picture of purpose

i feel obligated to follow up last night's post. i would never want people to draw conclusions from what they learned yesterday. and certainly should lydia ever read this blog (which is WAY weird to think about although it was started for that purpose), i want to set the record straight.

God works in mysterious ways. we know that, we've all heard that, and most of us have experienced it in some capacity. and the creation of our family is no exception. i can say beyond a shadow of a doubt that God's hand has woven us together. and that's great news. some day, lydia is going to have to wrestle with the why's of adoption. and there will be a lot that i can't answer for her. but what i will always be able to do, is point her back to Jesus, and together run our fingertips through his footprints that are so clearly visible in her journey to our family.

the story starts about 14 years ago when eric and i were first dating. like all newly dating couples, we talked about children and what we would want to name them (what? you didn't discuss that? i'm shocked.) we picked the names josiah, abby, and micah. and we stuck to them for the most part - abby got nixed when it became the most popular girls name ever. we've always dreamed of having children and while i cannot point to a specific time, the idea of adopting a little girl from china was always a part of the conversation. no details, just a mention here and there.

josiah came...then anna claire...

we waited while the ultrasound tech looked around. "it's a boy," she mentioned. eric looked at me and i smiled at him. "yes!" he said, "one more wedding that we won't be paying for!" i laughed. "perfect! we can adopt a little girl from china and have two boys and two girls!"
a little bit of unintended foreshadowing...

and oh sweet micah. what a ride he took us on. to sum it up, exactly 5 days after that uneventful ultrasound we found ourselves in the situation of a lifetime...3 months of bedrest, 2 months in the hospital, an emergency c-section. the details, well, let's just say it was a BIG God-story. however, before we leave the subject, i do feel obligated to interject that i can count myself among those who have endured major surgery without proper anesthesia. uh yeah...i would HIGHLY recommend being numb prior to being cut on.

it was the journey of that pregnancy that led eric and i to begin to contemplate closing up the fertility shop. it was debatable whether i should become pregnant again, and after so much stuff neither of us was certain it would be a chance we wanted to take. we prayed. and we prayed. and we prayed. i knew it was a big decision, although there was no way to grasp how big it really was. it was one of those times you blindly follow God's leading and do what you know to be right. if i had stopped to think of what i was actually doing, well...

the tubes were tied. i came home. i was REALLY sore. laying in the bed for 3 months does a number on the body. and i was REALLY sad. i knew within weeks that our family was not complete. someone was still missing. i cried, and i cried, and i cried. i felt like someone had ripped my child away from me and there was no way i would ever see them again. how could we have done this? how could we have made the decision to end our family when there was still room for somebody else? i pleaded with God. i prayed for a miracle pregnancy (which would have been a miracle on SEVERAL accounts). i begged God to just undo it all.

i was angry. how could God have led us to the decision of a tubal ligation and then send me home only to have a heart that longed for another baby? that was cruel. oh, i was angry. i had a whole new empathy for the infertile. to long for a child and be completely unable to conceive...oh, what pain. i was crushed.

i had a whole lot of conversations with God. well, they weren't necessarily conversations, more a SCREAMING IN YOUR FACE BECAUSE I AM SO ANGRY WITH YOU!!!!

but one day, he answered me.
"here," he said gently, "this is who you long for and who i have created just for your family."
now i have never had a vision before, but i am here to say i had a vision. before me stood a little chunky chinese girl, wrapped in big puffy winter clothes that didn't match one twit. her short little body stood outside my front storm door and knocked. her sweet face looked like that of a two year old, with little black ponytails sticking up on top of her head. she was solemn and didn't say a word, but i could read her big almond eyes. they communicated everything they needed to.
"bring me home."

that was july (micah was born may 24) and for the next two months i wrestled with what i had seen. adoption? i knew we had talked about it and entertained the idea but we hadn't ever reallylooked into it. but with each passing day i was more and more convinced that this little girl was the longing of my heart. i mentioned it to eric. he laughed. i mentioned it again. he laughed a little less. i decided not to mention it again.

we went away just the two of us in september to the beach. and i brought my vision with me. my stomach physically ached with longing. i finally gathered up enough courage to ask eric, "will you please pray? maybe this is really God?"

well, folks, the rest is history.

three years later we sat on that same beach in september. this time, we had our lydia.

adoption was not our answer to infertility. adoption was God's calling on our family. and i am convinced, that God had to lead us to the place of ending our fertility in order to get us to see that calling. there is not a chance in this world that i would have, of my own volition, chosen to fill an agonizing three years with paperwork and silent waiting, and spend $30,000 that i didn't have. i am way too practical and stubborn. God was going to have to force me to take that exit off the highway.

so is there pain? yes. absolutely. and yet in the midst of the pain i can see that there is purpose. i wouldn't trade our adoption journey for anything. it is a mistake to think that God's purposes don't involve pain. but it is a bigger mistake to think that pain doesn't involve God's purpose. God always has a purpose.

and i'm lucky. everyday His purpose is staring me in the face. her cute chubby self, complete with ponytails sticking up on top of her head. and yes, she was two, and yes, she had puffy winter clothes that didn't match one twit. and yes, she is short and sweet with big almond eyes. she will forever be not only the embodiment of the miraculous to those who witnessed her journey home, but the picture of purpose to this stubborn soul.