I have a story to tell of how intimately the Lord has met us on this journey...I still do not know all that it means and have honestly taken awhile with the first portion before sharing it but feel like it is a big part of what God is doing so I do want to share.
Throughout the 3 years of this adoption journey there have been a few songs that have been really pivotal to me. They are not new songs or songs that I have heard in church but songs that are on a worship CD that my friend Abby made for me for Christmas back in 2002. I just happened to be sorting CDs a few years ago and came across it and it has been in my car cd player ever since (my poor kids know every word and will probably need therapy because of the repetition someday!). These are the songs that I have gone back to over and over when I have felt like my heart could not make this journey one more day. They are the songs that I have wept to, begged God to and been able to re-focus on the fact that this journey we are on is led by the Lord of Compassion over and over.
So we head in to church last Sunday and the first song played is one of those songs...and the next songs? The other of those songs! Then came a new song all about God's mercy to the poor and hurting...Doug and I wept as we sat with the pictures of our little Georgia on our lap praising God and begging for Him to make a way for us to go and get her. Then next they quoted James 1:27 which is this:
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress"
I have hesitated to write about this because I do not want it to come across wrong. I do not want it to come across as if we are some high and holy couple...we are so completely far from that...we are just a couple with bruised up knees from begging God to lead us where He wants us to go. I share this because the God of the Universe knew that it was excatly what we needed to hear. I honestly did not understand it at the time and if I am really honest, it kindof freaked me out. I felt more like I was trembling in my soul than anything else. I spent all week rolling it over in my mind and praying about what it meant. Friday evening I finally started to understand.
The Lord knew that we needed a signpost for the storm of doubt that we were about to head into. He knew that the TA would not come on Friday, knew how close to slipping my hands of faith would come...and knew that this was what I needed most.
So jump forward to this Sunday. I am such a weak and fickle person who once again was at the end of all that I could endure. The whole morning getting ready for church I had to keep excusing myself from the kids to close the door and go and cry. My heart aches and longs to hear tomorrow that we will be able to travel. I honestly was dreading church, not because of anything to do with our church but because I did not feel like I could make it through the service without being an emotional wreck (which actually would have been ok to the other church members). I just didn't know if I could pick myself up afterwards.
I didn't notice this at the time but the kids were actually helpful in getting dressed and ready for church. I got to dress Ravenna as a girl standing up and helping instead of as a "kitty" crawling around meowing, Parker's shoes slipped on with no wiggles, and the kids got themselves in the car even before I was ready...that never happens! Anyhow, we had a few extra minutes so I decided to go and get the mail since it had been a few days.
When I got to the Post Office I noticed two packages from New Day Foster Home in China (this is an amazing foster home that I have been in contact with but it is not where Georgia is). Inside the packages I found this: each had a necklace made in Jingdezhen (the city where Ravenna was born), each necklace was made out of red beads with black tips that looked strikingly like ladybugs. Honestly when I first held up the little red bag I thought that I was holding a bag full of ladybugs. For those of you in the adoptive community, you get how powerful that is. For those of you who are not, I am not sure where it exactly started but the ladybug has become a symbol of Chinese adoption and when you see ladybugs it is supposed to mean that you will meet your child soon.
Now before anyone starts to think that I have lost it, I know that this is just a myth and that it does not hold weight in Scripture or anything like that. But I do know that it was just what I needed, a tangible way to hold on another day. It reminds me of this Scripture:
" For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in Heaven and on earth derives it's name. I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and high and long and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all fullness of God."
I do not know what all this means but I do know that tomorrow as that phone rings, no matter what the outcome is, whether we travel in a few days or it take longer I trust that the Lord will walk us through it.