Our journey to our newest little ones really starts at the same time as the beginning of our adoption of the girls. In summer 2012 Rob and I knew we were supposed to adopt a child. We both thought it would be a child between ages 3 to 6 years old with a minor medical need. Then we saw Louisa May and everything changed. In August, we began the process to adopt her and we felt complete peace from the Lord that she was our daughter. But even as we started I knew there were more children in Ch*na for us. During the whole time we were working on that adoption I felt strongly that we would be going back. What I didn’t know was that in August as we began the adoption for Louisa, two other little children were experiencing one of the most painful moments of their lives. George and Margaret Joy were both left in the care of their orphanages that same month. When I read that in their files I finally understood why my spirit felt peaceful and yet still waiting at the same time.
For the first few months after we got home with Louisa and Clara Anne I doubted we would ever adopt again. It was so hard and the idea of adopting again was no where on our radar. Then as I’ve shared before, we turned a corner. There were lots of factors in that but largely it was myself. I saw a movie for Mother’s Day last year. Mom’s Night Out. It’s not the best movie ever made, it’s just a sweet, silly, beautiful little love note to moms. To trust Jesus with our families and basically to take a chill pill. I sat in the movie theater and cried almost hysterically the whole movie. I cried for days after that and I made other people keep going back to see it with me. I felt the burden I had taken on my own shoulders lift. The burden of having to perfect myself, my home and my children was gone. I put that load back in the hands of the only One who can carry it. It was a really powerful time for me. I had joy and was ready to move forward again with our lives.
Shortly after that I came across a blog on a website run by a bunch of adoptive moms. Each blog is written by different people on all different topics of adoption. No Hands But Ours. I got on this website to catch up on blogs missed and started reading a particular one. The mom had adopted a child with a visual impairment and the blog was an excerpt from a a little book called “Exposed to Hope: Stories of Families who have Adopted a Child with a Visual Impairment from Ch*na”. It was put together by a foster home in Ch*na called Bethel. I had never heard of this place before. In the blog there was one particular quote that really grabbed me.
It said “Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, “Wow, what a ride!”
(George in the middle on the cover)
There was also a picture of the cover of that book. When I read that blog I knew God was calling us to adopt again. And little did I know that the sweet buddy in the middle of that picture was our George. The blog the Lord used to call us back to Ch*na had the picture of our child on it. Amazing God thing!
After that I started praying that God would direct us to the child or children we should adopt. I strongly felt compelled that we were to adopt younger children this time, in fact to look for a boy and a girl who would be the same ages as David and Elizabeth.
I started looking on several waiting child pages and one day I saw this precious face, with dimples to make you swoon. When I saw him I got tears in my eyes and felt gripped by his face.
It said he lived at a place called Bethel Ch*na. I went and looked at their website and they had such a sweet description of this little guy.
“The first thing that people notice about Gu Lei is his huge, gorgeous eyes! However, he is unable to see through them. Gu Lei is very clever, he can imitate sounds that he hears, including words and animal noises. His imitation of a frog is so good that his teachers thought that there was a frog in the classroom! We love seeing Gu Lei’s beautiful eyes and the way that he has slowly come out of his shell and started to play, love and learn at Bethel.
‘How can one captivate Gu Lei’s heart? The key is to be genuine. He’s so smart, aware, and sensitive to everything that is around him, that you can’t be half-hearted in your interactions with Gu Lei. It takes Gu Lei a while to truly trust the people and environment around him, but once he feels secure in your presence, it’s all giggles and smiles from there.
His mind is like a sponge– he absorbs everything that he learns and hears, even though it seems as if he is not paying attention. He needs to repeat it quietly to himself multiple times before he can confidently say it out loud.
Gu Lei enjoys jumping on the trampoline and going down the slide, but all of that came after he conquered his fear of the unknown. He was only able to fully enjoy these activities after crying and repeatedly doubting himself. Gu Lei has come a long way from when he first came to Bethel. He went from a timid and shy boy, running away and hiding from class and adults to walking into class on his own to learn new songs and activities.
Although he is not fully confident in himself yet, he enjoys to take on challenges and learn new things. Gu Lei especially enjoys music. He loves the guitar, piano, zither, drums… all things musical! He also has a very sweet singing voice that can only be heard if you lean in toward him. He is truly a delight and a blessing!”
I felt so drawn to him and just started praying that the Lord would please direct us if this was the boy we should adopt. It’s so hard to look at all the faces of these kids and pick just one. They are not hamsters, they’re children. All precious children in deep need. All equally deserving of love and family. One night I was praying over him and asking the Lord to show me clear direction that this was our son. All along I knew that we should name a little boy George. That is Rob’s grandfather’s name and he was such a special man. He was a really important part of Rob’s life. We had always wanted to use that name but it never seemed right with our other boys.
As I prayed, I felt led to look up the name George and what it means. It means “farmer”. Okay… not what I was thinking. I was thinking it would mean something like “to see the light” or something really special like that, just perfect for this blind child that would help direct us. I was a little bewildered but then I felt led to look up more about where he is living. He is being cared for at Bethel but they have several foster homes. His is called Duodian. When I read about it, I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes. He lives on a FARM!!! Do you know how many foster homes are located on a working farm in Ch*na????? Um, this is pretty much it. There are rural foster homes but this facility is very unique. Again, I just cried. This was about as pointed and marked as it could be. Our little “farmer” George is actually living on a farm!!! I knew this was our child, I felt the Lord confirmed it and from there the great prayer adventure began. I asked a small group of women I know who are prayer warriors to pray with me daily about this, that the Lord would clear the way if this little boy was indeed ours. The Lord answered those prayers in some amazing ways!
Part 2 tomorrow