Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Great Adoption Coordinator

There are clues when someone is newly pregnant. The kitchen cupboards are well-stocked with Saltines. There's a copy of "What to Expect When You're Expecting" on the bedside table. And the most prized possessions in that home are a stick that has been urinated on and an ultrasound photo proudly displayed on the refrigerator.

And then there are clues that an adoption is in its first trimester. The kitchen counters are overflowing with random papers from tax returns to veterinary records. There's a stack of books about attachment on the bedside table. And the most prized possessions are a copy of a completed homestudy and a referral photo proudly displayed on the refrigerator.

I guess like a second pregnancy, this second adoption already has me comparing our journey to Daniel with our journey to this next child. But it also has me remembering things long forgotten from that time three years ago when we were working on our paperwork for Daniel.

I remember a precious conversation I had with Ava one night as I was tucking her in bed. She asked, "Mom, if I had been a little girl in an orphanage, do you think you would have chosen me?"

My response came before she could even finish her sentence: "Oh, sweetheart, I would have known you were mine the minute I saw you. In fact, I know God would have put a longing in my spirit to find you and somehow God would have provided a way to bring you safely into my arms."

She smiled, so I knew I had passed the essay portion of this test. But I pondered this big question from my little girl (seven years old at the time). It gave a glimpse into how she was processing everything. I had been so worried about how our adopted child might feel left out because he was not given to us biologically, it never occurred to me that my biological children might feel left out not having been chosen through adoption.

Her question still makes me think. Would I really have found my tender-hearted treasure? Out of the approximately 147 million orphans, I've probably only seen photos of a few hundred. Photos that are usually just quick snapshots taken to provide some kind of documentation that this child exists. Bad lighting and bad angles--taken without warning of a child in need of a nap or a meal. That one photo that links them to the outside world and any possibility that they might find a family who can see beyond the orphanage haircut and runny nose.

It makes me look at listings of waiting children differently. It makes me wish that children who need families would no longer be invisible. That EVERY waiting child--all 147 million--could have their portrait taken by someone who could capture the twinkle in their eye and kindness in their smile. That every orphan could have pages written about them sharing what makes them special and what kind of family they long for. That each child could have a video clip giving prospective parents a preview of the melody of their laugh and the potential for their life.

No. It's not fair. It's not fair that often the children who are lucky enough to be listed on a waiting child page are often only afforded a photo the equivalent of a mug shot with a handful of words warning prospective parents of what might be "wrong" with them.

And yet . . . we serve a Mighty God who is the Author of Adoption and the only One who knows the exact number of orphans in the world today. He is able to take that photo and put it before the eyes of the person who will say, "This is my child." That He is greater than intercountry restrictions and governmental red-tape and one-dimensional photographs. The One who enables parents to look past the listing of needs and see only the word "special."

I see evidence of His handiwork when I get e-mail notifications that announce "My Family Found Me." I see photos from "gotcha days" and airport homecomings and cry tears of joy exclaiming "God, you are so good!"

He is . . . the Great Adoption Coordinator.

Three years ago, I tried to convince my daughter that had she been waiting in an orphanage, God would have put a longing in my spirit to find her and somehow He would have provided a way to bring her safely into my arms.

Today I know that it's true.

Gratefully His,


P.S. Some of my favorite photolistings of waiting children are at Rainbow Kids, , and Reece's Rainbow. They strive to provide the accurate information on the children, agencies, and programs available. Take a minute to look at the sweet faces. You just might find your child.


Kristin Ferguson said...

This is so well thought-out and so well put. We struggled with "picking" our child from a list of bad photos and one sentence descriptions...but God knew that Nadia was the one. I didn't have a complete peace about "our choice" until a week or so after we chose her. The peace never once wavered which I knew was totally God because there were lots of other little girls that were on my heart as well.

Can't wait to see who the Great Adoption Coordinator has chosen for your family this time!

P.S. Yes! Arranged marriages are totally OK!!! Would your boys be interested in 2 sweet girls with Ds as well? :) Maybe just to take to a homeschool prom or something? Life is good isn't it???

Teri said...

Oh I just registered for and thank you for sharing. I have tears running down my cheeks right now, it breaks my heart so see their faces and read their stories. How on earth are we supposed to wait to adopt after I've seen this? Sam and I are going to have a talk today for sure. Thanks for posting this.

trustandobey said...

It is pretty awesome to think of God's knowledge and orchestration of our adoptions before the beginning of time. Before the word adoption meant anything to us, He knew how we would respond to the universal call on His Church to care for the "least of these". And then He hand picked these children out of the ashes and placed them in the beauty of loving families. Only our God could weave such tapestries from broken threads.

Kim said...

God's plan, our human humbles me to see His sovereignty in it all. Oh how I can relate to the pull of wanting my first born son and my adopted daughter to know that no matter how they came to be in our lives, we love them more than they can comprehend and are so thankful for them! So excited to hear more details about your adoption!

Waitingfaithfully said...

Tears . . . of sadness for the millions who wait, for those who will never be "found", yet grateful to know that our Heavenly Father knows each and every one of them.

Tears . . . of joy, as I ponder the way the Lord brought our precious Teddi to our hearts. So perfectly. Eight years of waiting on the Lord . . . finally knowing in 2007 that the time was "now". Trying to decide on an agency . . . looking . . . looking . . .looking. On a Friday night I signed up to get emails from Rainbowkids . . . and on Monday morning I recieved the very first email with "children waiting in Asia"-- and there she was! I called the agency who had her file, and the next morning we said "YES"! We had found our precious rainbow girl--our eight year promise from the Lord!

Now--did I miss a big announcement-or have you just been sneaking homestudy hints in here up to this point? Regardless, I am beyond thrilled for you!! So exciting!

Thank you once again for sharing your heart. For giving me a new perspective on the thoughts of my biological children (thank you Ava). I will be praying for the child who is waiting to be wrapped up in your arms . . . precious blessing from heaven . . . Lord, please bring him or her home. We rejoice-- knowing that You already know!

Blessings Kathie, to you and your family, on this new journey.



The Tam Family said...

We are at the very beginning of our first adoption story. Our homestudy is next weekend. Thank you for writing such a beautiful post. Oh, and our blogs are almost identical, so I have to add, you have great taste too :)

Renee Tam

Dusti said...

I can't remember ever tearing up after reading a blog post.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts here.

Courtney said...

Oh my goodness! I write a post on orphans and adoption, then visit your blog to see how you are doing and read THIS! You have no idea how much of a comfort it was for me tonight to read someone who shares my heartache! It was so God-ordained! I know you had no idea when you wrote this post but thank you for helping me tonight!