As we were hanging up the kids' stockings Ella sweetly looked up at me and said, "momma, we gotta put one up for Xiao Li!" Who is Xiao Li, you ask? Well, she is one of the least of these. She is the one who was left abandoned at the market. She is the one who feverishly shovels soup into her mouth because she's unknowingly trying to put off the hunger pangs for just a little bit longer. She is the one who cries in the middle of the night and no one responds to her heartfelt pleas for love. She is the one who can't hold back the tears as she sees another one of her friends leave and never return, wishing she could do the same. She is the little girl God placed in our hearts some time ago but hasn't yet placed in our hands. We don't know what her story is yet but we hope to find out this time next year.
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Tripp, the kids and I are SO excited to share with you that we are hoping to adopt a little girl from China next year, whom we are affectionately calling Xiao Li. It feels so good to be typing these words right now and so scary at the same time. I know this next year will be filled with amazing moments: finding out who Xiao Li is, being able to look at her picture and gaze into her eyes from afar. And this next year will be filled with rock bottom moments as well: having to wait and wait and then wait some more until we can meet her and hold her and love on her. My hope is to document our adoption journey on the blog so that others might be encouraged and ultimately so that our little girl will be able to look back and read about this love story God has written on our hearts.....for her!
So where are we in the process? Well, we are almost done with our home study. Our caseworker came last week to visit us and we had a couple of days full of questions about our family and looking around our home to make sure it's a safe environment for our new little girl. I liken our home study visit to a mini marriage retreat. We basically spent the better part of a day talking about our marriage - our strengths, weaknesses, how we met, what attracted us to each other, etc. Putting into words how you feel about someone is so good for the soul and a reminder of all the reasons why I love Tripp and the family God has blessed us with. Our caseworker is awesome! She is also an island dweller living in Micronesia on the island of Pohnpei. My kids absolutely adored her which made our home study experience even better. I know the home study visit can be a little nerve wracking, not knowing what to expect, but it was truly a joy-filled time. We still have a few more forms to fill out to complete our home study, which need to have a US notary, so we'll be waiting to get those when we return home on furlough in January.
So that's just a glimpse into our lives and what's going on with us. There is so much more to tell and one day soon I will share more about how we came to this decision to adopt.
The Orphan's Prayer
Each night before I go to bed
I fold my hands and bow my head
Praying for a family and the day she will come for me
I ask God to watch over my friends at the orphanage,
The place that I call home
Wishing we find families and rooms of our very own.
I finish my prayers and climb into bed
Hoping that God heard what I said.
My prayers usually turn out to be my dreams at night
Hoping she will be standing there when I wake to the morning light.
One very special morning, I will hear their call,
I jump out of bed and run down the hall!
Is it her, Is it her, is that why they’ve called my name?
Running I hear them shout “It’s her, it’s her, she finally came!”
Have all my prayers been answered, have all my dreams come true
There she is in front of me, Oh Mama! Oh Mama!! Is it really you?
“Yes, it is my darling, I’ve come to take you home,”
“I will love, protect and cherish and you will never be alone.“
Mama looks at me so differently a look so new to me,
She touches me so gently, just as I dreamed it would be.
As I look into her eyes I watch them fill with water,
She embraces me and whispers, “I love you so my daughter”.
She takes my hand and I hold it tight,
I will never let it go, I hold with all my might.
Hand in hand we walk together,
No one needs to speak; we know this is forever.
And through our journey when we finally meet each other,
She will have found her dream and I will have found my mother.
by Nancy Kaywork