You did it. You really did. You gave us what we prayed for. We asked, and you answered with the adoption of three Chinese children. A glorious gift.
Remember all those lifted prayers? Oh, how we prayed, and prayed, and prayed for our kids. We prayed, our friends prayed and our families prayed. We talked to you more in our waiting than we ever had before. Day after day, we looked at empty chairs and struggled to carry hope. We tried so hard to trust your promises. It felt like a calling in our hearts, but in our minds, it felt over the top crazy. To say we were going to be the parents of children born to three other sets of parents from across oceans? Ludicrous. We were rational, practical people and this was walking on the wild side.
Admittedly, we wavered. Your promise was clear, but the hardness a surprise, the challenges hard to swallow. The waiting seemed pointless and endless. We couldn’t help but wonder when it would be our turn, and then doubt that it might never be. But, with our mustard seed sized faith, we made space in our hearts anyway.
Then you removed hurtles one by one: immigration approval, TA, consulate appointment, and finally plane tickets to the Far East. We found ourselves in government offices in Hebeii, Chengdu and Nanjing, China holding daughters and a son in our arms. We pressed their inked red feet onto documents written in Mandarin, and our lives forever merged.
Yes, adoptions happened before and after ours, but that doesn’t negate the absolute miracle of it all. You, the God of Bible stories, the one who turned water into wine, multiplied loaves and fishes and parted waters was at it again, this time right before our own eyes. The whole thing reeked of glory. Your dominion became undeniable.
The slightest difference in timing might have changed our story’s ending. If we’d applied in a different month, chosen a different agency, or if paperwork moved at a different speed, our gifts might have gone to other homes. Your colossal sovereignty is more than I can conceive. You painted stars into the heavens and placed the lonely in a family. You protected three little souls, and provided life saving medical care.
You did it. You truly did, and we remain always and forever grateful.
The empty chairs now have bodies in them. The clothes that hung waiting are worn out and too small. It’s years later, and I’ve almost forgotten what it felt like to not have them. I barely remember lingering long on my knees begging you to bring them on home.
Lots of time has passed. We are just a family now.
The dreaming, fundraising and form filling is long behind us. Most days we are just trying to memorize multiplication tables, shop for shampoo, pack lunches and get to drama club on time.
I’m sorry to say, as time passes, the assurance of your presence and power that we experienced sometimes wanes. As new challenges arise, I wonder, yet again, if you’ll come through. My goodness, do I forget easily. You’ve done these massive miracles in our lives, three times now, and then I go and fail to expect you to be intentional. How you must shake your head at me. Forgive me.
For the rest of my life, let it be said that I remember. That I am grateful for your miracle work. That I am awed by your sovereignty over time and place, DNA and citizenships.
Just because time passes and normalcy sets in, I don’t want to forget what you’ve done for us. I don’t want to take it lightly. My kitchen chairs are filled with living, breathing Ebenezers.
Every time a little hand reaches for mine, I want to remember.
Every time I fill a cereal bowl, I have reason to be grateful.
The next time I doubt what you can do, please remind me of what you’ve already done.
Thank you, Jesus, for answering ludicrous prayers, and for carrying us safely into the “wild side”. If I forget, remind me.