Daddy’s Girl

When I met Laila,  I didn’t “know” from the instant I met her that she’d be our daughter.  But I did know that I felt something special for her.  It didn’t take long for me to begin dreaming about her, aching for her situation every minute of the day.  It was then I knew I was being called to action beyond my bi-weekly visits to her orphanage.

When I introduced this little stranger to my husband during a phone call, he was unsure about moving forward (just to foster her at that time) as it wasn’t exactly part of our “now” plan.  We had talked about adopting in the future, but now?  With us thousands of miles apart in foreign countries?  But after he understood her plight, her lack of options, and her bleak future without a family, the decision was easy for him.  She needed us and he was ready to step up for her.  Last year when Maizey’s unbelievable circumstances came to our attention, Jason also felt called to act immediately for this little girl who had no other options.

When I began feeling called back to China a few months after we’d had Maizey home and had gotten her stable, adjusted, and integrated into the family, having found our new “normal,” it was a little harder to open the discussion with Jason.  This time it was more abstract.  I LOVE China, I have a burden for its orphans – all of them, any of them – and I just want to continue to help by adopting and by any other means we are able (ie. advocacy, awareness, hosting, etc).  The general idea of “adopting again” without a particular child in a dire situation who he could identify with made convincing him to just “begin the process” a difficult one.

For us, this meant choosing an agency first (and being matched at the end of the process) wasn’t the right choice.  Instead, I searched and search the “waiting child” listings.  These are children who are harder to place, are older, or who have serious medical conditions.  There are SO many children there that I love, who I pray will find families, and who I’d be happy to call my own.  For Jason, though, there needs to be something more, something that tells him this child is “his.”  I shared many listings with him.  We both felt we were being lead to an older girl.

We chose our Willow together.  A beautiful girl who has waited 10 long years, being passed over for far too long.  I was in love instantly and have been dreaming of momma dates with her, preparing her room, buying her clothes, fervently pursuing her paperwork.  But the excitement to this point has been pretty one-sided.  For Jason, it has taken more time.  He has alot of burden in this – to consider the impact on the whole family, to ensure the financial needs are met, to protect us all – his current family.    Much like new fathers who admit the bonding with their newborn isn’t instant, Jason has shown his devotion as he works hard to help us move forward with Willow’s adoption, has taken on a second job, has loved me through the hard days when I feel defeated by the process all while patiently waiting for his heart to catch up to his commitment.

But this weekend, something changed.  We received new pictures of our Willow for the first time in MONTHS.  Jason was eager for me to share them with him.  He viewed and reviewed them again and again over the last two days.  He talked about her with our younger girls.  He proudly spoke of his newest daughter at church.  To everyone he encountered today, he boasted excitedly about his precious girl.  I am so thankful how God grows our hearts in LOVE for a child we have never met.  Each in our own time, but LOVE just the same.  Adoption is hard.  It comes from a place of brokenness.  But it is also redemption.  Not only redemption for that child but for all of us.  It takes us outside of all of our comfort zones.  It breaks down all the barriers.  It requires us to TRUST, truly trust in God and what HE has called us to do.  Not our will, but His.  I am SO thankful for this precious girl.  And I am SO thankful for a man, who despite his own fears, reservations, and personal desires, continues to open his heart and LOVE MORE.