Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Walking by Faith and Growing

Here it is...what has been almost four years in the making.

On October 22nd our phone rang with a call from Virginia. I knew it meant an adoption referral because we were told we wouldn't get a call until it was big news. And as we braced ourselves for the possibility of a long, excruciating wait, just six weeks in we got the call. I cannot begin to say what an aching it is to wait close to the phone knowing a life-changing call could come at any time. (For the families who are still waiting, we often ask God to be near you and lead your stories. Our hearts feel so heavy knowing the hard road you are walking.) Waiting in adoption is an aching (the best word I know to describe it) for a child you don't even know. It means praying desperately that your child is safe and waiting for the call and subsequent news of how much your little one has had to endure. That's really hard on any parent's heart.

Calmly our agency called to tell us they had a referral of a little girl for our family. While she stayed calm I lost all composure. I was so excited my voice kept cracking. The joy wouldn't stay pushed down. And in her next seven words the deepest peace settled in: She is seven about to turn eight (read the 11/10/10 post about what God spoke in a dream here). Without seeing her picture I knew this was the promised girl God began speaking about years ago. 

"Would you like to see her picture and review her information?" she asked.

Who says no to that!?!

We waited and finally the pictures and details arrived by email. It was April 2009 when I saw our little girl in a dream. The little girl I saw then had a short, boy-like haircut and looked very Indian. Looking at the pictures that Monday morning the little girl's hair was longer than in my dream and her cheeks a little chubbier. But a deep peace was there...and we couldn't say yes to her fast enough. 



Hague rules require a pediatrician to review all medical records so after waiting for a needed email we had the required review. This adoption process started on my birthday after finally sensing God's peace that we could do so. And on October 25th, Jason's birthday, we left the pediatrician's office and faxed signatures and paperwork saying how honored we would be to love and parent this little girl for the rest of her life. 

Right away I called my friend who spent time at our orphanage to find out if she ever met our daughter. The chances weren't high since our daughter was living away from the orphanage with a foster family. But she looked at the pictures, her name and information and then blew us away...


On the last week that my friend (pictured above) was at the orphanage, our daughter came for a few days due to sickness in her foster family. She came to stay and even attended the school where my friend was teaching. My friend described our daughter's disposition, her favorite games and her English skills. Then, she sent us a picture of her daughter hugging ours. The photo was more current than our referral pictures and there was immediate recognition. Her hair was short and her smile familiar.

Our little girl was safe, well fed, well loved and just as God had shown me years before. This was our sweet, bright, beautiful daughter of promise. In all of India, of all the orphanages, of all the children...my friend has a picture of the little girl God showed me. These subsequent weeks have left us awestruck. I understand why Mary had to keep things and ponder them in her heart. As one who stinks at keeping quiet, words just can't say the depth of what has happened. By learning God's voice I am learning that while his gifts are unspeakably good, there is a grander prize he wants to give...a real-to-life relationship with him that goes beyond what he gives us or does for us. He brings hope in darkness, guidance in indecision, joy in valleys and possibility into the impossible. How can I say how good and trustworthy he is? 

On October 25th we said yes by fax and phone but had to ask some questions about funding. We had half of the required fees. To our surprise we were allowed a few weeks until official referral paperwork was sent from India. It took one month for everything to arrive, and by that point every penny and more was in our bank account. Yard sales, extreme generosity and extra odd-jobs for Jason all added up to allow us to write the check even before the paperwork arrived. Isn't it incredible to watch God fund his calling? And through the process to lead us into deeper places of total reliance. 

Similar to the wait before announcing a pregnancy, our news had a waiting period before it could be shared. On Saturday we received an official-looking piece of mail from U.S. Immigration-- preliminary approval (the requirement before publicly sharing) while we wait for several clearances in India. In India our paperwork has to go through these hoops: first, a state level committee clearance; then, a national committee clearance; then, a judge's clearance; then, (getting tired of thens?) applying for a passport; and THEN, travel. They've told us to expect a long time for all of these thens. But while we know the reality of what we've been told, we can't help but ask if God would allow for an expedited process. Doesn't hurt to ask, right? So, we are asking for God to allow us to travel this spring if he would allow and it would bring him the most glory. This would be a miracle. But from the 'mountains' we've seen God move we believe that with him all things are possible (Mark 9:23, Luke 1:37).

We'll now be able to update through this blog most things as we know them minus her name, pictures and location until the judge signs off on everything. It's a joy to share the news and continue to share lessons and challenges from this walk of faith. Thank you to those who have believed and are praying with us.

Hope you are enjoying the start of a brand new year with fresh perspective and new goals! We are excited about 2013...the year we, God willing, welcome our daughter from India. 
Had to read that last sentence again...can you even believe it!?! What a gift!

For further reading, be sure to check out our adoption timeline as we've added more details. 

5 comments:

Martin LaBar said...

Great!

Lynette said...

How very, very exciting!! I'll pray for ARC, NOC, court, passport, all of it!

Iryna A. said...

WOW.

The Williams Family said...

Kelley, thanks for your comment on our blog ... I want to email you back privately but I can't find your email! Can you send it to djwilliams99@gmail.com? :) THANKS! - Jenni

Michele said...

Thank you for introducing yourself via my blog! I LOVE meeting new friends, especially those who are walking the same path we are! I apologize for just getting back to you. You can see I've neglected my blog for the past month! You can contact me on FB--I'm Michele Stewart Fort or via email, fortfamily1998@windstream.net. I would love to continue to follow each other's journeys and to encourage each other as well!