Susannah Baker

The Night Before

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The Night Before

On July 12, 2015, Posted by , in Adoption, Adoption Journey, With 17 Comments



I’ve always wondered what I would feel like the night before going to get my child.  And while in some ways it feels like any other normal night – the girls are fed, bathed, and quietly sleeping in their beds – in many ways it feels like the night before Christmas.  I am tired and weary from all the preparations, but behind the weariness is great excitement tinged with fear.

I am staring out the living room window of our hotel apartment (and yes, I said the words “living room” and “hotel apartment.”  Unlike our hotel room in Hong Kong that was the size of a postage stamp, our living quarters here feel like the Taj Mahal!  We are all so excited to have ROOM to breathe and adjust to being a family of 6 for the next 12 days!  I will give you a tour of the place tomorrow.)  Our view from our room in the Garden Hotel overlooks the city of Guangzhou, a city that our guide told us today is home to 19 million people, and houses 20-30 large orphanages.  And for the very first time, I can look down at the city scape below me knowing that my child is out there, for the first time ever, close by.

I woke up this morning with two verses on my heart and mind.  The first one is the verse from I Corinthians 13 – “Now we see through a mirror dimly, but then we shall see face to face.”  That’s exactly how I feel about Mia Grace.  I’ve seen pictures, 4 of them to be exact, taken when she was 10 months old.  She is now almost 18 months old, and I have no idea, really, what she looks like.  I don’t know if her hair is short or long, if she is crawling or walking or sitting, if she is short or tall, short and plump, or long and lean.  All I’ve had up until this point are dim glimpses.  But tomorrow…tomorrow I shall see face to face, and all of my questions shall be answered.  And the thought nearly undoes me.  I’ve waited a long time to see that little face, and I am ready for the real thing instead of my own vain imaginations.

Here’s the funny thing – with as many times and with as much anticipation as Jason, myself, the girls, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins, and dear friends have anticipated seeing what Mia Grace’s face looks like, not once has she ever anticipated ours.  She is absolutely clueless as to what is about to happen to her tomorrow and all of the longing, work, cost, and tears that has gone into our future face to face meeting.

My longings to see Mia Grace are imperfect, and I don’t mean to imply in any way that our family perfectly mirrors or images Christ.  But I will say that adoption has given me, and continues to give me, more identification with the story of adoption and redemption in the family of God woven throughout the pages of Scripture.  That being said, I’ve read that verse in I Corinthians 13 all my life, picturing my own anticipation, imagining how I will feel the moment I am able to Christ face to face.  Not once has it ever crossed my mind, until this morning, that He waits to see my face with far more eagerness and anticipation than I wait to see His.  Why?  It’s because He has more skin in the game.  It has cost Him a great deal more than it will ever cost me so that He could see me up and close and personal and call me “His” as part of His forever family.

So I approach tomorrow with great excitement, knowing that a face to face encounter is coming and that it mirrors, if only slightly, the face to face meeting I will have one day with Christ and how He must feel in the interim, waiting for me.

But while I am excited, I am also afraid, and I feel the weight of my own inadequacy and all of the unknowns and hard work that awaits Jason, me, and the girls.  So the second verse I woke up with on my heart was Psalm 46:10: “Cease striving, and know that I am God, and  I will be exalted among the nations.”

It was so good of God to have the day before our “Gotcha Day” to be the Sabbath Day.  For ingrained in the very fabric of the day was the reminder to cease striving.  To stop working.  To stop working, and pretending, and striving, and proving to yourself that you are the one who is powerful and can make things happen and…rest.  Worship.  Put God back upon the throne of your heart where He always deserves to be and remind yourself He has never come down from the throne of the world.  There was great comfort in going to church this morning, to worshipping in an auditorium of faces that looked nothing like mine but were bent on the same common purpose: bending the knee to Christ, worshipping Him as the only wise God.  There was great relief in remembering this morning that God is God in Hong Kong and Guangzhou in China as much as He is in Houston, and it is only when we let the hands drop and stop trying to accomplish things in our own strength that we are reminded His strength is sufficient and His purposes will be accomplished, no matter what may come.  My job is to cease striving and to start trusting: God is God, and I am not.

What a relief.

So I go into tomorrow with those two thoughts and two verses on my mind: I cannot wait to see Mia Grace face to face, for in seeing her, I also see a bit of my future meeting with Christ, and when I am afraid, I remember that God is on the throne, His reign is secure, and His good purposes will be accomplished throughout all the earth.  In China, in Houston, in Mia Grace, in friends and in family, and in me.

With that, good night.  Worship well this morning in Houston, and tomorrow we will all get to meet…Mia Grace.


17 Comments so far:

  1. Kay says:

    Wow friend, beautifully said

  2. Kristen says:

    So beautiful, friend! I have butterflies in my stomach for the Baker family…so thankful your wait is almost over and you will lay eyes on your daughter. We are praying!

  3. Cara says:

    I couldn’t sleep last night(haven’t really since we’ve been here) so I started reading and re-reading your blogs. The anticipation is so great and the excitement is over the top. A tiny picture of what it will be like to see Jesus face to face….. makes me want to cry!!!!!!!

  4. Elizabeth Dains says:

    I am just dying with anticipation!!!!! The day is finally here!!!!!!! I am so thrilled for you!!!!!!

  5. Barbara "Baker" jones says:

    Susannah, these posts are beautiful- bringing tears to my eyes while anticipation pulses through me- I am so excited for y’all, cannot wait to meet sweet Mia Grace! I hope this time for y’all as a family of six is sweet and blessed and restful! Love you all so much!!

  6. Kathy says:

    Praying for you all as you sleep. (And praying THAT you sleep!) Anxiously awaiting – face to face!

  7. Teri Bono says:

    Wow! the anticipation is certainly great waaaaaay over here in Houston! But your words brought me to tears–what a beautiful analogy of Christ longing to see us face-to-face. Thank you, Susannah!

  8. Mia Ince says:

    Praying for the peace of God to envelope you, Jason, Lillian, Lizzie and Caroline as you sleep tonight. Praying for Mia Grace that she will know joy untold when she meets her new family!

    love you so.

  9. Amy says:

    I have been doing battle in prayer for you all day today as you prepare physically, spiritually and emotional for the great meeting that awaits TOMORROW!!!!
    I’m praying for peace in your inner being that surpasses circumstances. I’m praying that God would overwhelm you and the girls with His care for details. That they might see so clearly how He has cared for Mia in China and at the same time that Yall would each see how He has perfectly fitted Yall together as a family.
    Love you dear one. Rest in His perfect care tonight.

  10. Alice says:

    So exciting. This is the day The Lord has made. Rejoice in it.

  11. Steve and Mary Klein says:

    On our hearts and in our prayers. Eight years ago on July 5th we were in the same building you will be in when you get Mia Grace. So many children pass through that building, yet God has designed this precious one to be yours. We are so excited to know that in a few hours your little girl will go from ‘orphan’ to belonging and she will never have another night without belonging:) Beautiful post! Loved ever word. love, the Kleins

  12. Leigh Mc says:

    “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He counts the number of the stars, and gives names to all of them. Great is our LORD and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.” Praising God for His providence in all things…and especially in this day. Love, Leigh

  13. Holly says:

    So thankful the day is upon you! Your heart must be exploding with anticipation, and we are too! Prayers are going up to cover every last detail and for God’s beautiful peace to be with you in the moment you receive Mia Grace. Eagerly anticipating the next post!!!

  14. Lisa Perry says:

    Love those thoughts Susannah, God is just SO good!!

  15. Robin says:

    Not sure how I’m going to sleep tonight! Tempted to check your blog every hour!!! Love y’all! Praying every time you come to mind (which is often!).

  16. Sarah says:

    Beautifully written! I am so excited! I can’t wait to hear all about today!! Praying throughout the day everyday for y’all!

  17. Carri says:

    Brian and I read this post between Sunday School and church. I had tears just flowing. What a beautiful picture of God’s love for us! THANK YOU for posting and sharing about your journey! Know that we continue to lift up your family!

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