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April 2, 2015

Feeling Like An Elephant

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Sometimes I feel like an elephant, and that’s not because I’ve gained two tons over the past two years (although sometimes it feels like it). But it’s because, like an elephant, I’ve been pregnant for the past two years. I haven’t lost my lunch over a trash can, or felt my pregnancy thighs rubbing together from sweat, or been able to rest a cup and saucer on the shelf that assembles around my backside between my love handles, or had the ability to serve food off of the table top that protrudes from my stomach. But for the past two years, I have been in the business of producing a baby who has been growing inside of my heart, if not my belly.

Xu Ling Yu referral pic 1

Her name is Mia Grace (I will give you the details of her name in another blog), and she turned one on January 31st of this year. I wasn’t there at her birth, nor was I there to blow out the candle on her first birthday cake. I have not been there to rock her to sleep, to hold her little hands, or to look deeply into her eyes. But she has been incubated, rocked, held, and prayed over these last long twenty-four long months in the confines of my heart.

And can I tell you something? I am ready to meet her. So ready. If someone tells me I have to fill out one more paper in order to go to China to pick up my baby, I may just start screaming. Forget about a politically correct paper trail. I may just hire an airplane to drop me with a parachute over Southeastern China and wish me luck. (I’m not kidding. Too much paperwork will do that to a person.)

And my husband and girls are ready – we are all ready to meet our Mia Grace. And while we were just introduced to her face and beautiful brown eyes just two months ago, we have held her in our hearts for over two years since we started this process in March of 2013.

As the time draws nearer to actually go and pick her up (we are thinking late May/early June once all of our paperwork is finalized and we get the green light), to tell you the truth, at times, I am terrified of the journey that lies ahead. I am terrified of the deep grief I know she will feel at being ripped out of one culture and planted in another. I am terrified of the pain and ordeal of surgery for her cleft lip and palate that awaits her within just a few weeks of her homecoming. And I am terrified that my nicely planted world is about to become uprooted, shaken, and turned upside down. I am afraid that “normal” will escape us, never to appear again.

But some terrors are worth confronting. And this is one of them. This is a terror I am willing to walk through to get to the other side. Or, in other words, this is a mountain I am willing to climb. I am willing to explore and help her heal from the sensory processing disorders that most kids raised in institutions have to overcome. I am willing to walk through learning how to help her securely attach when there has never been anyone in her short life to attach to. I am willing to endure long surgeries and the recoveries that accompany them in order to fix her cleft lip and palate, all because I believe, deep within, this is a hike worth taking, a mountain worth climbing, a peak worth summiting…for the view.

Because from the summit and vantage point of adoption, I believe will see things I have never seen before. I believe I will see life through the lens of an orphan who has been chosen, hand picked, prayed for, fought for, and loved wildly before she ever knew who her parents and siblings were. I believe I will see the gift of grace played out before me in magnificent ways. I believe I will understand the depths of my own spiritual abandonment and adoption in ways I have never understood before. And I believe I will taste and see the Father’s love for me and all of His adopted children in ways I have never tasted or seen before.

The magnificent drama of adoption, otherwise known as the Gospel, the story of how Jesus Christ who loved me, wanted me, prayed for me, fought for me, and went hard after me into rough, hostile, unknown territory to get me is about to become crystal clear. The cost of adoption is about to become stark reality. Forget the expense of two years of paperwork and government fees and six round trip plane tickets to China. The cost of my adoption was the very life of Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of the Father. He sealed the final documents with His blood, and my passport to His country was stamped “approved” only as He cried out, “It is finished.” Home is in His presence, and every time I look at my elder brother, I see the scars of the nail prints in His Hands, tangible reminders that I was wanted, I was hunted down, I was sought, I was loved.

All my life, I have known the story of adoption in my head. Now, through Mia Grace, I am about to know it in my heart.

So at the end of two years, I have a new appreciation for pregnant elephants. But I also have a new appreciation for the cost of adoption and the anticipation that comes when we wait.

As we wait these final few months for our adoption to be finalized and for us to be able to bring Mia Grace home, will you please pray with us? Every step of the adoption is fraught with battle with resistance from the ultimate orphan maker and orphan keeper. Would you please pray that:

• Satan’s plans of resistance would be thwarted and we would be able to bring Mia Grace home in God’s perfect timing and perfect way.
• All of the papers we need in order for our immigration approval to be extended to late May/early June would arrive on time and the process of getting what we need from both our Home Study Agency and our Adoption Agency would go smoothly.
• For communication between us and our agency to go smoothly, that deadlines or forms would not fall between the cracks.
• For my heart, and Jason’s heart, to be at peace while we wait these final few months. For the Lord to show Jason, myself, and our girls what needs to be done in preparation for Mia Grace’s homecoming, and what can be left undone.
• For the bonding that will occur between our hearts and Mia Grace’s the moment we get her. Please pray that she will attach completely and securely to me and to Jason in the days, months, and years ahead.
• For the Lord to put us in touch with the right doctors and medical team in the States to treat her cleft lip and palate and any other medical conditions that may arise.
• Please pray for Mia Grace’s protection until we get to her and for her physical, emotional, and spiritual preparation to leave her home in China and come to her home with us. Please pray she would instantly and intuitively know us as her “family,” and that her heart would be at rest in our presence and in the presence of the Lord.

Thank you for your love, support, and prayers. We cannot say “thank you” enough, and we cannot wait to introduce you to Mia Grace.