Excitement would be the best way to describe our girls as they unwrapped pictures of Leah for the first time! Grant and I had known for about 5 days before we told our girls and family. We were waiting on official PA (pre-approval) from China to move forward with our adoption of Leah. After they opened their picture and realized they were looking at the face of their sister, there was a lot of screaming and jumping up and down!! Finally, a face to go along with the sister they had been praying for this past year!
I knew immediately that this baby was the daughter I had been praying for! God gave Grant and I immediate peace and joy when we were sent her file for review! Looking back now, I can see that God started us on this journey to international adoption, then to China, then to our adoption agency, and finally to our Leah right when her birthmother would have been learning of her pregnancy herself. Throughout this time, we have prayed for our daughter, but also for her biological family. There are a lot of reasons why so many children are abandoned in China, but the bottom line is that her birth mother chose life for her daughter! For that we will always be thankful! I do not believe that God’s perfect plan for our world included children being raised by anyone other than their biological family. However, that world is not the one we currently live in. Adoption is always born from loss for the orphaned child. It is only by the love shown to us and given to us by God that redemption and healing is able to take place in the heart of these children. The verse from 1 John 4:19 has spoken to me throughout this process, “We love because He first loved us.” I am so humbled to know that God chose our family to be the ones to get to witness this firsthand in Leah’s life. I will never take for granted the fact that I am being given the opportunity to love on this beautiful child of His! I am so unworthy to be able to call someone else’s child my daughter! The magnitude of that is not lost on me! People have told us many times that what we are doing is such a wonderful thing. I do understand what they mean in that we are giving a family to an orphaned child. However, we know without a doubt that WE are the ones getting a wonderful thing in the gift of our sweet Leah as a daughter and sister!
Our extended family is just as excited as we are also! We surprised my family with wrapped pictures of her just like we did with our girls.
Right now we are working on immigration paperwork with the US government and visa paperwork with the Chinese government. The back and forth of these documents, as well as a few other required ones, is about 3 months. We are looking at traveling around the end of August to bring Leah home! We can’t wait to get our hands on her!