How far will God go to redeem
just ONE? I’ll show you!
On Nov 7, 2005 a precious
little girl was born to a family that could not or would not choose to parent
her. Only God knows the reasons why that
family chose to leave her in the clinic of the hospital that day when she was
just 8 months old…. Was it because she
was a girl? Or had they discovered that
she had been born with Down Syndrome and almost every medical problem
associated with it. Her heart was
broken…. Her intestines partly blocked… Her vision weak. Not a dream come true by any stretch of the
imagination. Discarded to be found by
officials that ultimately decided that her life was not worth saving… She was cast aside and over the course of the
next 20 months would be left to slowly die.
She needed heart repair…. Not something you do for a child no one
wants. Unadoptable. That’s what they called her. Unwanted.
She would die and no one would notice….
But the God who created her
just as she was, noticed… He whispered
into the heart of one of His children and sent her to be His hands and feet to
the fatherless; to the least of the least; the unwanted and the
unadoptable. Melinda arrived at the
orphanage and was presented 2 children from among the “normal” population of orphans
to consider for fostering… They were surrounded by toys and bright colors, and
their sparkling smiles warmed Melinda’s heart…. She could do this!!! There was one other child left for Melinda to
consider, but she was on another floor, specifically reserved for children with
mental disabilities. Melinda was led there
and was instantly struck by the cold and lifeless feel in the air. What a stark contrast to the bright colors
surrounding the children downstairs. Her
eyes laid upon a child, so sick, so malnourished, so in need of love and hope…
Add to that a diagnosis of Down Syndrome and a laundry list of other medical
issues and Melinda knew she was witnessing one of the most heartbreaking
stories in her lifetime. The orphanage
claimed the child was 28 months old. You
would have never guessed it by looking at the shell of a body laying there so
lifelessly, malnourished and dying.
Melinda asked that she might
foster all 3 of the children she’d met that day… No- only one.
She would have a week to complete the required paperwork and to choose. How
is one to choose, she wondered, when they all desperately needed to be
wanted? She cried out to God to point
out the ONE He had in mind… There was no mistaking His choice.
“I’ll take that ONE!” Melinda
said, as she pointed toward the little one so sick and so near death… The orphanage staff looked at her with
disbelief. Did she not know that this
child was destined to die “unwanted”?
Undaunted, Melinda insisted that THIS was the child she had been sent to
|I know this is hard to see- but this is the reality of so many of the fatherless around the world tonight!|
Within a few hours, she would
return to her apartment with the dying child she discovered beneath the layers
of oversized clothing… It was a
girl! She would name her Abigail! A bath would be her first order of
business… And the smile that first warm
bath brought confirmed that she had selected the ONE child God had in mind for
her…. “Unwanted” no more. She was wanted deeply, not only by the God
who had so perfectly fashioned her, but by the earth’s angel He had sent to
rescue her too.
Melinda didn’t have much to
offer her, but she had love and she would give her that! And through that love, little Abigail
discovered what it meant to be wanted! And
she was taught before she could even fully understand, about the God who would
send hope to the darkest and the most hopeless of places to find her. All to redeem just ONE!
One of Abigail’s first words
would be “Bible” and she delighted in saying it! It seemed she somehow knew something most of
us miss… The God of the universe loved
her! And He would do whatever it took to
show her!!! Why is it that those of us
without the challenges that Abigail faces every single day, can not seem to
wrap our arms around a God so big? It appears
that maybe He fashioned children just like her, through which to show us! One hug from a child who loves nothing more
than to spread His love through hug, after hug, after hug, and you know you’ve
encountered something special from the unseen!
The open-heart surgery that
Abigail so desperately needed would be Melinda’s second order of business. But money for such an expense is not
something she had! And yet, God had
rescued her to provide for her, and that He did! He would send the help she needed through His
people and Abigail would come through surgery with a heart to last a lifetime!
Then, a year later,
intestinal surgery…. Where they would go to the hospital only to wait…day,
after day, after day, not allowing Abigail to eat for 10 full days before it would
finally be done! How do you explain to a
precious child that nearly died of starvation, that she cannot eat, though her
tummy rumbles with hunger and her mouth longs for anything to fill it? But through that surgery, God would bring
healing to her intestines and the ability to finally be nourished and grow.
Life was good… Abigail was
loved and healthy… and growing in Her knowledge of the One who had made her and
rescued her for that very reason! Foster
siblings would be added to her home.
Some almost as desperate as she had once been! But Melinda knew that she was not the forever
family God had in mind for Abigail. What
would be years and years of pleading for a forever family for the child she
loved so much had begun. The orphanage
had threatened once already to force all foster children to return to the
government’s care again, and Melinda could hardly bear the thought...
She prayed with more ferver
than she had ever prayed before. She
prayed together with Abigail for God to find a forever Mommy and Daddy far away
willing to make her their own. But the
unthinkable happened. A fire in a foster
home far away had caused the death of several orphans and the government would
put their heavy foot down. All children would be returned to their
orphanages, without exception.
It was probably the hardest
day of Melinda’s lifetime. She dressed
Abigail and packed a few of her things…
How could she prepare this 7 year old girl whom she had loved for over 5
years for what was ahead? She would have
to return her there, to the very place she had been found, and walk away. The orphanage director was there to witness
Melinda’s emotional good-bye. And
surprisingly, she found herself in tears too, as she saw with her own eyes, the
deep love Melinda shared with this child no one wanted.
Melinda would return a week
later to visit Abigail and to see if she was struggling as deeply as she had
been with the separation. Would Abigail
suddenly question all the things she had taught her about the God that loved
her so much that He had redeemed her from this very place, only to return her
there again? She shuttered at the
thought. But, as it is so often with our
Lord… He had a sweet surprise waiting for Melinda when she arrived for the
visit. The orphanage director had been
deeply moved and decided that she would make an exception where there had not
been one… “Take her back home!” she told Melinda. And the day she thought would be a difficult
visit with another painful goodbye, turned into a beautiful homecoming! But, with that week of separation and one of
the most difficult experiences of her life now behind Melinda, she felt an
increasing burden for Abigail to finally find a forever home. She knew the answers would only come through the
Father that knew best, and she cried out to Him to move on behalf of her
precious little girl.
Emails were sent, and blogs
posted, in search of a family far away that would open their hearts to love
this ONE child God had gone to such extremes to redeem! An email would arrive only weeks later from a
Mommy in Florida. God had captured her
heart for precious Abigail, and if He would only speak to her husband, she
would willingly take her as her own! Her
file had been located on a list that contained almost 2000 other “unwanted”
children. That file was pulled from the
list and “locked” for two weeks while the family was given a chance to consider
her adoption. Two weeks to cry out to
God on her behalf, and cry out Melinda and that Mommy did! God heard those cries and, though they did
not know it, He was moving mightily in that husband/Daddy’s heart for the
fatherless girl He loved so much! With
only days to spare before the file would be released, that Daddy would confess
with tears that God’s plan was made abundantly clear to him… Abby was his daughter! It was time to bring her HOME!
It would take more than
$30,000 to complete her adoption. Money
the family did not have. But who would
be foolish enough to question whether or not the God who loved this child so
much, would provide everything needed to redeem her? And He did!
Every single penny of it…. On behalf of just ONE “unadoptable”,
unwanted, little girl!
The next chapter of that ONE
life is about to begin. On November 10th,
in a hotel room in Shenyang, China, Melinda will deliver Abby into the arms of
the Mommy they have both prayed for, and within only days Abby would no longer
be an orphan, but the precious daughter of Doug and Lori McCary; sister to
Russ, Steph, Sarah, Ryan, Kate, Rachel, and Ellie; and to Abby’s delight,
friend and companion for the puppy she can hardly wait to meet!
We’re thrilled to invite you
along for the journey and to marvel along with us, at the unthinkable,
immeasurable things our Lord will do to redeem just ONE!
“Now to Him who is able to do
immeasurably more than we can ask or think… to Him be the glory!”