My friend and fellow small group member, Anna, writes about how God asked her to step out in faith in a big way! Thank you, Anna, for sharing your story and your heart with us!
“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. It’s a ghost, they said, and cried in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, it it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on water and came toward Jesus.” Matthew 14:25
Have you ever had a moment in your life when you’ve had complete faith to step out of the boat into the will of God? My moment came over 7 years ago when my husband and I began the process the adoption. Here is our story of how we decided to adopt and walk the path that was clearly set before us.
In the summer of 2008, Tony and I were quite content with our 3 biological children. Life was busy and full between school activities, managing two full-time careers, and a very active and mischievous toddler. It was a Saturday morning and I was vacuuming in the living room as the Beijing Olympics played on the T.V. Out of nowhere, I said aloud, "You know, if I had the money to adopt, I would do it tomorrow." Did I just say that? I had really never seriously thought about adopting. Tony, who was in the room with me, immediately said, "Really, I've been thinking about adoption too." I looked at Tony in amazement. In the 9 years that we had been married, he had NEVER mentioned adoption. Where was this coming from? This started a series of discussions, some serious prayer, Internet research, and an on-line application to an agency. We scheduled our first visit with our adoption agency in September of 2008, telling no one. After seeing the faces of all the children waiting for a good home, we were hooked. There was no way to turn our back on this huge pulling toward adoption. Still...there were doubts in our minds. Was this really what God wanted for us? How would this work when we were already stretched pretty thin? Tony had a friend who adopted 3 girls from China. We invited them over for dinner to gain some insight into this whole new world we were entering. I will never forget his friend looking at us from across the table and asking us, "Why wouldn't God want you to adopt?" Our minds were made up...we were going to adopt.
Shortly after we had made our decision, the economy plummeted. We still felt very strongly about adoption but had no idea how we were have the funds to start the process. It really tested our faith in how God would provide for us. Deep down, I knew that God would make a way for us in what was clearly His will. We moved forward, and God provided the finances just as we needed them. By early summer of 2009, our home study was complete. We received our immigration approval in early September. By late September, our dossier was on its way to China without any problems. We received our log in date (LID) on October 31, 2009. We had already decided that we were going to apply for the special needs program due to the long wait for a healthy child. After the holidays, we applied and were entered into the system by late January. Now all we had to do wait!
On June 22, 2010, I was finishing my last day of work for the school year. I checked my e-mail quickly when I noticed an e-mail from our social worker. "Tony and Anna, I am so excited to share the news with you that you have been matched with a beautiful little girl!!!" Stunned and shocked, I was shaking as I called our social worker back. I hadn't even looked at the pictures. After I hung up, I looked at the profile picture and saw her sweet little face! I felt such a deep love for her immediately. Tony still didn't know the news. I called him and asked him, "Have you checked your e-mail. We've been matched!" Dead silence on the other end. "Are you still there?" Tony was in complete shock and very emotional. Ok...so now we had to make a decision and quickly! Was this the girl that was meant to be in our family? What did these medical issues mean? Would we be able to give her the level of care that she needed? We accepted the initial referral, but we still needed to find out more about this little girl to make sure this was something that we could handle while still meeting the needs of our other children. After a late night phone call with a pediatrician reviewing our referral, I was confused. I really felt as if this little girl was supposed to be part of our family but the doubts and fear were crowding in fast. That night I prayed about it. I felt as if God was telling me "Step out of the boat in faith." The question was would I listen and obey. I asked God to give me one very clear sign that this little girl was supposed to be part of our family. It took three weeks but He did! There was one medical condition on the referral report that was concerning and potentially serious. We asked for more information regarding this issue. Finally, we received the answer we were hoping for...it was an error on the medical report and that the medical condition never existed in this little girl. That is as clear as it gets! Jing Lei was ours!
After 6 months of waiting and longing to bring home our daughter, we flew to China to pick up Adeline Jing Lei. On November 28th, our family celebrated it’s 5th Gotcha Day, 5 years with this precious girl in our family. I honestly can’t imagine our family without LeiLei. She brightens our lives with her beaming smile and contagious laugh. She is sweet, loving, precious, and beautiful. She shows more bravery in tough situations than anyone else that I know. I feel privileged to be chosen by God to be her mom. It hasn’t always been an easy road, but it’s our journey as a family. Through this experience I’ve learned to trust God. Every step along the way, he provided everything we needed emotionally, spiritually, and financially to bring our daughter home and care for her. I’ve also learned that my heart can love to depths I didn’t even know was possible. There is no doubt in my mind that I was put on this earth to be her mother. Finally, I’ve learned that miracles do exist. From a medical standpoint, LeiLei should not be alive, let alone be the smart, active girl that she is. God had a plan for her life all along. Lucky me gets to see it unfold!
This is my story of how I stepped out of the boat in faith and watched God worked a miracle in my life. Her name is LeiLei. What will be your story?