It was three years ago today.
The first day of our forever.
After almost 2 years of waiting
Almost 10,000 miles of travel
3 plane rides
1 blur of a layover in Hong Kong
2 additional plane rides into the heart of a foreign land
It started right there.
On a couch
in a hotel waiting room
in a provincial capital
somewhere in southern China.
A place on the map that we never even knew existed before that day 5 months earlier when her face had come across our computer screen and we were forever smitten.
Three years ago today...
We were exhausted.
And unbelievably nervous.
And before we even had time to catch our breath,
it would be taken away once again because suddenly...
There she was
making her way over to us
carried by her ayi
into our arms
into our lives
And so very scared.
For the second time in her little life she would lose everything she had ever known.
And for the first few days her silent suffering was obvious.
It was in her eyes (oh those eyes).
It was in her body language (so stiff and rigid...her means of defense in the midst of all the change).
It was in that little mouth of hers that never turned fully up or down but seemed to stay perpetually puckered.
But then after our first few days together,
days of waiting,
yes, the greatest of these, love,
it was as if new life had been breathed into her.
Her eyes had light.
Her body relaxed.
And her smile....
That glorious smile.
Nothing in all of our touring of that ancient, majestic land could hold a candle to her smile when it finally made its appearance.
And where there's a smile...
And that's what began to unfold right in front of us.
A new life.
Gracious, I love her story.
Like I love all adoption stories.
Because by them I am reminded of my own.
And the stories of all who believe.
How we were all
and without home.
Alone and defenseless.
Rich in His mercy
Lavish in His grace
He considered the cost
And for the joy set before Him
He endured the cross.
Breathing His last,
He made it possible for new life to be breathed into us.
He comes to us in our hopelessness
And embraces us with His everlasting love.
He anchors us with His hope, firm and secure.
And He gifts us with His constant presence,
until that day...
the day when all of us
who are called by His name
and who are adopted into His family
are once and for all
in our Father's arms and forever