How is it even remotely possible that a child so happy, so full of giggles, so full of life... is dying? I think somebody forgot to tell her! :-) And if you didn't notice her blue fingers, toes, and lips... you'd think maybe they gave us the wrong child. Rachel is such a precious little girl! Something about her pulls you into her happy world and before you know it, you've completely forgotten that just below the surface, there is something wrong... something terribly wrong! Before we even arrived in China, I begged the Lord to do a super-natural work in my heart and give me a deep, deep love for this little girl I'd never even met. I've known since the first phone call when I was warned that she was "terminal" that to really love Rachel might be a heart wrenching experience. I guess my human inclination was to guard my heart and in so doing, hope to somehow lessen the pain of losing her. But that's not the kind of Mommy Rachel needs... Rachel needs a Mommy that's willing to go to that place for her and with her... Rachel needs a Mommy that will love her deeply, will feel what she feels deeply, and is willing to do it no matter the risk... I never thought I could be that kind of Mommy! Such a calling would be for someone else far stronger than I! But here I am... typing from a hotel room in Shanghai, China with that precious little girl sleeping peacefully across the room. Yesterday afternoon Rachel Hope walked into a crowded conference room in a civil affairs office in the middle of China and literally stole my heart... God answered my feeble prayer for a faith deep enough to keep taking another step into the unknown and for a love so deep, it was willing to risk even the most painful loss... I'm so glad He did! Even now, as I type, I realize how much richer my life is in having welcomed this little one in as my own!
Tonight, as we strolled along the Yangtze River, Doug took Rachel and lifted her onto his shoulders like he has with all of our children before her... The look of utter delight on her face was priceless! She sang a happy song at the top of her lungs and waved her hands as if directing an orchestra. She was on top of the world! A little 7 year old girl... found in a basket at a bus station dying of a severe heart defect and pneumonia as a 9 month old... no name... no birthdate... no home... no hope. But she was not forgotten! She was precious in the sight of God, and He never took His eyes off of her! And in some miraculous way, He has preserved her life until now... and orchestrated this beautiful new chapter of her story. She is loved!... oh, so loved by a Mommy and Daddy who won't let her make the journey alone and will prop her up on their shoulders for the ride. From her point of view... the world looks a little bit different than it does for most of us... She has found much to sing about and to wave her arms in happy celebration! In fact, I think I'll close this blog on that note, so that when "Ms. Happy Pants" wakes up to celebrate tomorrow morning... I'll half be able to join in with her! :-)