What I haven’t told You…

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Prayer

My Friend Wes Introducing Us to the Westside Family

 

Let me take a minute dear friend to say thank you. I’ve been suprised by the reactions to this blog since we returned home and have been able to personally connect with friends who have been following us in this adventure.  It has made us realize how many of you have truly been walking along side us through the daily ups and downs of this journey.  I was thrilled when Westside (our church family in Sullivan) asked us to  come share the highlights of our experience. I felt a little unprepared, because there is still much we are absorbing, and to be honest, we are still in the frenzied state of adjustment!  Between doctor appointments, first introductions to Little Li, and adjustment to a new routine of ‘normal’, we haven’t had much time to reflect on our journey overall and to circle back to where we started.  Before going further, let me give a shout out to everyone at Westside for being eager to hear and to share in our excitement!  It is always like coming home and is the place where I truly began to realize that a church is meant to be your family and that meaningful relationships are built between Sunday’s, not sitting next to each other in a pew.

Looking back, the call was well timed to make us take a breath and fill in the blanks of some details that so far have been absent in this onine record of our adoption. For you see, there are some important details I have left out of this blog that you may find interesting.  Things that were beyond coincidence.  Things that were beyond our control.  Being asked to share our story from a perspective of faith and prayer helped us to circle back and capture these important details to ensure that glory is given where glory is due.

Our story began nine years ago before my husband and I were even engaged. We had a very frank talk about our ‘non-negotiables’ before committing to each other.  (Some people may think it was a little forward of me to be so direct early-on, but lets be honest ladies, I found him later in life and I didn’t have time to waste.  I needed to know we were on the same page. A girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do! He didn’t run scared, so that was a good sign.) We found that we both wanted two children and we had a conversation about adoption.  Even back then, we felt like God was calling us to adopt a little girl from China. It was actually Hubby who first brought up the idea and plant the seed that would grow in our hearts over time.

Now fast forward 7 years. For every family who adopts, there is a ‘GO’ moment. A moment when you finallly quit thinking about it and say ‘Let’s do this!’ I remember ours clearly.  Hubby and I were at the dinner table and decided we should REALLY start praying about it.  For those of you who have never adopted, its not like you go shopping for a child.  You don’t just decide ‘we want a child , so let’s go get one.’ There are several different routes all with pros and cons and different timelines. It can be overwhelming to know where to start.  So we prayed.  We began researching different options that week and asking advice from friends who had pursued different avenues of adoption, but still felt strongly about China. On Thursday, Hubby said to me, ‘My cousin Amy adopted, maybe you should reach out to her to find  out more’  So Friday, I messaged her on Facebook.  She got back to me immediately and said ‘You aren’t going to believe this.  We have NEVER been in Marshall (our town) before.  We are going to be there TOMORROW for a wedding.  We are going to stay all night and have Sunday afternoon available and would LOVE to tell you more about adopting our daughter from China.’

Coincidence?  You can think that if you want.  Personally, I think the odds are pretty slim that it was coincidence .It was a door that God opened and we walked on through.  We walked away from the conversation knowing what agency we were going to use and that we were following through on a divine plan designed just for us. 

We continued to move forward and soon found ourselves in the same place where so many adoptive parents become restless..waiting.  Here we learned more about praying hard and taking action in faith.  (See this post for another interesting story..) 

I’m still in awe that we returned from China with 4 days to spare before Hulaloo started Kindergarten.  Just a few months ago it seemed impossible.  But that’s the beauty of it.  We serve a God who can do the impossible.  I ‘ve seen it.  I believe it! 

“With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” ~ Matthew 19:26 ESV

But here’s the thing.. We are his hands and feet. Alot of what is accomplished in and through our lives happens only when we take action.

 ‘Praying is 2/3 listening and looking (Mark Batterson – The Circle Maker). 

 Did you hear that, or were you not listening?!

I challenge you to quit praying that God change your circumstances, but instead  to change YOU so that you will see the direction he is pointing you. Some people say that when God closes a door he opens a window. Have you ever considered that you may be be standing at the wrong entrance? Don’t miss the open doors in your life just because you weren’t listening! Stop and ask for directions. Then TAKE ACTION.  What are you being called to do? more importantly, what are you waiting for?

 

Palace Door of the Forbidden City


and My people who are called by My name humble themselves, pray and seek My face, and turn from their evil ways, then I will hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.”

 

‭‭2 Chronicles‬ ‭7:14‬ ‭HCSB‬‬
 
Your friend,
Meredith
LLI 



 

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Match Made In Heaven

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We’ve been matched!

Its been a while since I have posted, and there was good reason.  We have been waiting.  And waiting. And waiting.

To be honest, I didn’t have the patience to do a post about patience.  (Side note – I also was not effective enough to actually finish reading The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.  But alas, that is a conversation for another day..)

The tide has turned, and now the countdown to China has begun!  This train (perhaps the Oriental Express) is leaving the station. We have been matched with a little girl in China.  The news came the Friday before Mother’s day.  (How cool is that?)  The weeks since then have been packed with yet more paperwork (even though they say we are at the end of the paper chase, I’m not sure I believe them.  Ugh.)

The moment I first heard her story will be a moment I will never forget.  It reminds me a lot of the ultrasound I had with little Hulaloo.  Within a few minutes I had a picture.  I saw her face and I knew she was ours.  To be honest, I knew before I saw her picture.  Here’s why..

I read a lot of books and it takes a lot for me to say that a book really affects me, but the  The Circle Maker was one of those books.  Our small group recently read and discussed the book over several weeks while we ‘ prayed through’ the big issues affecting our lives. The highlights are Dreaming Big, Praying Through and Going Long.  If I said nothing more than that, I think you would agree that the long process of international adoption requires all those things. But wait.  There’s more.

A highpoint of the book for me was a section that discusses the difference of prayer made in true faith.  Most people who pray regularly ask God for guidance and answers with a hopeful attitude and heart.  But like Indiana Jones who steps on to the invisible bridge in The Last Crusade (all things in my life relate back to Indiana Jones, Star Wars or Seinfeld) someone who truly has faith, ACTS with confidence (as if the prayer has already been answered.)  If we truly trust God hears and will answer our prayers, there comes a point where we are assured its a done deal before we actually see it.

As I mentioned before, we have been waiting for a year and a half.  I was starting to waiver a little bit and become weary and impatient.  I had faith, but I was tired and having difficulty understanding why things weren’t moving more quickly.  I believed there was a little girl somewhere in China that was ours, but I wanted to see her little face . I thought about the birthdays we had already missed.  I want her to know that even though we weren’t with her , they were celebrated.  Every year on our little Hulaloo’s birthday, I write her a note that talks about the year and my hopes and dreams for her.  I put a little gift in the card and don’t give it to her.  I save it.  The cards will be a gift for her on her 18th birthday. Since I knew that our newest little one was out there, I decided to act on my faith.  I wrote the first birthday card for her.  I told her about our eager anticipation of her arrival and told her the special meaning behind her name.  Everyone in our family has the middle name Lee and Leigh, spelled differently but part of the same family.  We are different, but we belong together.  I shared with her that her middle name would be Li, spelled in a way that honors her Chinese heritage.  It would be different but fit perfectly in the puzzle God is fitting together to make our family.

Two weeks AFTER I wrote that letter, I got THE CALL.  During the call the agency was describing her medical history and some of the details regarding her life in the orphanage.  The name of the girl? Her last name is Li. 

Yep, you read that right. Her name was already Li. We will truly be honoring and keeping her Chinese name.  God had worked it out already.

This was one of those few AHA moments in my life.  We probably only get a handful of those in our lifetime.  I’m keeping my eyes wide open for more in the next steps of this journey! Keep your eyes wide open for the aha moments God has planned for you. You never know when it will happen!

LLI (Live Life Intentionally)

Your Friend, 

Meredith