“Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!”
2 Corinthians 9:15 The Lord brought Ellie to us in such an amazing way! It is a story that I will delight in telling as long as I have the breath to share it…. Since adopting Kate in Nov. 2004, I have continually sought the Lord regarding adopting again… I could easily find a million reasons why a second adoption would be a “crazy” idea and I had nearly convinced myself so. I forced myself to keep my heart open, though, in case God’s plans included something different than my own. Over the months, I would look at children with special needs waiting for families, but never sensed God’s leading in that direction.
In early Dec., I heard that a new list of children had been posted by Christian World Adoption. I could not resist taking a look. I instantly fell in love with two little girls on their list– both with deformities of their left hands. I was afraid to even mention this to Doug, since we were struggling so much financially, so I quietly “checked on” the two girls every night to see if a family had stepped forward for them.
A week later, one of the girls had been taken from the list, as a family had “claimed” her. I sat at the computer and cried. I was surprised by this unexpected response. Instantly I sensed God’s nudging… “This little girl was not yours… Rejoice that she has a home!” Still, I kept the website open containing the picture of the second little girl that had captured my heart. She was only 10 months younger than Kate and from the same Province in China.
Finally I admitted to Doug, Sarah and my Mom that I could not stop thinking of this little one. Doug assured me what I already knew...this would be impossible right now! Still, I could not “let go” of her. I prayed constantly… If she was meant to be our daughter, the Lord would “hold” her for us and again make the impossible, possible!
On the night of Dec 22, Sarah called me to the computer. “Someone got our little girl!” she said. No!...This could not be! My heart dropped into my stomach. Sarah opened the website to confirm my fears. A family had stepped forward to adopt this precious little girl. I was crushed! Sarah and I stood in front of the computer and cried.
Finally, I pulled myself together and rejoined the family in the kitchen. Instantly they sensed that something was wrong… I burst into tears… Another family had claimed the little girl I’d had my heart set on! Just then, Kate woke upstairs. I jumped at the opportunity to rock her back to sleep. It would give me time to cry, pray, and then pull myself back together.
Later, when I returned downstairs, a bit more composed, Doug presented me with an envelope. “An early Christmas present,” he said, “...because you’re so upset!” I opened the envelope to find a photocopied picture of “our” little girl with the words “Merry Christmas Mommy!” written next to it! A family had indeed stepped forward to adopt her… and that family was OURS!
Doug had just presented me with a Christmas gift beyond anything I could have ever imagined– another beautiful daughter from China! Just that morning Doug had decided to call and ask the adoption agency to hold her on our behalf so that we could try to secure the money necessary to adopt her. They agreed and would give us the two week Christmas holiday to come up with the initial $5,000. to start the adoption.
For the next two weeks I literally prayed “without ceasing”! I would even wake during the night and pray for God’s provision to bring this little girl home. If this was God’s will for our family, He would have to do a miracle, as we had absolutely no financial resources for another adoption right now. I could not even imagine how God might provide such a miracle, but I refused to believe that he would fail to provide what we needed if she was meant to be ours. Even when only 2 days remained before she would be placed back on the list for another family’s consideration, my faith remained strong.
Doug and I met for lunch to discuss our options. We could draw from our small retirement account to “hold” her or simply trust that if the Lord did not provide, she was not meant to be ours and we would let her go. Just then, a friend from church passed our table and stopped to chat. She introduced us to her friend, also from our church, whom we’d never met… They asked about Kate and we told them about our hopes to adopt again, showing them a picture of the little girl in China we were praying about. They promised to pray with us on her behalf and left.
Later that evening my phone rang… It was Leigh, the women I’d just met at lunch earlier that day. She had been touched by the story of this precious little girl. “How much money do you need to bring that baby home?” she asked... I don’t remember much about the rest of the conversation, as I was overwhelmed with tears at seeing the hand of God move on behalf of an orphan girl half a world away.
We began the process to bring our Ellie home the next day... and the Lord provided for it all through the gift of a stranger! God's provision through strangers! But strangers no more! When we arrived in Houston with Ellie 6 months later, those "strangers" (now precious friends) were waiting to welcome her home! God used Leigh and her husband Larry to show us that He "is able to do IMMEASURABLY MORE than all we can ask or think"!