Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

James 1:27

He predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will— to the praise of his glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves.

Ephesians 1:5-6

Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.

Isaiah 1:17

Sunday, June 14, 2015

My First Few Days in China

Day one-
A very early start to get to the airport! VERY early! My sister in law and Emma and I got to  the airport in plenty of time with Josh. I was such a mix of emotions, Nervous because I was doing this without him, not nervous because I wasn't 100% alone and my sister in law has this uncanny sense of calm which helps carry over lol. Excited to have Abbi and have this part of our journey DONE, but nervous because who knows what is on the other side of this adventure.  But I am blessed to know a God who knows what is on the other side of this adventure, no matter what is waiting for me, He is there and walking beside me through each and every moment! We got through security and to Texas with no drama. Emma was so fun to watch on the plane though. Her eyes got wide and her poor legs were shaking but it didn't take her long at all to get used to it! And she said it was better than a roller-coaster...which she doesn't like by the way! haha
Our trip over to China was pretty uneventful as well. Longer than I remember, but then isn't every labor we experience! I remember feeling so so out place our first adoption on the flight. We are obviously not a majority on a plane going to China, and yet, that overwhelming feeling of being one out of a hundred wasn't there. I felt like I was right where I was suppose to be! Even stepping off the plane and going into the airport, again, a sense of normal. Maybe it was God gaving me the peace I needed (your prayers are felt!), maybe it was the fact that I have been here before, but I think so much of it is the journey that God has walked us through before this adoption being in the hospital with Nina on my own so many times. God has taught me so much lately to how to walk close to Him, to let go of the hands that I have tried so hard to cling to for dependence and trust that He is there! Always, and everywhere!!!
We get to the hotel and the sights and sounds come rushing back! I was able to talk to the hotel desk to get the rooms I was hoping to get before we left but the lady on the phone was getting us no where! I know silly but I just have a hard time talking to people about things like this, but I did that! God gave me that strength to be brave. This room gets us food all day long! We do have to pay a little extra for it, but it means not trying to venture out too much with Abbi and staying in more because she might need it. Our sweet guide in Shanghai is AMAZING!!! I have had good guides and I have had bad guides and they can make a good trip miserable! I got so blessed with an amazing one!!!! Thank you Lord!

Welcome to Shanghai!

Day 2
Well sleep was horrible, but we made it work :). We just chilled in our room a lot in the morning an then made our way to the pool for a little bit. MY stomach hasn't been loving the change and lack of sleep so I haven't been eating a ton, but the food has been SO YUM! If your a China adoption mom you know what I am talking about, there is NOTHING like the buffets at these hotels!!!! Noodles for breakfast lunch and dinner? YES PLEASE!!!!
A woman I met online helps with a foster home here in Shanghai. I met her because she used to work with one in Yulin where Nina was so she had met Nina before we did and just loved her! Who wouldn't ;)?!?!?!!!! I wanted so badly to meet her and go to dinner but that meant getting out of my comfort zone and getting a taxi and navigating a HUGE city I have never been to and could only speak very VERY little of their language! So much of me wanted to be brave but so much of me wanted to stay in safe! My sister in law,  in her true calm "you only live once", personality, encouraged me that I may regret it if I didn't go but probably wouldn't regret it if we did. Which convinced me to go for it! So with a knotted stomach we stepped out into the huge cement city and got to Shining Star Foster Home. There was a group of college aged French kids hanging out and playing with the kids so it was fun to get to hang with them a little bit. The kids there were so so sweet! It broke my heart to see so many of them and know they were in such a loving healing place until they were adopted but were under the constant threat of being sent back to the orphanage. Many of them had vision issues of some kind, Two of the little boys had heart defects. One in which is so bad he will need a heart transplant. The foster mom has been working hard to get his paper work done to be adopted but because of his heart the orphanage says it isn't worth the time or money to complete it because he wont make it and no one would come for him in time to make it worth their time. This sweet boy has SO much life! He was EVERYWHERE! Just like any sweet two year old boy, he did not let anything hold him back! Emma fell in love with these two sweet boys!  It broke my heart to hear one of the boys say to the foster mom, "no one would come for me, right?" She says, "what would make you say such a thing?" He told her the police officer told him there is no one out there for him who would want him." BREAK MY HEART INTO A MILLION PIECES!!!! This boy did have limited sight but that did not hold him back from anything. His English was as clear as day, he got everywhere he needed to go and did everything any boy his age would do! And such a sweet heart!!! She in turn held back tears and said, do not listen to him, there are PLENTY of people out there who would want you!" To which he smiled big and ran to play.  He said all of it as if he truly believed it and as if he was just having another conversation! For this boy it is his reality what he has been told many times, may actually be his reality. HOPE means EVERYTHING to these kids! It gives them meaning, it gives them a better chance of tomorrow and it gives them life!
We had an interesting time trying to get back to our hotel. We went to dinner with our friend and when we parted ways she sent us off in a taxi all hopeful the taxi driver knew where we were going after she called our hotel and the hotel gave the cab driver directions. We got to the area that looked familiar but when we pulled up it was not our hotel. We told him in our best NON Mandarin this isn't it. He asked for our phone and I gave it to him. (We think he thought it was the phone he was talking on before and he could just call the hotel back but he kept calling my husband which of course wasn't going through. (Boy that would have been great if it had though!) So my sister in law was going to get out to go talk to the hotel desk to get someone to talk to him and give him directions but he was like no no and started driving! We looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders...what else could we do! LOL  By the grace of God our hotel was just a few buildings down and we got out safly! And the driver had a very good laugh!
What is even crazier is that in driving over to the foster home, we were about 20 minute walking distance from my Abbi's orphanage! Knowing in that dark night my sweet girl was sleeping alone and I could do nothing to comfort her was breaking my heart!
It was a late night but it was a truly great experience! I would not have traded that part of my life for anything!

Through my adoption with Isac and Nina I had a song that ran through my head often. It was a song that grounded me when I started feeling panic settle in. This adoption has been no different. God brought the song In Over My Head (Crash Over Me) by Bethel.

I have come to this place in my life 
I’m full but I’ve not satisfied 
This longing to have more of You
I can feel it my heart is convinced
I’m thirsty my soul can’t be quenched 
You already know this but still
Come and do whatever You want to

Words that truly always keep me wanting to fight for more than myself. Josh and I could asily raise Christian children and feel satisfied that we were doing what the Lord has called us to do, but we wanted to glorify Him more! We wanted more of what He wanted, and He answered with the words SEE MY CHILDREN!

I’m standing knee deep but I’m out where never been
I feel You coming and I hear Your voice on the wind 

Would you come and tear down the boxes that I have tried to put You in
Let love come teach me who You are again
Take me back to the place where my heart was only about You
And all I wanted was just to be with You
Come and do whatever You want to

This whole journey has been tough, but I did not think I would ever calmly get on the plane and leave my family half way across the ocean and journey out of my safe zone of the hotel, with out much kicking or screaming, or not even at all! But He called me out,  softly, calmly and peacefully said daughter just go...I am here I am already there and I will catch you when you fall.  Like a child learning to walk and taking the chance at taking that first step to their moms open arms!

Further and further my heart moves away from the shore
Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours
Further and further my heart moves away from the shore
Whatever it looks like, whatever may come I am Yours
Knowing who my God is, knowing what my God has done for me before and what He promises to do in me here and after, I move forward because no matter what, He will always catch me!
Then You crash over me and I’ve lost control but I’m free
I’m going under, I’m in over my head 
And You crash over me, I’m where You want me to be
I’m going under, I’m in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim 
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head
Whether I sink, whether I swim
It makes no difference when I’m beautifully in over my head
I’m Beautifully in over my head
I’m Beautifully in over my head

Nothing about what I am doing makes since in my own head. It is truly not something I EVER wanted to do (journeying all the way over here on my own!), I am completely and utterly overwhelmed that I am where I am! But because I am walking with Him it is and will always be beautiful! No matter if Abbi hates me, no matter if we get lost a thousand times and hit more road bumps moving forward, THIS is His perfect and beautiful plan!  Will it be easy? Will it look like what I hope it will look like? Will it be the plan I want to envision out of my human flesh...maybe...but maybe not. But He is already in that beautiful plan. Putting our lives together like a puzzle that makes no sense if your only looking at the one piece, but together makes a glorious design!

*We did get pictures of and with the kids but out of respect for the foster home we aren't going to post them until they give me the okay! :)

Day 3
This morning I was up early again. Not happy about that but all well, I can sleep at some point in life right! Today we did a little sight seeing with our great and sweet guide SuLinn. Who by the way is one of six children! It was before the one child policy was enforced. But she said to me that she thought I had such a beautiful and amazing family. It made my heart so happy because it was so genuine and so not in a "your such an amazing person because of what you are doing", but because you value your children. Did I  mention I LOVE her! We went to Yu Garden which is full of pagodas (tired towers used for traditions back in the ancient days) and toured the busy busy streets of Shanghai. had the chance to buy about a million fake watches and purses! VERY crazy to have people following you trying to talk to you about buying things when you have already said no about a million times in the nicest possible way!
Anyway afterwards we went to the aquarium. For the most part it was nice but there was one point where I felt like I was having a panic attack! We were in one of those tubes on a moving floor going sooooooooooooo slooooow! At first it was not too bad, there were a  LOT of people but people were standing and going with the slow pace looking at the fish, but as soon as it got to the sharks people all started crowding forward! I love Chinese people but there is no such thing as personal space! That mixed with the memory of the scene in Jaws where the glass breaks on the shark tank and the people start going nuts, came rushing back! I am a follow -the- crowd -do -not -break- the -rules kind of person and I stood it for as long as I could but I was starting to panic and there was not an end in site. I stepped off the moving sidewalk, I grabbed Emma's hand looked at my sister in law and started pusing my way forward. Thankfully we finally made our way out and I could breathe again! Totally never saw myself ever feeling like that, but man THERE WAS A LOT OF PEOPLE IN THERE!!!! I think the fact that I am completely exhausted does not help either.  Afterwards we went back to our room and just rested our bodies and mind.

Getting ready to celebrate Dragon Boat Festival!


The woman in the white shirt with a ponytail who did not take no for no! Apparently my sister in law thought it was funny how far she followed us!

Asking the man with the really big gun for directions!!!!!

Tomorrow is the BIG day! The day my Abbi's life changes forever! I wonder if they have told her tomorrow she will be leaving all she knows. I wonder if they have prepared her for this day at all. I wonder if even as I write this her sweet mind ever wonders when her turn is coming.
Dear Abbi-
I wish I knew now how to help you. I wish I knew what would make your heart less scared and make your transition that much easier. I wish there was another way then ripping you from all you have ever known to give you a future and a family! My heart aches for all that you will lose and all the fear that is coming up ahead for you ! Know my heart breaks with yours but even more the Heavenly Father sees you where you are. His heart breaks that this world is fallen and that your healing has to begin with more pain. I hope one day you see His love for you and that He sees you and wants such big things for you!!! Dear sweet baby girl I pray we can help you see that! You are loved, you are special YOU ARE HIS!!! I pray you can find comfort in our arms and learn to know how much we love you! I know this journey will not be easy for any of us. The beginning of healing sometimes is the hardest place to be, but such beauty always comes from it! We love you! And can not wait to be your mommy and daddy!

Tomorrow night while you are all sleeping an orphan will become a daughter!

I have had good and bad internet connection on my computer so I  may or may not be able to blog our big day tomorrow right away...but stay tuned!!

1 comment:

  1. Prayers for a very smooth transition for all of you. Blessings!!!