In the last Memorial Box Monday I wrote about some of the many ways God showed up in Alex’s adoption. I also referred to the fact that Alex’s and Song’s adoptions are enmeshed; we wouldn’t have one without the other. Today I wanted to share the way that God showed up for Song’s adoption, which also just happens to be enmeshed with Anna’s entrance into our family.
It’s a good story made even better by virtue of being true.
As I mentioned, the months after Alex’s adoption were very hard. He just didn’t know how to behave, although he was a pretty good mimic. Lots of difficulties with church and mother’s day out. Lots of not being able to leave him along without some disaster happening. Lots of rocking himself to sleep, rocking himself back to sleep, moaning/singing something that sounded oddly like a Native American song of mourning. Keening, really.
By this time God and I had grown pretty close, what with me searching the Bible for help, praying for deliverance and trying to reconcile myself to life as the mother of two sons. I had thought I would be the mother of a boy from me and a girl from China and although I knew we made the right choice I was still missing my daughter. I already had clothes hanging in a closet for her, but couldn’t see how we would be able to do that, financially or otherwise with a very emotionally fragile new son.
One day as I was reading through the Psalms, the following verse was part of my reading:
Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.
I don’t know if I had read that verse before or not; I do know I never understood it until that day. If I delight in the Lord then He will be putting the desires into my heart and He will surely give them to me. He had good plans for me; He wasn’t going to be working around my plans to accomplish His own.
I found the idea stunning. I stopped at that very moment, praying with all earnestness, “Lord, you know I have delighted in You; You know You are my only strength through this trial and I love You! Imperfectly, but with all my heart, I love You. Lord, what is the desire of my heart?”
Then I waited to hear from Him. It only took a second.
A daughter from China.
Can I tell you how much this answer disappointed me? Not the answer itself, of course, but because I thought I was so weak in my faith that I couldn’t hear from God. So, I asked again.
A daughter from China.
Still disappointed, I nonetheless kept that answer in the back of mind all the while waiting for something more profound, I guess. I still delighted in the Lord. I still read my Bible. I still worked on my relationship with Alex.
Within a few days of asking God what the desire of my heart was, I received a call from the Gladney Adoption agency: Jill, we have a referral for a daughter for you and John . She’s 11 months old and her name is Li Song Yue. Do you want us to fedex it to you so you can talk about it?
Right this moment, typing out those words I still cry, the same tears of joy I cried on that March day in 1999. God spoke to me. God spoke to ME. He told me what the desire of my heart was and HE GAVE IT TO ME! He put a Song of joy in my heart!
The next day we received the package but John wasn’t 100% sure that this was God’s plan. He hadn’t had the conversation with God that I’d had, so I can’t blame him. Nonetheless, a week later his Bible reading for the day took him here:
Isaiah 1:17 learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow.
I looked at him and deadpanned, “I guess I’ll be calling the agency today, then?”
As I said at the start, however, we didn’t think we could handle another adoption so quickly after the first one. You know, don’t you, that God had that handled. In fact, He had already handed us the financial piece of the puzzle.
About two weeks before I read the passage in Psalm 37, John called to say he was getting a bonus; a much bigger bonus than we had ever received before. Well, we weren’t adopting and so the ‘natural’ Jill would normally have a list of things for that bonus. Unnaturally, I knew, the moment he told me about it I knew, that this money was from God and He had a plan for it. I didn’t know what it was, but I knew the money wasn’t really ours. (It never really is, but thankfully God gave me a stronger sense of that than I normally have!)
Now, the amount was way more than what was necessary to complete an adoption from China. Turns out, we were going to need a new vehicle, too. The Mazda 4 door I had just wouldn’t handle all four kids.
Wait, didn’t Song make three kids?
Two weeks after saying ‘yes’ to Song we found out we were expecting. God opened my womb when we opened our heart to another child, one of His precious orphans. Isn’t He just the most wondrous God? Isn’t He just the overflowing, overwhelming, full of mercy and grace and blessings God?
He also had our backs when it came time to leave Alex for the adoption trip. It took 4 months from getting Song’s referral to travel. John didn’t have to go so he stayed with the boys. At the time (and only at that time) a parent could go alone but with certain paperwork signed by John ahead of time. John’s mom went with me on the trip and we brought home the most beautiful little China doll ever! A crowd of 30+ people met us at the gate; the folks on the airplane caught on to what was happening and let Song and I exit the plane first.
Next time, I will explain a little more about the vehicle God gave us. Doesn’t sound as exciting as an adoption, does it? Oh, but wait!!! God was involved. It’s a good story, too.