Today is our last full day in China! We picked up Stevie’s Visa this morning! When we land on US soil tomorrow night he will officially be a US citizen!
We are so thankful for how smooth all of the appointments and legal to do’s have gone. Thank you for praying us through and praying us home!
We have tried to soak in this one on one time with Stevie knowing that since we are still here, we are exactly where we are supposed to be. This time has been invaluable and we will forever be grateful for it.
We are also missing our girls so much! We cannot wait to have them in our arms and to all be together as a family! HUGE thanks to both our parents who have cared for Daye and Fin during this long trip and to ALL the others extending extra love and grace to them. We are humbled to have been able to leave them confidently knowing they would be so well loved.
I am still fumbling for words to express this next set of thoughts. Jesus write your words and deliver them in your way…
As we have walked these last five years to adopt our son we have experienced the love of Jesus in his adoption for us in such rich ways. Here are some of the pivotal moments that led us to where we are now:
When we first went to Liberia, Africa in 2009 my dad prayed, “On this trip I pray that what breaks Gods heart will break yours too.” Our hearts were broken for the people of Africa and for the world they were living in torn apart by war. Our eyes were opened to those outside our own little world.
When my sister placed the book Adopted For Life in my hands. God gently and powerfully peeled away a film off my eyes to grasp my own adoption as His daughter. To grasp that Jesus, too, had been adopted by Joseph. To grasp that adoption is, in a sense, the Gospel!
When God continued to lay the idea of adoption on my heart when he hadn’t necessarily yet laid it on Taylor’s. To walk me through heeding to His voice while still respecting my husband’s. To walk me through letting go and trusting Him. To see how He was in control of aligning our hearts in His own timing.
When Taylor was driving in his car one day and he heard God say, “Did I delay in adopting you?” And then watching Taylor respond in obedience to lead our family in this adoption. There have been so many times over the last five years where I have been paralyzed by fear of the what ifs and the unknowns that come with adoption and it has been monumental to have Taylor be so confident in God’s call for us to continue on.
When battling a season of fear and first hearing the song, Oceans by Hillsong. “You call me out upon the waters. The great unknown where feet may fail…” I remember exactly where I was standing and who was next to me. God was gently and firmly affirming His call to continue following Him in adopting.
When I was in another season of fear a friend reminded me of the truth sung in the song, Oceans, “You’ve never failed and you won’t start now!” We have clung to this truth countless times.
When I was begging God for affirmation that we were still supposed to move forward after Finley was born. And I saw another adoptive mom at the park. And just seeing her from afar and then being given to courage to meet her that day was such a tangible expression of God saying, “I hear you. I see you. I will walk with you every step.”
When I was given permission to back out and to call it quits. When the fear was so great and the hard was overwhelming and God gave me permission to not adopt. He gave me affirmation that His love for me has nothing to do with me and what I do or do not do. He loves me because He loves me. Period. He was simply inviting me into something, but He gave me permission to say no. And still His love for me and acceptance of me would not change. He gave me the image of me being in the pool. Finley is on the side so scared to jump in. I tell her, “The water feels great! And I am right here! I promise I will catch you! And it is so much fun in the water! I want you to experience it!” She still decides not to jump. My love for her has nothing to do with whether or not she jumped in. It was simply that I knew what was in store for her if she did. I wanted something for her. Not from her. And so it is with God.
When I was knee deep in grief over our son we had lost in 2015 and the door closes for our adoption from Uganda. My heart ached, “God why are you closing so many doors?” He swiftly redirected us to the China program, one we had never before considered.
When we asked for help fundraising and He delivered through countless generous hearts. One of the most humbling experiences we have ever had. In this He affirmed to us “I’ve already made the way, keep hold of my hand, I’ll be with you as I bring your family together!”
When we met Stevie for the first time and God calmed our anxious hearts.
When we introduced Stevie to a million new things for the first time, and He put laughter in Stevie’s heart.
When Stevie attached to Taylor. Stevie had probably never before spent time around an adult male figure. And God spoke powerfully, “A father! I’ve given Stevie a father! And I chose Taylor! Stevie will know the love of His Heavenly Father because he will know the love of his father, Taylor!”
There are so many more intimate details where the presence of Jesus and the power of adoption have overwhelmed us. We are humbled to have experienced what He had in store this far. And we wait with anticipation for what He has in store as we make it home and are a family of five. We know there is more hard to come. We know there is much transition and grief and newness through which we will walk. We ask for your prayers that we would be able to say confidently when those times come, “God, you’ve never failed, and you won’t start now!”
Please pray for our flights home and that we won’t have any hiccups medical/health wise.
Please pray for Daye and Finley.
Please pray for continued bonding and for the bonding to come with his sisters too.
“I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms— I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.” Psalm 13:5-6 MSG
Jesus, thank you. Thank you for coming to us and making a way for us to be with you, to be your children. Thank you for making a way for us to come to Stevie, for him to be with us, to be our son. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Our first night in G’zhou
Waiting for his Visa Medical appointment
Looking at pictures his sisters sent him
Outing to Shamian Island
Carrying our purchases but just looks like a bag of trash, ha!
Ready to go swimming!
A stick! I found a stick!
Not tired! Ha!
Waiting for our US Consulate appointment
Looking like a stud
Thankfully he loves French fries as much as we do!
He loves playing in the room. We walk back in and he gets right to work!
At the zoo yesterday
Such a ham!
We are blurry but have everything we need to come home now! Wahoo!
Can’t wait to be waving Ne Hao to Daye and Finley tomorrow night!!!!