It is the end of a very long day and week…we have had the stomach bug in our house; I had my day at Fellowship Bible Church with the precious women’s marriage group—including a visit from my father-in-law today; basketball practice; yoga; Greg just arrived home from a trip with Garrison and he had a full day of work and teaching today; our dear friends, Paul and Laurie, remain at Mercy Hospital yet another night.
However, as I sit in the quiet of my home tonight, one thing brings an excitement to my heart that is hard to put into words. It is actually a simple thing from my day today that could have happened on any one of the days since the news that Annie was coming to live with us. It has been about a month since our joyous moment of learning that Annie is officially our daughter. We have continued forward on the paperwork—more financial planning—and even adding a closet upstairs for Maddy’s new bedroom.
However, this simplest of things gave me the greatest joy today. It is something that added to the reality of this entire journey. It’s still unbelievable that we are going to have a toddler running through our house again. The joy, the fear, the anticipation, the full range of emotion that this brings is unending—especially this weekend as Greg was gone and I was uselessly sick. I kept thinking “What would I do right now with a toddler?” We have had wonderful news with financial support for her future surgeries; a sweet surprise shower with our family small group; and many fun moments of anticipation. However, today, something else brought my heart the greatest joy. You see, today, I made a trip to the local post office to mail a photo album of our family to Annie—to let her know that we are her forever family. Although this will take nearly a month to arrive in Beijing and to be held in her precious little hands, today was the day, with great joy, that this all became very real to me. In a month, she will finally get to see that Greg and I are her mommy and daddy; that she has an almost 16-year-old sister that radiates a beauty from inside and out; a second sister who has a heart of compassion like no other; and a brother who is continually asking “Can I really call Annie MY sister now?” Pictures of her new house, her new room and yes, her new swing. The picture of her precious cousin, Zoie, who was brought home from Ethiopia a short two-years ago (we were sure she was our answer to this adoption journey for us…we could just love Zoie…we certainly weren’t going to also adopt. And now they will be cousins with Annie being 6 months older); she will see a picture of her grandparents and her papa who wept when he realized that “he too had deep feelings already for this little girl that he hasn’t yet met”; and her precious cousins who will embrace her wholeheartedly.
I experienced great disappointment as I drove up to the Siloam post office and learned that they closed at 4:30pm; however, like every other small, seemingly insignificant miracle, the Post Office Express was able to mail the photo album out today. I realized today that I had poured hours into selecting the “right” pictures time and time again over the previous weeks—realizing that they were much more than just pictures I was sending—I was actually sending this little girl in China a glimpse into her new life—a life that God has given to her. Not accidentally. Not by coincidence…but by His Divine Plan. I love how He does that and that we simply get to join Him in the journey of life. I just finished up 5 days of my Beth Moore Study, Daniel…yes I did say 5 days which was no small undertaking in one night, however, I love how in Daniel so much is foretold about the end times. I was exposed to many prophecies that have already been fulfilled and more that will come in the future. And it made me realize that He already has a plan for each of our lives—He knew before he created the heavens and the earth that Annie was our daughter—just as He knew that we would have Taylor, Maddy and Garrison. And all we had to do was say “yes” to Him. As I said earlier, it seems unbelievable to me that we will have a toddler running through our house again, but it seemed very believable to Him long ago. What a thrill and a joy it is to humbly get to join Him in this journey of bringing our China doll home. To think that He knew she would be ours, long before we did. He knows and understands “why” she is right for us and “why” we are right for her. This journey has seemed hard to explain to some; hard to grasp for others—including us at times; however, completely planned and known by Him.