8 duffle bags and 8 backpacks wait in our schoolroom.
We have maxed out our big 12 passenger and will be having a friend not only drive us to the airport, but also towing our utility trailer behind us with our luggage as well as my parents’ luggage and 3 strollers. Moments like this make me realize we have a larger than typical family. Funnily enough, someone seems like they are missing.
Nw for the dose of reality. Little Theodore’s photos haven’t been shared a lot by us. I know it’s a little strange for those who have walked with us through our other adoptions. Truth be told his first photos just made us heartbreakingly sad. 9 months old and 9 pounds. Red eyes from crying. Unable to sit. A long list of expensive lab tests had been run. His stated diagnosis was clear cut in one respect and very dire in another. He was not meeting milestones, nor was he ever expected to, according to one respected professional who looked at his medical file for us.
And yet we sent in our letter seeking to adopt him and make him our son.
Because he’s worth it.
Totally worth it.
Our agency director went looking for an update. She called his orphanage and found that he had been transferred to a special medical foster home run by a NGO (non-governmental organization) in the same province. We were thrilled! His pictures show a very serious little face, but he is now nearly 26 months old and he has gained 10 pounds and 10 inches.
We aren’t sure what his medical future will hold, but we do know that God woke us up to love him unconditionally, to fight for him, to give him a place to belong. We have several medical teams available to us here in North America and once we are home with him we will pursue all of our options to get him the best treatment we can.
And we have been given a little glimpse into his personality.
Theodore belly laughs when he is tickled!
How great is that?!
As we leave tomorrow please pray for us about the following:
*easy travel (all parents will understand the full depth of our request!)
*that Theodore’s heart will be prepared in whatever way it can be for the enormous life altering changes about to occur. Adoption, while redemptive, is still trauma.
*the hearts of our Chinese born children who are returning to their birth country. So much processing has already occurred as we went through this preparation for this trip. They are new ages for this homeland visit and with each new developmental stage come new ideas, memories and levels of processing. Pray that this will be a rich time for them to see China, to know China and to love China.
*the hearts of my children not Chinese born. They have welcomed their siblings like kings. They have embraced their adopted country wholeheartedly. They look at China with pride and realism and helped our other children feel brave and strong in spite of the complexity of what they are processing. They take leadership roles with their younger siblings on all of our travels and it can be exhausting. Pray that they would have strength beyond their years and experience. Also, pray for their patience while trying to breach the great firewall of China in order to connect with their loved ones and peers back home. Not.even.kidding.
*Health. Stephen and I have been trying to get healthier over the past six months knowing this was coming. We are on a continuing journey with this, but I pray that God would honour our attempts and keep our backs strong, our stomachs ironclad and our sleep deep (even if only for a few short hours – haha!).
*for my parents. They come with us on these trips and there is very little glory in it. It is not how most couples would choose to spend their empty nest or retirement vacations, but they do it without any complaint about missing the actual tourist areas, grumpy grandchildren (and, ahem, children), and enormous piles of luggage and children attracting stares and stopping traffic everywhere we go. Please pray for their health and that they would be able to enjoy their time away in spite of the busy schedule.
*for Stephen & I. It’s physically exhausting, but it’s also emotionally taxing. I’ve cried more in the past few days than I have in, oh, about two years. Adoption does that in the final days before we leave. Pray that I would hear God prompting me to be quiet as Steve leads us and that I would listen more to Him rather than trying to control each and every detail. Truthfully, that is my downfall. And pray that Stephen wouldn’t run down to far as he tries to juggle all of us and be emotionally available to all of our many and varied needs.
And thank you, each and every one, who has offered to pray for us. We’ll be thanking God for you all too!