the adoption. Having not spoken to him all day, I really didn't know where his head was at with all of it. Almost as soon as I walked through the door, Randy started asking me questions about Feng Mei. Then he asked if i would be alright if he went for a walk alone, and the moment he returned Randy said, "Alright, let's do this."
So on December 11th of 2010, with no money at all to pay for the adoption, Randy and I decided jointly to begin the adoption proceedings for Zhong Feng Mei, and we decided it would all be for the Glory, Honor and Praise of God our Father and Jesus Christ His Son.
On December 12th, we shared our good news with our church. And on Monday, December 13th, Sonya and i headed for Albion, Indiana to pay an application fee and make a request to the CCWAA to adopt Zhong Feng Mei, birth country China.
Last Wednesday night, as i sat in a pew waiting for Bible Study to begin, I saw all of these past events unfold in my mind, and in the same overlapping moment, i saw my family boarding a plane on December 9th of this year, headed for China. I saw us land in Hong Kong on December 10th, one step closer to our beloved Mei Mei. I saw us board a train on December 11th, making our way into the city of Guangzhou, the city our little girl will be brought to at the government building to be united with her forever family on December 12th. I saw us adopting Cassie at that very same government building on December 13th, and I suddenly realized the FULLNESS of God's Plan in relation to mine, and I lowered my head and cried silent tears. I cried tears that felt as if they may never end, tears that cleansed my soul and restored my JOY!
"Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayer and giving me a REASON and a SIGNIFICANCE. You did not have to give me a reason. You did not need to make the time of travel significant, but You did it anyway! Lord, only You in YOur Infinite Wisdom KNEW this mama's heart needed a reason for the long wait to my little girl. Thank you, Lord, for caring the way You do."
Randy and I believe God is using this adoption to build our family's faith in Him alone. On numerous occasions, more than i can number, God has chosen to help us along in our faith- walk to Him through our journey to Mei Mei. His fingerprints are all over every single occurrence with this adoption. Even in the wait, there has been a purpose for it.
December 14th is fast approaching, that date last year when Mei Mei's records would have been returned to her orphanage, but they weren't. God had other plans for this child. On December 14th of this year, she will be with her forever family, and it will be the first full day she will be considered by CCWAA to be fully ours. "Praise the Lord for the details!"