• Even If

    Date: 2014.09.17 | Category: Uncategorized | Tags:

    We recently bought tickets to go see Jeremy Camp and Kutless with the girls. There’s not many things better in this world than watching Jasmine sing praise songs. It’s fun to take her and the other girls to the local churches when they have concerts. As beautiful as it is to hear the littles sing “Rise and Shine” and “Jesus Loves Me”, it is just as amazing to watch the big girl’s sing out praises to their Lord.

    I know most of Jeremy Camp’s songs, but I wasn’t sure about Kutless. I knew a couple of their songs, but then I came across the song “Even If”.  This song was exactly what my heart needed to hear.  It has been playing on repeat in my head for weeks now.  Every time I have started to worry I would hear the words…

    “Even if the healing doesn’t come and life falls apart and dreams are still undone.  You are God. You are good. Forever faithful.”

    Most days I can just go on and pretend everything is normal but then one of the kids comes to me and says, “Mama, what if Eli doesn’t make it?” Even little Maisey seems to get it this time. All this weekend she has made Eli sit on her lap, stroking his hair, and reading him a book. She has been melancholy and even snuggled in next to him to sleep.

    Mei 6

    I do pretty well until I let my mind go to the “what ifs”.   I see him and Evie playing and I think what if he doesn’t come home? What would she do? They are so close. Her little heart would be broken.  She’s too young to really understand.  They truly are like a set of twins. To watch him and Evie together is….. I don’t even have the words to describe it properly. They love each other so much. She says, “I wuv you Ewi” and he responds with “I wuv you baby.” They hold doors for each other and laugh together. They play and fight and hold each other tight. They make sure they each have a popsicle or a drink. They have a beautiful bond that has been so amazing to watch.

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    My heart hurts to think that their bond might be broken.

    I wonder about the pain it would cause my other children.

    I wonder if I am strong enough to survive it.

    The words of the world start to seep in and I doubt.

    But then these words come across loud and clear….

    ”Even if the healing doesn’t come and life falls apart and dreams are still undone. You are God.  You are good. Forever faithful one.”

    We have a peace that comes from God.  There is no other way to explain it.  A peace that comes from the complete faith that God led us to Eli.  Many of you know his story but for those who don’t, I will tell his story again.

    Eli 4

    I knew from the instant that I saw Eli’s picture that he was supposed to be our son. We never talked about it much with the rest of the family because we weren’t sure what was going to happen, but Ben brought up his name throughout the day and continued to pray for him and talk about Eli like he was already his brother.   It’s the same with Max this time. Children seem to just know. I wonder if they are more able to hear the Holy Spirit because they don’t let the words of the world crowd Him out.

    We went through so much with Eli as we waited for the orphanage to get his paperwork ready. We had seen his picture in a New Hope newsletter. They said he needed a family. When we inquired about him, we found out he was not paper ready. I was so sure he was our son that I was ready to wait no matter how long it took. Dan agreed and we asked them to get Eli paper ready.

    Eli 3

    As we proceeded with our homestudy, we talked with our social worker about how we felt the Lord was leading us to ask to put four children down in our homestudy.   China only allows two at a time so this was a strange request but she agreed, with all the outside support we had, that we could handle four.

    We set out to adopt Eli and Lainey, but Eli’s paperwork was taking forever. In the meantime, our agency presented us with Evie. I wouldn’t even look at her chart because I didn’t want to see the face I would have to say no to, but Dan was overcome and knew that she was supposed to be our daughter. He said there was a million reasons to say no but all he could say is “why not?”.  God gave Dan such a peace about her.

    I trusted Dan and how he was feeling, but couldn’t for the life of me see how it was going to work. We were back to the “Lord, if this is what you want we will proceed, but I don’t see how it’s going to work.”  We sent in LOI for Lainey and for Evie and we waited some more for Eli’s paperwork.

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    In the meantime we saw Jasmine’s picture and knew she was to be our daughter. It was such an overwhelming, bring you to your knees response when we saw her picture. We asked our agency if we could ask to bring home three. I still remember Judy calling and letting me know that we were approved for three. What a moment that was. Tears streamed down my face and my heart was filled with joy. The children jumped up and down. It was a celebration at our house that day!

    We had every intention of going for the three girls and then returning later for Eli. We had been waiting for over six months at this point for Eli’s papers.

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    Every step of Eli’s journey was faith-filled and made with the utmost trust that God was leading. We had stepped out in faith and the most amazing things had occurred. We were set to travel the first part of May and then the unimaginable happened, it was March and Eli’s paperwork became ready. Both Dan and I felt like we were to petition China to be allowed to adopt four at once.   We figured if they said, “No.” we would just return later for him. What’s it hurt to ask, right?

    Our agency said the odds were very slim, but they would send our letter on. We had told them that we firmly believed if God meant for it to be He would open the doors and He did! So while others questioned why we would adopt four at once, we were saying “how could we not?”.   When God was calling us and throwing the doors open to allow it to happen, what else is there to do but proceed in faith?

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    Even though there was an overwhelming joy that they said yes to four at the same time I had a moment of panic. We had just been told that we needed to take a fourth adult with us. How in the world were we going to save that much money in that amount of time? We had maxed credit cards for the travel. How was this even possible?

    It’s amazing as many times as God has provided and been faithful that my first thought is often “how are we ever going to do this”.  I know the reality is that we never, ever do.  HE does!

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    I can still remember sitting in the car with Cassie, my mom and Linda. I had gotten the mail and we were just sitting there talking. I opened an envelope containing a check for Dan from the children’s hospital were he sometimes gets paid a stipend to speak. But instead what did I find? A check for an amount large enough to cover Eli’s fees, his orphanage child rearing fee, and Cassie’s travel. Years prior the University was part of a class action lawsuit about too much FICA being held out during Dan’s medical residency for the years 1995-1998.

    The amount wasn’t large, but the interest they had to pay was. We had no clue this suit was finished. We were in no way expecting this money.  In fact, we figured we’d never see any of it, but God provided. Every single step of the way we trusted and God was faithful.  God has provided for us in amazing ways with Eli’s adoption.  This whole journey with him has been one of waiting, trusting, being faithful and watching God do amazing things.

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    I have given up trying to guess where God is leading. When I feel that nudge, I pray and I follow. The blessings God has allowed us to have for being faithful are overwhelming. I wish I could let you feel for a moment what my heart feels.

    Eli’s whole story is a walk of faith. Every step on his journey has been faith-filled. God has given us an overwhelming peace about his life. That being said I am under no illusions that that means Eli will live a long life. He may or he may not.   The number of his days do not matter as much as the fact that his little life has purpose. If he lives 2 years or 50 years,  It was worth it! Eli has been a joy to love.  He is an unbelievably sweet soul.  He makes friends where ever he goes.  His little voice is adorable. Right now he is sitting beside me singing “A Thankful Heart is a Happy Heart” from Veggietales.  Every single tear, heartache, and worry has been worth it.  My heart has been forever changed by one little boy.

    So…. “Even if the healing doesn’t come and life falls apart and dreams are still undone. You are God. You are good. Forever faithful one”

    God is good.  All the time!!!!!