In 17 days I, along with Julia, am going back to China. I have never been to China without bringing back a precious gift....a child. This time I am going to serve the children left behind. To say my emotions are all over the place would be an understatement.
First of all. I am leaving 4 of my children, my husband, 2 dogs and a bunny for 2 entire weeks!!!! Oh that kills me...not so much the 2 dogs and the bunny.I will miss my family terribly! And I am worried about my hip accessory, aka Lulu, doing ok without me. She follows me into the bathroom. If I go where she can't see me, she cries out for me. Poor baby. But it is good too. She will see Daddy can be wonderful and meet all her needs as well. And then there is poor unsuspecting Daddy.......hopefully he will survive as Mr. Mom. And Jaida tells me numerous times a week, "Mommy I don't want you to go to China." Ugh! Sam says he wants to go too! I feel so bad not taking him! Xin....not a care in the world! As long as someone is feeding him, he is good-to-go. And preparing everything at home and trying to prep ahead for Will, well, that to-do list is a mile long. SO many details! At least it is summer and that alleviates some of the hassle. We are also going to be missing our annual family gathering at my parent's lake house for 4th of July and that makes me sad. Always so much fun with everyone.
Then there is the thought of looking into every women's face I see and wondering "Could she be Lulu's biological mother?" You see, we are going to Chenzhou, Lulu's birth city and her orphanage. What would I feel or say or do should I ever meet this lady? I would want to thank her profusely for her gift, her daughter, our daughter. I would want to cry for her for all that she has and will miss in this beautiful little girl I get to adore daily. I would want to tell her endless stories about my little spitfire. I would want her to know her daughter could not be loved more. I think I would feel quite humbled.
I also know I will see first hand the reality of what my 3 adopted children's lives would have been like had they not found their forever family. This will make me miss them all the more.
And then there are the children still waiting in the orphanage. The faces I will come to know and love. How my heart will ache for them. It will be our job to show them love...but love for just 2 weeks. Then they will go back to the reality of orphanage life day after day after day. How will I leave them and come back home to comfortable living? How will I kiss and snuggle my children without thinking of those that are left behind, those that may never be adopted. Oh my heart hurts already. We each had to choose a verse for the trip. I choose Jer 29:11 "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future." I must somehow convey this to them. Lord please help me to do this and do this well.
We are going with 10 other girls and women. I am so excited about spending 2 weeks with those who share the love of Jesus and my heart and passion for the orphan. The amazing thing about these gals is that a good many of them are teenagers or college age. These are girls who instead of saving money for the latest electronic device or stylish clothes, have worked and saved to spend 2 weeks serving the least. What a privilege it will be to serve along side them. What a wonderful experience for my own daughter to share at such an early age.
This whole set-up is such a God-thing! Two years ago when we were matched with Lulu, a mission team was there in Chenzhou at that exact time. We were able to get in touch with them thru a friend telling me about a blog she was following of a woman on the trip. We got to see pictures of Lulu, videos and thoughts about her. The team leader has been back 3 times since. Her own daughter, 13 at the time, took a special liking to Lulu and loved on her the entire trip. Her and I have become friends and now I get to go to China with this amazing women, adoptive mom of 2 and waiting on 1 more! He orchestrated this whole thing. I know He has some awesome plans ahead and I cant wait to see what He reveals! My prayer is that I would be open to what it is He is showing me and then have the faith to follow through with His calling.
So off we go in just 17 days.....to what I am not sure. But I am sure of the One who called me to this and He "has plans to give you (me) a hope and a future."