We have our tickets! Our "journey" begins on December 3rd when we fly out of Richmond at 7 am, and ends on December 19th when we land in Richmond at 6pm with our new little girl! Eliana and Ethan are going with us to China, and Nathaniel and Noah are staying home with Meme. My heart hurts already at the thought of leaving my sweet boys behind for 17 long days, but I know it is for a good reason, and they will have a blast with Meme. When I tucked them into bed tonight, I held on a little longer than usual for my goodnight hugs.....I want to cherish these last few days with my boys, because I'm going to miss them terribly!
We land in Nanjing at 7 pm Saturday, December 4th, have a "free" day on Sunday, and get Gabbey Mei on Monday!!!!! Twenty-four hours later, on Tuesday, we will finalize the adoption, and she's all ours. WOW. This is the most incredible, life-changing, emotional, fantastic journey I've ever been on.,,,,,
Brent gave a presentation this morning about one of the missionaries we support in India. During his research for the presentation, he read that there are currently 25 MILLION orphans in India, and 90% of them are girls.....If you took the entire population of the state of Texas and added it to the population of the state of Alaska, you would have approximately 25 MILLION people------I started crying when Brent shared this with me, and cried again during his presentation, especially when HE started crying. There's an oprhan problem in this world, my friends, and putting our hands over our ears, turning our eyes the other way, or putting our head in the sand, so to speak, is NOT doing anything to help the problem. We feel so strongly that EVERY child deserves to be loved, to have hope for their future, and to be exposed to the saving gospel of Jesus Christ. And no, we can't fix the problem by ourselves. None of us could. But if each one is willing to examine their hearts, to listen to the calling of the Holy Spirit, to do SOMETHING, anything......
I'm sure many have heard or read of our upcoming adoption and thought HUH? Don't they already have four young children? Why on earth would they want to spend THOUSANDS of dollars to go to China and bring home a child when they already have so many?
Here's why: THE NEED IS GREAT. There are over 143 MILLION oprhans in the world.
We both have felt for many years that we would someday adopt. Not sure exactly how, or when, but we knew WHY. Maybe adopting one child is only a miniscule drop in a vast ocean, but for this child, for OUR child, it means her very life. In China, many orphans don't make it to adulthood, and if they do, they must live with the title "orphan" all of their life. It is nearly impossible for them to get a decent job, and often they must turn to a life on the streets. So, maybe we can't do it all (and trust me, if I could, I would take every single unloved child in the world and love them.....) but we can do our part. We can take one small, fragile, sweet little girl. We can't make a difference for them all. But for Gabriella, it will be all the difference in the world.
Well, I didn't intend to be so "preachy" tonight :) I'm sorry. Actually, I'm not, not really. I'm just SO heavy hearted about this right now....plus my emotions are raw as we prepare to travel in 12 days. I just feel like there's GOT to be more we can do. I know that I know that I KNOW that when we tour Gabbey's orphanage in a couple of weeks, when we look into the faces of these orphans, we're going to want to go back. To do more. To love more. To give more.
With many of you, I haven't shared some of the deepest dreams of my heart regarding children, adoption, etc.... To those precious few of you who have known me for many, many years, this adoption probably does not come as a surprise. God has been working on my heart in these areas since I was a young girl and first read a biography of Amy Carmichael, the single missionary to India who started an orphanage and rescued hundreds of young girls from a life a prostitution, child marriage, and abandonment. I remember praying then, "Oh, God, use me. Send me. Let me do something for the unloved children of this world."
So, yes, we already have four children, and sure, some days, that feels like ALOT :)......but this adoption is the beginning (or is it the end?) of a dream I've had for so many years. I'm just in awe that the Lord would allow me the privelege of being "Mommy" to one of these precious little ones. Pray WITH us, dear friends, that God would prepare little Gabriella for the immense changes she's about to go through. Pray FOR us, that He would equip and strengthen us for the parenting journey still ahead of us......may we honor HIM in all we say and do.