It was my understanding that after Rebekah was abandoned at the age of two and a half, she had been placed in a foster home on the campus of the orphanage. I asked our guide as we made our way to Gotcha Day if she would request our meeting the Mama and Baba that had filled in for us until we could finally arrive to make her forever ours! A quick call ahead to the orphanage and they said it wouldn't be a problem! I was thrilled, but our plans were dashed only moments later when the foster parents said that they did not feel they could be there when "their little girl" met her new family.
While I understand... (Well- I guess I really can't, can I?) I was sorely disappointed. I wanted desperately for Rebekah's foster family to know how much she would be loved and to have the chance to hug them and say thankyou personally! I also think that it is helpful to our children when the people they love and trust hand them off and, in essence, give their approval to the unwanted changes brought to the child through adoption. I will never ever forget the precious goodbye Abby's foster mother gave Abby as we were leaving her province. It was not only a beautiful gift and send off for Abby, but for me as well! The guide explained about the special circumstances that made their parting with Rebekah so painful (which I will post about separately), but still I prayed that God would somehow make a way for us to meet.
We pulled into the front of the orphanage and I was struck by the way it nestled itself at the foot of a beautiful mountainside. It seemed to be too beautiful a setting to house hopeless little ones with no future or family. We were early so were instructed to wait outside until all of the children arrived for school with their foster parents. We, of course, snapped a ton of photos, since each and every arriving child was precious beyond description. Then, suddenly, walking toward me was a little girl I recognized as Ping Ping. The photos and videos had finally come to life and there she was, walking hand in hand with her older foster father, who she affectionately called YeYe! I wanted to scoop her up immediately and smother her in long awaited kisses- but for her sake, I refrained!!! They invited us to follow them inside where we could formally meet!
1 am at a loss for words to describe the next few moments, and I am anxious to write them down before the beautiful blur of emotions is forgotten! I approached Rebekah slowly, as she stared at me with suspicion and reluctance. It was a life altering moment for us both. She didn't know it then and still doesn't, but as I finally looked into the eyes of my precious girl, all of my unfounded fears melted away and were replaced with the overwhelming affection I had begged the Lord to gift to me through Him.
Maybe this seems a strange thing to remark on and I feel as I need to explain so as not to mislead adoptive friends that come behind me in their journeys. Gotcha moments are so longed for, often taking months or years to arrive, with more than a million opportunities to romanticize what your child will be like and how their personality will bounce off of yours... Dreamers like myself can almost sabotage this emotional journey when the reality turns out to be far from our fantasies. I have experienced this personally and was resolved that this was founded in selfishness- not Christ' love expressed through me, so I did more than my fair share of praying about this as Gotcha Day drew near! You might notice that my blog is named for one of my favorite Bible verses (Ephesians 3:20) where it says that God is able to do "immeasurably more that all we could ask or think"... Unfortunately- I misunderstood the true meaning of that verse for many years, because I stopped there! Of course God could do immeasurably more than I could ask or think! I knew that from personal experience! But this verse instead claims that He can do immeasurably more THROUGH ME than I can ask or imagine- "according to the power that is at work within me"! That power is Christ Himself. His greatest desire for my life, and now mine, is that He would be glorified in and through my life in ways I never imagined and am incapable of in my flesh. So, in approaching my newest daughter and in the months that are to come as we get to know one another, I have asked the Lord for only one thing... That He replace me (and my selfish desires) and instead display His love through me. I believe that this request honors Him and as I sat next to my newest daughter for the very first time, I sensed that He had answered! Yes.... even beyond my imagination!
His answer to my prayers of many months has been surging through my heart since that moment! So if you see a glow about me or sense something from me that you don't recognize, you can know that it is HIM!!! I have much more to tell about our day, but I will share these special photos of our first moments together and then fill you in on the rest later...
Excuse me while I get back to the business of loving my little one in His name! There is one less orphan in the world today and because I was chosen to be that orphan's Mommy, I've got work to do... Pray with me that God would continue to do "immeasurably more" than I could ask or think, according to the power that is at work within me.
To Him be the glory!"