This morning, I have my cup of coffee and just the lights on the Christmas tree on. It is quiet. Well, relatively speaking. I can hear the hum of the humidifier that Serenity is hooked up to at night to help keep her lungs moist with the trach. I hear the baby swing rocking back and forth as I try to keep Little Man asleep. I hear Hope "s'moping", as the kids call it, back in her bed. It has been part of most nights here since she came home. She huffs and puffs (I don't know how else to describe it) in her bed when she wakes up. It isn't a cry. That we respond to. It is just an "institutional" noise. We used to try to get up and stop her, but the girls have said that the noise doesn't wake them up anymore, but us coming in does. So, we let her s'mope. So it is quiet compared to the days...but always life humming around me.
I look at the Christmas stocking hung up.
Sixteen lives represented. I think of the few short years - which seemed an eternity at the time - that it was only two - Handsome and I. How lonely it seemed. Now, I rejoice over each precious child that God has given us. I think of each of their stories ~ each so unique, yet also so intertwined with one another.
Sixteen....but I have a little wish. I wish there were two more hanging this year. Two more for my two tiny daughters overseas that are waiting for us.
Yes, the Lord has called us to redeem two more precious little lives. We have the first home study visit on Monday. We will be turning in paperwork to their large Asian country hopefully by Tuesday. In two to three weeks, we should receive "PA" - which is preapproval from their country to move forward with their adoption.
Little Brooke is three years old and has been blessed with an extra chromosome. I have wanted for so long to adopt a child with Down Syndrome, but God always had another precious little life for us instead. I have always rejoiced over His choices - but have secretly hoped that meant that we would adopt at least one more. Brooke is at an amazing home, run by an American family. You will have to read their story here. It is pretty incredible. I am so thankful that this is where one of my daughters is - she is loved and well cared for as she waits. I am jealous that Handsome will have the chance to meet them when he and The Helper go on the pickup trip. I am going to find out from our agency if it would be acceptable to get in touch with them after we have received "PA".
Precious, tiny Jillian has Apert Syndrome, just like Serenity. (Did I hear you squeal, Jessica Cooper?) She just turned a year old at the end of October. She is about the size of our 7 month old Little Man - who is not so "little" - so at least for now, it appears she is well taken care of. She is in a government run institution in the same general area as Brooke. The biggest difference (that we can tell) right now between she and Serenity is that Jillian's thumbs are also fused, giving her "rosebud" hands. This will give her very little ability to use her hands, unlike Serenity. I cannot wait to get her home and have Serenity's amazing team begin freeing her to thrive.
This was a long battle to come to the point of truly trusting we were hearing God's voice calling us. It seemed so crazy....but that story will have to wait for now. I will just praise Him for their beautiful lives. I will praise Him that each life matters. Even two tiny little girls tucked away in an enormous country, both abandoned at the gates of institutions.
We are trusting God to provide all that we will need - the strength, the courage, the ability, and the finances. We have a tax-deductible account with The Shepherd's Crook - another amazing ministry and family. If God should lead you to give, you can click here.
More than anything, we need your prayers. Please pray for the meeting on Monday with the social worker. We have truly loved each social worker that God has brought into our home. Pray for the medical reports to be done on Monday so we can move forward with that step. Pray for the "PA" to come back quickly. Pray for peace and patience as we wait. Pray for each day as we strive to fill our children's hearts and minds. Most of all, pray that God is always glorified.
Another adventure begun...