It was Monday night. It was bedtime. And it was obvious she wanted to sleep with Lauren again.
Lauren was willing though I had my doubts about letting this become a pattern.
About 10 or 15 minutes after tucking them in for the night, Lauren appears at my bedroom door.
"Mommy! You need to come here. Lily was telling me something in bed and I don't know what to do!"
We went back upstairs where the four of us (Lauren, Caroline, Lily and I) each found a spot on Lauren's increasingly popular bed and Lily explained to me through gestures and broken English what she had told Lauren.
When she was little and was out in public, people would point at her.
They would point at her hands.
They would laugh.
They were mean.
And it hurt.
As she lay in bed, she stretched out her arms as far as she could and said:
"I want...I want...I want...hands."
Deep breath in. And exhale.
I never expected her to be this open this soon. I wondered how to tell her everything I wanted her to know with the limited communication we had.
So I prayed silently and then began.
I told her about a place where no one was ever sick or hurting. No one was mean or angry. A place where our bodies were new and lacked nothing. A place called heaven.
I told her about a man, who was God, who came from heaven. He never did anything wrong. Only good. And He was punished for all the wrong things we do, things we deserve to be punished for. He took that punishment for us because He loves us. His name is Jesus.
I told her that those who love Him and believe He is true get to go to that special place and be with Him forever.
And I told her that He knew her in China, that He's always known her and that He is the One who told us in our hearts to go and bring her here to be in our family.
I watched her face as her little mind stretched to find the words to ask questions or make comments. I had never seen her try so earnestly to communicate with us.
And then she asked me something that I will never forget:
"No eyes, no ears, no hands, too?"
(The other children at the orphanage. The blind. The deaf. Those missing limbs. Does He know them? Does He love them too?)
Another deep breath.
"So, so much. He knows each and every one and loves them so much."
Because of the language barrier I felt like my responses were so inadequate for the need. Like the boy who only had 5 loaves and 2 fishes to feed the 5,000.
But in His hands the food was multiplied.
And it satisfied.
And there was more than enough for all who hungered.
And I pray the same thing for my sweet girl.
That her hunger for love would be satisfied in Him.
That her hurting heart would find healing in Him.
And that I would be faithful to point her to Him with every chance I'm given.
"A broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise." Psalm 51:17