Monday, November 30, 2015

My Heart Just Grew Three Sizes....

My Heart Just Grew Three Sizes...

In honor of this Christmas season I lovingly named this post ¨My heart just grew three sizes.¨   We just received a short and sweet update on our little girl from the Orphanage that she is living in.  I did not realize that an update on this sweet little girl would affect me in such a profound way.

I saw the email with the subject line detailing that it was an update from her orphanage and I quickly opened it and read it before I went upstairs to get in the shower.  As I stood in the warm shower the words of that email kept swirling around in my mind, my heart ached for this sweet little girl and what she had been through, the profound loss and grief she must have suffered at the tender age of 3 years old. 

I prayed as I stood there in that warm shower, trying to collect my thoughts.  I prayed for this precious little girl, I also prayed for forgiveness in my heart for her parents.  In my tender heart I simply cannot understand how anyone can be so callous and uncaring.  

God is aware of each and every one of us

I must confess that there have been times I questioned in my mind....¨Does God love me?¨   ¨Is God aware of me?

Life can be hard, there are days we feel isolated, alone, and maybe even unlovable, and we wonder, would the God of Heaven love one such as I?  I can testify to you that through this amazing journey to adopting our little angel from China, I have found the answer to this very question.

Yes, unquestionably God loves each and every one of us!

He did not answer my prayer by simply putting the words in my mind, ¨Yes, I love you my child.¨  There were times I prayed to know that He loved me and as I waited patiently for an answer, nothing came.  In those moments of ´crickets´  as I call it, my heart ached, my heart longed to know if He truly knew me, if He truly loved me.  Why would He not answer me?   Maybe He isn´t there... maybe He doesn´t love me at all....

My answer came through a little orphaned girl in China

The absolutely miraculous way in which we found this one little orphan girl living in an orphanage half a world away testified to me that God is aware of every child!  Here in America a Mother, a Father, a Sister and a Brother had been prepared for this little girl.  She was born in a country that is not very accepting of disabilities or birth defects.  

Heavenly Father knew of her, he knew the suffering she would endure in her young tender life and yet, he prepared a family and blessings for her.

The Answer to the longing of my Heart was answered through a little orphaned girl in China

I longed for another child, no matter how hard I tried to put this desire from my mind, it would not leave.  I KNEW there was another child to come into our family.  This was not merely a desire, it was a spiritual knowledge deep inside me, I knew that our family was not complete, I knew that there was another little girl that was supposed to be in our family.   

As I began trying to have another child, I had complete faith that I would become pregnant and this little girl would be born into our family.  I had no doubt it would be so.  As the years passed, my grief and heartache increased and tears started to flow.  I knew there was another child, I tried to be patient believing that all things happen according to God´s timing and I must simply be patient.   When the five year mark hit and I had not so much as ovulated, let alone become pregnant my heart ached, I fell to my knees in utter despair.

  My body had betrayed me, I felt as though I were less than a woman, as in relation to the womanly power of creating life, my body did not work at all.   

I will never be able to explain to a woman who has never suffered through infertility how heart wrenching it is to pass through such a trial.  You will never understand how many tears I have shed, the prayers that have been uttered through sobbing slurred speech, the feelings of worthlessness and grief.  I continued to try and put these feelings of emptiness out of my mind, there was nothing more I could do. 

There was a child waiting to come into our family, that I knew.  What I did not know is HOW!

Women´s Conference 2013

After a particularly difficult month of tears and prayers my mom called and invited me to attend women´s conference with her.  The prayer that was in my heart this day was to gain understanding about this child I knew was missing from my family.  

As we rushed to attend the last class of the day, we barely made it in on the back row.  I was crocheting a scarf for the humanitarian project as I listened to the speaker begin.  She stated that after writing and completing her talk she felt it was too personal and that maybe she should change the topic she would speak on.  As she prayed to know what she should speak about, she felt that there was one who needed to hear the message she had to share.  She felt prompted to share the original message as she had prepared it.

She began detailing the years of infertility she suffered, she spoke of the heartache, the anguish, the feeling that her body had betrayed her..... and all the pent up emotions inside me overflowed and tears began to stream down my cheeks, despite my best effort to stop them.

 I could relate with every word she uttered, every pain, every heartache, every soul crushing emotion.  She spoke of 9 years of infertility.  She prayed to God for understanding and was told that some women are called to be the answer to another´s prayer.

My heart swelled within me and God confirmed to me that His will for me was different than what I had envisioned for myself.  I came home with my heart opened.  There was a time I was not open to the idea of adoption for a variety of reasons, but on this day, in this place, my heart was opened.

At times our hearts must break, before they are softened enough to do the work God has in store for us.

Despite knowing that God was calling me to be a Mother to the Motherless there was one BIG hurdle....

Money stood in my way

We had recently suffered great financial loss....I did not have the financial means to be able to adopt.  We looked into foster care and even began taking the classes but immediately we knew....This is not where our child was.    As much as I longed for children, as much as my heart ached, I knew inside my heart that this was simply not where my child was, this was not the road God wanted us to take.

It was hard as I felt I had such a powerful answer and yet I had no way to follow through.  I did not have the financial means to adopt and so plans were put on the back burner.  The wound in my heart was ripped open wide as this all started to unfold, a path lay before me.....with a locked gate I did not have the key to open.  Not only had I suffered the complete and total loss of my fertility and I had grieved sorely over this, I did not have the means to move forward with adoption either.

I tried to fill my life with many things, I ran a business teaching nutrition classes, I tried to go back to college, I eventually ended up taking on a job to fill my life and my time but everything I tried fell apart.  I literally felt as if everything I touched came unraveled at the seams.  This only left me more heart broken and empty inside. 

NO matter what I did I couldn´t fix the Money problem!

Two and a half years went by after that Women´s conference and still I was waiting, it had been over 8 years of struggling to have another child, crying, praying, pleading.  I tried to force a smile and a congratulations when those around me announced pregnancies, I tried in my heart to be happy for them, but I would go home, close the door to my bedroom, fall to my knees.... and cry.   Cry is probably an understatement of monumental proportions, but cry I did.

We were finally in a financially stable situation, my husband had a salaried job and he also received commissions.  We lived off his salary and even though with his student loans we didn´t have a lot extra, we had plenty for our needs.  We owned a home and had stability, and yet, the finances still were not where we could afford $30,000.  

Step out in Faith and God will Provide A Way!

As events unfolded, sacred, private, and amazing things were happening in our lives.  My husbands heart was finally opened and we began looking into adoption together, doors were literally flung open before us.  I cannot describe the rejoicing in our hearts as our path was illuminated with each step forward we took. 

Just before we filled out the application the question of finances was answered, in part, but just enough.  No, we did not have enough to complete the adoption, but we had all that we would need until it was time to travel.  We had to step out in faith with the means that we had with the faith that God would provide in the end.  It is not easy as we look at the money we have and know that it will run out just before we are to travel, we are already seeing blessings falling into place and we have faith that God will provide all along the way just as he has before.

Why did I begin this Post with the statement

My Heart Just Grew Three Sizes....

As I opened my email this morning to find an email from our adoption agency with an update on Little ¨M¨ s history my heart ached for her.

If you have not heard our story yet, I will briefly say that we all knew when we saw little ¨M¨s face that she was the little girl meant to be in our family.  It was not a knowledge in your mind, but a knowledge in your heart, deep within your soul.   

We knew that little ¨M¨ was born blind.  We knew she came to the orphanage at the age of three with her little head completely shaved like you see in the picture above.  We did not know where she was before the age of three.... until today when I opened my email.

She was with her parents until the age of three.  When her mother had a healthy child little ¨M¨ was abandoned.

I felt a painful shock through my heart as I read this statement.  I could not believe that anyone could abandon a helpless, blind little girl at the tender age of three years old because they had a healthy, more desirable child.  Thoughts were swirling around in my mind, and I can say that this morning my heart swelled with love for this little angel girl.

They said that she could talk when she arrived at the orphanage but simply stopped talking soon thereafter, she cried and cried and cried when she arrived.  This little girl was grieving for whatever semblance of a mother and family she had before being abandoned due to the fact that she was blind.  Alone, unable to see and frightened she stopped talking and simply cried in grief.   I don´t think any one of us could ever possibly understand the grief and loss this little three year old girl suffered.

What I do know is that as she was born into a home in which she was not truly wanted.  God was preparing a family for her, half a world away who would see her sweet little face and know that she was meant for their family.  God was preparing a mother for her who would love her unconditionally, who would see past her blindness and who would be willing to sacrifice of her own life to give this little blind orphan all the love, nurturing and care that she needs.

God was preparing a teenage sister with the most tender heart ever to be found among teenagers.  A sister who would stand by her side, love her, care for her and be there for her always.

He was preparing an older brother for her, half a world away. A brother who, when he first saw the video of her singing said, ¨That is my sister.¨  A brother who expressed love for her from the very moment he saw her as he stated that if anyone ever hurt her in anyway they would have to answer to him. God prepared a brother for her who is lovingly described by me as a Big Teddy Bear.  He is a very large 13 year old football player who could level anyone who ever messed with his little sister but who is tender enough to love her with his whole heart.

He was preparing a Father for her, a father who is gentle, humble and meek and who has the most giving heart of any man I have ever met.  

Amongst the suffering and grief that I am sure little ¨M¨ has faced in her very young little life.  I know in my heart that God was aware of her, He was aware of her needs and He was preparing us to be the answer to her prayers!  It was through this little abandoned girl in China that I came to know just how aware of us God is.  He loves each and every one of us.  He was even aware of this lonely, abandoned, blind little girl in China and now I know, He is also aware of me.

Even when the answer to prayer is No...

If had been able to have all the children my heart desired, my heart would not have been open to adoption
If the answer to my prayer had been yes, this sweet little blind orphan would not have received the answer and blessing to the prayers in her heart.
If God had not said no to my prayer, I would never have seen His infinite love even for the ¨least of these¨

God was calling me to be the answer to a blind little girls prayer, and I would take a thousand No´s to my own prayers to be able to be her mother!

As I read her story, knowing that she was abandoned because she was blind......

My Heart Grew Three Sizes Today!

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