Last summer a friend, while volunteering in China, sent me a picture of this little thing, feeding tube in her nose, chubby baby flesh squeezed into a bright green swimsuit, half bent over an inflatable turtle swim ring. The cuteness overflowing from her dark brown eyes and pudgy baby elbows.
She was adorable, and was exactly the age and gender we would have pursued had we been ready to start the adoption process. But we weren’t, we had just moved 3700 miles back to the US, bought a house, I had started a new business and we were getting our bearings after living overseas for 8 years.
So we filed it away in the “someday” folder.
Someday, for me though, was always close. I have always known I was going to adopt. We had actually started the process to adopt and then I got pregnant with Lorelai. We realized God had other plans. After a trip to China in 2013 I fell in love with a little boy that we wanted to pursue and then I was diagnosed with cancer. Again, God had other plans.
Then last February, Joe and I attended a Missions Conference at our church where we heard Brian McConaghy from Ratanak International talk about the child trafficking crisis in Cambodia. Our hearts were stirred and we decided to pursue the little girl in the turtle swim ring.
Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an EVER present help in trouble.” This verse was running, broken-record-style in my head during the entire missions conference. During our last few moments of prayer at the conference I had such a vision from the Lord that this little girl would be our daughter and we would name her Everly.
It took us weeks to find her information, her Chinese name, which province she was from and all the other details you need to pursue a child. We applied with the agency, submitted a “Permission to Proceed” to the Chinese government, due to my previous cancer history and waited.
This little girl does not have a file, her future hangs in mid-air, caught up in red tape and politics. We have been working hard to get our ducks in a row, hoping and praying that our timeline matches up with hers.
I am holding her loosely, a gift from God really, that while she may be ours, if she is not, we are at least a part of her story. We are at least a piece of her puzzle, because without a file, no family can pursue her.
But we pursue her. We passionately pursue her, just as our Heavenly Father passionately pursues us. He seeks us out, he tracks us down, he leads people to cross our paths. He sows the seeds that one day may connect us to His heart. He looks at us longingly from Heaven and says, “you will be my child.”