Sunday, October 19, 2014
Day 19: Consistent Trust
Two things happened last year that made me believe that God hears our prayers. The first one was Christopher and the second one was Elijah.
I have talked in length here about how God heard my years of prayer about Elijah. And the answer to that prayer was -- thank God! - a yes. But Christopher is the result of a "no." Or at least a "not now."
And the result is just as beautiful.
We didn't plan to adopt Christopher. In fact, I had told myself I would never adopt from the "Shared List." The Shared List is a list of children available for adoption from China who are not represented by a specific adoption agency.
Some orphanages have partnerships with agencies and they give the files of some of their children to them.
Or, China's central adoption government office assigns some children to agencies in the US (or other countries that participate).
But some kids, for a myriad of reasons, do not get assigned to agencies and are placed on the Shared List.
I didn't want to adopt from this list because (1) our agency would know little to nothing about our potential child and the care he had been getting (2) you have only 72 hours to decide yes or no to a child's file before it is "released" back to the Shared list. That's a lot of pressure.
We had a dossier ready for Elijah's adoption when we were told he would not become available, so we were given the choice to adopt another child or just leave scrap our file.
We decided to adopt another boy. Our agency took a look on the Shared List and they "locked" (held for 72 hours) 2 files of baby boys for us. One of them was Christopher. His picture was just captivating.
We were still so sad about the fact that Elijah was not going to be ours. We really wondered if we should adopt another child when our heart was in another place.
And we wondered how the other kids would react to another brother, one who was not the much-talked-about Elijah.
When I met Christopher, it truly was love at first sight. It sounds so cliche, and I will tell you that it does NOT always work like that in every adoption. As in many types of relationships, sometimes love just has to grow.
But this was the stuff of adoption fairy tales. He was timid and shy, but we connected quickly.
As he did with all of the other family members when he came home.
Everyone just loves Chrissy. And, as I've mentioned before, not all of my kids get along all the time. But everyone loves Chrissy. He is super spoiled.
He just has a great personality. He is happy and has an awesome belly laugh. He already has a good sense of humor. He points at any man over 65 and says "Papou!"(my father-in-law) and then shakes his head and says "No..." After that joke got a bit old, he started pointing at older women and saying the same thing. Then, dogs.
Each time with a belly laugh.
He is sweet but no pushover. He yells and stomps his feet and gets his point across despite his speech delay. But, for some reason, it is just cute when he does this.
I might not be saying this when he is 10.
He is affectionate and cuddly.
Something about him makes everyone want to help him
(here, Nicholas is helping him feel comfortable for his well check-up by taking off his own shirt, too.)
He loves doing everything: homeschool experiments,
swimming at the pool
(Maybe every 2 year old likes these things, I guess).
Christopher has become the family glue. He is our equalizing force; the one thing we can all agree on on any given day.
I suppose a lot of this goes along with being the baby of the family, but, no, there is something especially lovable about Christopher.
His warmth, his playfulness, his willingness to try anything with a smile on his face.
But what also makes him special, I think, is the fact that he was so unplanned. Such a surprise gift.
He is my reminder that God's plans are bigger and better than mine.
And that I can trust in the unknown (something very hard for me).
If everything had gone my way, my kids would have been deprived of one of their best friends.
And I would have been without one of my sweetest treasures.