In Judges 6, we learn about Gideon and how God called him to do something, but in order for Gideon to confirm the calling, he asked God for a specific sign. God provided the sign exactly as Gideon asked. Then, Gideon asked again for one more sign and God provided that specific sign, too. I have always loved this story in the Bible because it reminds me that God wants us to be confident in His calling for our lives. And, He loves us so much that He doesn't say, "I told you what to do. Stop asking for signs and just do it!" He allows us the time to process His call for our lives and He provides confirmation over and over again when we are doing what He has called us to do.
"36 Gideon said to God, “If you will save Israel by my hand as you have promised— 37 look, I will place a wool fleece on the threshing floor. If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” 38 And that is what happened. Gideon rose early the next day; he squeezed the fleece and wrung out the dew—a bowlful of water.
39 Then Gideon said to God, “Do not be angry with me. Let me make just one more request. Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” 40 That night God did so. Only the fleece was dry; all the ground was covered with dew.
This past week, I have felt a little bit like Gideon."
Judges 6: 36-40
I have felt a bit like Gideon this week. I have asked God for signs. And, our God is good!
Last Monday, I wrote in my prayer journal that my prayer for that week was that we would match with our child that week. The process and the waiting was becoming hard and I really wanted to know our child. However, we had been trying so hard to find our child ourselves by requesting files of any children that we thought fit the criteria that we are approved to adopt. On Monday, we decided to stop requesting Special Focus files until after Spring Break if we were not matched by then. We would just be patient and wait for God to lead us to our son or daughter.
On Tuesday, I saw a Facebook China advocacy post that mentioned a little boy with a limb difference that was LID only. A specific agency (not ours) had his file and did not have an LID family for him at that time. If they did not find him a family within their agency by Thursday, 4/2, they would have to release his file to the shared list and any other agency could lock his file at that point. The person advocating for him sent me some information about him and some photos and video of him. He was adorable! I thought that he could be our son that we have been waiting to meet. I showed everything to Jeremy and it seemed like a possibility. I talked to our agency and our agency talked to the agency that had his file. There were plans for our agency to call his agency to get the specific details to find his file on the shared list if his file was released on 4/2.
So, at that point, I started praying that God would either close that door, introduce us to our child between that day and 4/2 or that God would make it clear that he was to be our son.
Then, last Thursday, March 26th, our Case Worker, Bekah, called to say that Lifeline had received some LID only files for some children from a partnership orphanage. She listed a few special needs and ages and asked which ones I would be interested in. From there, she let the list manager (or someone at LL) know which things we were okay with and that person decided who within the Lifeline families that were LID would receive which file to review.
A little while later she called me back to ask if we wanted to see a specific file for a nine month old with a cleft lip and palate. I said, "Yes!". She sent the file over and we started reviewing it. As I have done with so many other files we have looked at, I sent it on to a doctor friend of mine for her take on it. I also sent the file to our pediatrician to review it. Since the child had a cleft lip and palate, I called a friend of mine who has adopted two daughters with cleft lips and palates. Her daughters both had their lip repairs in China, but had their palate repairs once home. Later that night, I got on the phone with a friend of a friend who adopted a son with cleft lip and palate last summer. Her son has had the lip surgery and the palate surgery since coming home. I really wanted to understand exactly what to expect with a potential 2-3 surgeries within the first 9 months home. We went ahead and asked for an update if possible because his file had been prepared in November and a lot developmentally can happen five months for an infant. We wanted to see video or photos that were more recent to assess his development.
In the meantime, we started praying that we would know if he was to be our son. Honestly, at that point, we were both really scared of the possibility of 2 surgeries (possibly 3 if his lip needed 2 surgeries). We know people who have done both surgeries once home and they have done great. But, for us, two surgeries within the first 9 months or so seemed intimidating. It just scared us. So, we let God know our fears and asked that he ease our fears if we were to pursue this little boy. We also asked God for us to receive an update showing good development.
"So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Jeremy's parents visited for the weekend and Monday rolled around with no update. I was starting to feel discouraged. Then, on Tuesday (after refreshing my email about a million times), I had an email for Bekah with an update! And, I immediately saw that his lip had been repaired! I asked for God to take away the fear of two surgeries and He did! The little boy had already had the lip surgery (later we found out he had two lip surgeries, one in January and one in March) and was doing well. We also received video showing him sitting up and showing him rolling over and trying to crawl, but not quite crawling yet. God is so good! He showed us exactly what we needed to see to ease our fears! He gave us the sign we asked to receive!
But, my request for signs did not end. On Tuesday afternoon, I emailed the videos to our pediatrician so that he could review them and let us know what he thought. I had a few questions in general and I wanted him to let us know if he felt like he was developmentally on track. We know to expect developmentally delays due to a life in an orphanage, but in general, we wanted to know if he saw anything concerning in the update.
And, on Wednesday morning, I woke up to an email from our pediatrician that said that he felt like he was doing fine developmentally and that he saw nothing concerning. Yay! God gave me the sign I asked for again!!!
So, at that point, we were confident that God had called us to adopt this specific little boy! We completed the paperwork for our Letter of Intent (LOI) and sent it to our agency. We were told that we could not share his pictures or anything until we received Pre-Approval (PA) from China, which could take 1-2 weeks. I had met a mom on FB through one of the adoption groups who is with our agency who received a file the same day as us, has the same LID as us and that submitted their LOI this week, too. She had received her PA the next day! I really hoped we would, too, but did not have my hopes up since we were told to expect 1-2 weeks.
This morning I did not see any email about PA, so I assumed that we did not get it yet. China is 12 hours ahead of us, so if we had received PA, I figured they would have emailed our agency during the night and our case worker would have it this morning. By lunch I had not heard from Bekah, so I assumed she did not get it today. However, during lunch, we received a phone call!
We have Pre-Approval (PA) for our SON!!!!
This precious little one is nine months old and was born with a cleft lip and palate. In January, he had his first lip surgery to repair the left side of his lip. And, in March, he had his second lip surgery to repair the right side of his lip. He is healing so perfectly! We will have his palate surgery this fall once he is home.
So...without further ado...
(Ignore the pink...he is definitely a boy! In Chinese orphanages, they just put the children in whatever clothes they have.)
We do not have a name for him yet, but we hope to have one soon.
We cannot wait to get him home to play with his brothers, to rock him to sleep, to love on him every day for the rest of his life! Little man, your family is coming! We cannot wait for him to be home!
We hope to travel by the end of August, but delays happen all the time with adoption, so I will try my best not to get my hopes up with that timeline.
Pray that our son will know love and comfort while in the orphanage. Pray for his nannies as they take care of him. Pray that the adoption process will be smooth and fast so that we can bring him home SOON! Thank you for all of your prayers throughout this process. We know that so many people are praying for us and for our son and we are so thankful for those prayers!
So, earlier in this saga, I told you about a little boy with a limb difference that we were praying God would either close the doors for us to adopt him or that we would be able to pursue him. Well, God did not forget about him during this past week when He was introducing us to our son! Last night I was praying for that little boy hoping he would find a family fast since God had made it so clear to us to pursue this one. This morning, I woke up to an email from the advocate that had posted about him last week. She said that he has a family! A family with that agency did decide to pursue him! Thank you, God! God did not forget about him! God KNEW that he was not our son. God KNEW who would be our son! He KNEW all of this last week (and long before that!). And, he has confirmed to me over and over and OVER again that He has called us to our specific son!
God is so good!
"I will not leave you as orphans;
I will come to you."