Thursday, February 20, 2014

Great News About Jack on His Birthday

I woke up with a pit in my stomach on February 19th.  I knew the day would be hard because Jack turned two that day.  While we were able to have the warmth and comfort of family, he still did not.  But I chose to celebrate his life anyway.  After all, he is coming home soon (and the sooner the better!)

My parents are in town this week from California and we decided to stop by the local Asian market and get some sweet treats at the bakery counter in the market.  A friend of mine, who grew up in China, told me that birthdays are typically celebrated with a sweet treat to remind the people of the sweetness of life - I love that!  So we picked up individual cakes so that each person could choose their own flavor.  The desserts were beautiful and I was happy to be thanking God for leading us to Jack, but my mama heart was still heavy.  There were a few times during the day that I had to blink back tears and choose gratitude instead.

But that was before I got the most AMAZING phone call!!  

Our case worker from the adoption agency called when we returned from the market and asked me if she could have my permission for something involving another little boy at Jack's orphanage.  At first, I thought… wait… what?! … she wants us to adopt two little guys… (I must say, I was totally ready to say yes!)  But, that wasn't the story at all.  I kind of tend to jump the gun and get a little ahead of myself.  

Anyway, our case worker said that she had received a phone call recently, from a family that had used our adoption agency in the past.  This family was now in the process of adopting a little boy from Jack's orphanage using another agency.  This other adoptive mama had called to ask permission to reach out to our family because she was hoping the boys might be able to connect once they were both back home state side.  That was a major answer to our prayers, in and of itself, because I had been praying that God would reveal parts of Jack's story before he came to us so that we could share with him how God had continuously carried him and called him by name since he was conceived.  But I was anxious about how much story he would have because it is illegal to relinquish custody of a child in China to authorities.  That means that anyone who wants to put a child up for adoption needs to do so under the cloak of night and in complete secret, without a trace.  

So the fact that Jack would now have some personal connection with a boy at his very same orphanage out of all the 2.1 billion people in China was enough to make me giddy.  But the story got even BETTER!

This other adoptive mama who spoke to our case worker said that her church had partnered with Jack's orphanage and had been sending medical and care teams to spend time with the children there.  She had been to his orphanage herself two times and both times had spent significant time with our Jack!   Our caseworker gave me her name and phone number and I could hardly wait to make the call.

I spoke with the other little boy's mama twice that day.  She shared amazing stories of what Jack's little personality is like, a bit about his medical condition and care, and the coolest news… both of our boys had been moved, sometime in late November or early December, to FOSTER CARE!!

Somebody pinch me!  I had to just stop and pause a minute and consider what had just transpired in a matter of moments within my heart.  Just a few hours earlier I had been moping around my kitchen, not sure if it made sense to eat the cake we purchased because it wasn't fair that Jack couldn't experience it. And the thought of him not having a birthday celebration or any mention of his big 2 year birthday just broke my heart…. fast forward a few hours and now I can picture my sweet boy sitting in the lap of his new foster mother, with one on one attention and a bestfriend/ buddy to boot!!

Wow God… just Wow!!  I am floored by God's hand in all this at every turn but then again, like a friend reminded me recently, He likes it that way.  Because if I expected it, then I wouldn't be able to marvel in His goodness like I am.

"You have turned for me my mourning into dancing, you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness."  Psalm 30:11

So on this day, our son's 2nd birthday, he is not sitting in an orphanage crib, counting dots on the ceiling tiles.  He is being loved by a woman with a preschool educator's background and his only foster brother shares one of the same medical conditions as our son!

Just like the verse that we have chosen to display in Jack's room says, "I have called you by name; you are mine" we wait in anticipation for the day when these little boys can be buddies and continue their friendship with their forever families.

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