Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two weeks

Somehow our family was chosen to be part of an amazing experience.  Really, when I sit back and think about it, which I have had little time to do, I am awestruck by the fact that God chose me and my little family to be one little girl's first experience of life outside an orphanage.  He chose her, He chose us.  And two weeks ago today I was blessed to welcome her to the United States for the very first time.


Why me?  Why my family?  Of all the people in this world...He chose us.  Not to bless her, but to be blessed by her.

This is the sweet girl, Kate, that I met for the first time on July 16th.  (Did I mention that was only two weeks ago?)

Did you see her?  That was her, in the red, distant and with the posture of a little girl who was not only timid, but also feeling sick after traveling on an airplane for the first time in her life, and quite possibly the first time in a car as well.

Amazing what an hour or so sitting together will do.  We exchanged smiles as I showed her pictures on my phone of the people she would call family for the next month.

After leaving the airport, we (my friend Ashleigh, who is hosting another child, and I) checked into our hotel room with two children who, just over an hour earlier, we had not even met.  But it's amazing what food will do to break down walls and build relationships!  Food and ginormous beds that provide great space to run and jump and chase one another on.  Who needs Magic Mountain when you've got a good mattress that sends you flying just as high as any roller coaster would?

Just two hours after arriving on American soil, this is sweet Kate all tucked in to her queen-sized hotel room bed with it's multitude of down pillows and abundance of empty space.

And the very next day, it was time to make these two exhausted children travel even further, to a place where the temps hit three digits.  We made sure not to tell them that before getting out of the car in Phoenix for fear they would want to get on the next plane back to EU.

I have never experienced a 7 hour car-ride, including children, that was more quiet and peaceful than this one.  Sometimes a language barrier is a beautiful thing.  Not to mention exhaustion from so much travel that these sweet kiddos slept much of the time.

Alas, we made it to Phoenix where we met up with our families at, where else, but Chick-fil-A.

It wasn't long before we saw that Kate loves babies.  I don't mean she loves babies, I mean she LOVES, LOVES, LOVES babies.  Like so much so that you may never get your baby returned to you once she gets ahold of said baby. Conveniently, Ashleigh has an adorable 11-month old that was a true ice breaker for everyone involved.

It didn't take long before we began to see this face...

And we've seen nothing but this face ever since...two weeks of beautiful.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

April 7, 2013

April 7, 2013 began for our family an exciting journey with this one simple text from my dear sister-in-law:

"A host program for orphans?  What in the world is that all about?  Why would a group of orphans get on a plane and fly halfway around the world to come stay with an American family for a month?  Isn't that almost cruel...like a tease?"  These were among the many, many questions constructing themselves in my mind that morning and over the following few days.

So, me being the Google addict that I am, began researching and Googling like crazy.  I read the website of God's Waiting Children and many others to make sure I understood what this was all about. And...then...I...saw...her...

When I saw this beautiful face, the questions I had didn't even matter anymore.  Quickly my thoughts turned to, "How can we be this precious girl's host family?" and "How can I convince Adam this is a great idea?"

I had already mentioned the host program to Adam, but he hadn't seen the kids faces yet either.  And then...he...saw...this...

A song about daddy?  For real?  Melt our hearts!  She wants to learn how to ride a bike and she's like a kitten?  Is that all?  Because after seeing her picture and reading this bio, I'd move mountains for her if I could.  Our hearts were done for.  Done.  All in.

So we prayed...and prayed...and prayed until one night Adam came to me and said, "Let's do it!"

In just one week, I will be eagerly awaiting the arrival of this little girl to LAX.  She will then spend the following month with our family before she leaves to head home.

This is all still very surreal and will probably feel that way even after she has left our home.

And here I sit in awe of the God who orchestrated this entire situation.  There are details that He has put before us that I cannot even comprehend and were I to share I would spend days writing.  But don't worry, I've kept record of every single one of them for another time.

"Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."
Daily, the Lord reminds me of His promises to me.

He delights in revealing these great and hidden things to us, His children.  My heart has found so much delight in Him, in calling to Him, in walking in obedience into the unknown.  And surprisingly, it is in the unknown that I find the most peace, abundantly more peace than in the known.  Because what is truly known by me anyway?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  And so I seek Him, because only He can be known.  And the rest?  It's all in the palm of His hands.
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