Eleven years ago today, it was a beautiful Indian summer day like the one we are having in New England today.
It was just another ordinary day. We were deep into the process of adopting a little girl from China--our very first China adoption. We were expecting to wait another two weeks to get 'THE CALL,' telling us who and where our little girl was.
And then I saw one of these....
It was significant because the China adoption community has a thing for ladybugs. Folklore would have it that when something good is about to happen in the adoption world, a ladybug would herald it's arrival. We put no stock in such things, but it became an icon for us nevertheless. We prayed for Jillian every time we saw a ladybug.
And so I prayed for my sweet baby girl...knowing that somewhere in an orphanage in China, she waited.
Longing for something that she didn't understand because she had never had it.
She didn't know that we had been planning for her arrival with great love and expectation. Nor did she know of all the friends and family who cared enough to pray for her. She had no idea of all the time, paperwork, and financial resources that had gone into the task of bringing her home. She had no idea that there was a family who would do whatever it took to get her home...who would go to the ends of the earth to claim their treasure.
A family who wanted to give her their name.
She only knew her own reality.
She knew what life was like without a Mama and a Daddy.
She knew what it felt like to go to bed with a hungry tummy.
She knew what it was like to see toys in wrappers but not be allowed to play with them.
She knew what it was like to be so cold that you had to wear six layers of clothes but your cheeks and hands were still red and chapped.
She didn't know what it was like to have a Mama sing you to sleep.
Or have Daddy swing you high in the air.
She didn't know what it was like to have a blankie that was all your own.
Or a stuffed animal to hug when you awoke in the night.
She didn't know what pumpkin bread tasted like.
Or what it felt like to be held and snuggled for hours at a time.
She didn't know what it felt like to be able to run around. Running is impossible when you are wearing six layers of clothes. In fact, sitting is pretty difficult as well.
All that was about to change. And she had no idea.
It is a profound word. Think about what it means to have someone say, "I want YOU. Yes, you...the one with the filthy clothes and matted hair. I don't care what you look like or if you have medical needs that I will have to pay for.
I will pay any price to call you mine."
Jesus did that for me. For you. We were all alone in the world with no hope. While we had no idea what He was planning, He went to great lengths to prepare a home and a family for us. All He asks is that you say yes. He wants to be your Daddy. He wants to show you how much He loves you. He is willing to do whatever it takes to call you His. Even die.
Will you say yes?
Life changed for our family that day back in 1999. Another family in our travel group posted their referral that morning. What? Referrals weren't expected for two more weeks!! And then word trickled out that our agency had gotten an unexpected batch of referrals. Oh the excitement...the anticipation!
I waited. I paced. I stared at the phone.
It wouldn't ring. Stupid, stinkin' phone.
I took it in the shower with me (ok--NEXT to the shower).
I took it everywhere that morning, but it didn't ring.
Cell phones were not common then, so I had to leave the phone to take Taylor to preschool. In a rebellious fit of, 'If I'm gone the phone will ring," I decided to go grocery shopping while he was in school.
Yeah. Like that would keep my mind off the phone.
Finally it was time to pick up Taylor. I rushed home to be with the phone. Surely the answering machine light would be blinking!
What?!?!?! I was so irked. For goodness sakes...how long did it take to make those calls anyway? I ran to the computer and logged on to see if anyone else had gotten a referral.
As I waited for dial-up (yep--it was THAT long ago), the treacherous phone rang.
I sprinted for it.
Caller ID (yep--we had it!) said:
GREAT WALL CHINA ADOPTION
Trembling, I picked up the phone and answered with a quavering hello.
"I have a little girl for you!," the caller said.
I wrote out the sparse information with a shaking hand. Lives were changed in those few moments that it took to write out the details of Jillian's little life.
If I could get this excited over a little girl in a foreign land whom I had never met...how excited is God to know you when He knows every detail of your heart, mind, soul and body. Did you know that He even knows how many hairs are on your head?
He waits with great excitement and anticipation to hear you say yes...that you want to know the One who gave His life for you.
Just because He loves you.
Adoption is a picture of the way God feels about you. He even says in the Bible that He wants to adopt us so we can be in His family. As you look at these pictures, put yourself in Jillian's place and imagine being chosen--for no reason other than the arbitrary choice of the one who came to redeem you.
Lifted from this:
To her Daddy's arms.
"Daddy, hold me high!"
You belong with us...forever.
God wants to bring you into His family and show you off to everyone--just like we wanted to show Jillian off to our friends and family at the airport.