Saturday, March 22, 2014

Sunday Snapshot: At Home in China & Prayer Request

Our week in Beijing is finished. Delicious food. Good friends. Happy babies. Beautiful blue skies. It felt like coming home. I don’t feel “split” anymore – not the way I used to when we lived here… I’m not (usually) wishing I’m here when I’m in the USA or wishing I’m in the USA when I’m here. Maybe I’m finally learning how to just BE wherever I am, and be thankful for the friends and community and family we have in both places.

 As I said goodbye to some of my dearest Beijing friends yesterday, I couldn’t hold back the tears as I realized my love for them has grown even deeper now that I’m two days from meeting my Chinese daughter. God has blessed Cora and Alea with some incredible Chinese ayis. Aunties who love my girls and who show them what a strong, loving, compassionate Chinese woman looks like. Especially with Alea coming into our family, I want her to grow up proud of her heritage and background, and I know that with these women in all of our lives, she will come into an understanding of who she is as a beautiful Chinese woman with their mentoring and love that I might never be able to show her. My heart swells with thankfulness that God has brought them into our lives.

I spent a day with Deng Jia, our Scarlet Threads seamstress. We went to the fabric market together and she helped design new products. I stood back and watched as she negotiated the prices for fabric, contributed new design ideas, and talked about future products we could develop.

Her husband brought us heaping bowls of steaming noodles and we talked about growing plants and children and her hometown in Sichuan province.

She doesn’t speak English and I don’t speak much Chinese… but we’ve learned how to talk with each other these last few years. I respect her business prowess and incredible skill, and I’m thankful God brought her into my life.

We’re getting on a train later today… headed to Alea’s hometown. And in about 48 hours we will have her in our arms. We are excited and terrified all at the same time. It honestly feels completely surreal. We are days away from becoming a family of four. God has been so faithful on this journey so far, and I’m leaning into Him as closely as I can as I seek to trust that He will continue to knit our family together. But in these last few hours before we meet her… when uncertainty looms large and I don’t know how the next few weeks will all play out, we have lots of prayer requests. And we also know we have lots of people who are praying for us, which fills us with incredible peace and gratitude.

 We’d love you to join us in praying for these specific things:

  1. For continued health and strength and rest for our family. Last night Jacob woke up in the middle of the night and it seemed he had the start of a bout of food poisoning or a stomach virus. Knowing we are about to get on a train today, I started praying like crazy that it would pass… and just like that, the wave of intense nausea ended and he went back to sleep. We all woke up in the morning feeling well-rested and fine. We just want more of that.
  2. For Alea’s heart to be prepared for our family. We’ve heard she is happy and open – and we pray that she is able to adjust as easily as possible to her new family and environment. One specific prayer request we have is that we will be able to comfort her when she’s upset. We know we are strangers to her, but we are praying for God to supernaturally move in her heart so that we are able to meet her emotional needs in these early days… that we will feel like family and not strangers.
  3. For Cora to be prepared to be a big sister. She knows what is coming, but she can’t possibly truly understand. And in general, our sweet girl has a hard time with children younger than her… babies aren’t her favorite. Mostly because they put her things in their mouth and knock down her towers. We know the adjustment won’t be easy for her, but we are praying that God supernaturally moves in her heart so that she can step into her new role as big sister with excitement and joy. 
  4. For our hearts to bond with her. I know a deep and true connection will come for all of us, but I’m praying it happens quickly. We’ve spent lots of time with lots of orphans, and one of the side effects of that is that for us, we’ve become a bit detached. I’m praying that even in the very moment she is placed in my arms, I will feel a “mama-love” for her, even if it is faint, and I’m praying for that feeling to deepen quickly and fiercely.
  5. And finally, that the next two weeks in China will be filled with more moments of joy and happiness than trauma and difficulty. We know it isn’t going to be easy, and we are fully prepared for it to be hard work to become a family of four. But we would love to be able to enjoy our time in China. We have friends we hope to see in both cities we plan to visit, and lots that we would like to see and do. Our children of course will come first, so if Alea and Cora aren’t up to the hustle and bustle, we won’t do it. But we are hoping that maybe – just maybe – things will click and we can enjoy two more weeks of time in this second home of our hearts.

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