I often think,when the seasons change (or should change-it snowed here yesterday), about the previous year. What were we doing? What was life like then?
Last year started out with a lot of soul-searching and a lot of questions. January and early February was dark and bleak in climate but also in doubt and confusion about what God was calling us to do. We had already opened our hearts to "Renee" and it had almost been a year since we had first asked our agency for her file. Living in a world where instant gratification is the norm, I will admit we were growing weary that the orphanage hadn't released her file yet.
Just trying to hear God's voice in this noisy and busy world was draining. Wondering if we should keep waiting for a file that we might never see. How long would we wait? I remember how I tried to take "control" of the situation anywhere I thought I could.
There are Yahoo groups where people advocate for many children who are waiting for a family in China and I reached out to them to see if they knew if New Day had any connections with specific agencies. I (God led me) "found" a couple of families who had been matched with children from New Day and I contacted them to find out what the "secret" was to "getting" a child's file. I can tell you that at the time, I didn't like their response. They told me that it had been all God and His doing. That meant that I had to "let go and let God". I did not like that thought since I feared that we would never see her file. I was falling in love with her more and more with each passing day and each new picture that I saw--something my dearest hubby often warned me against. But, as the thought sunk in that it would take a miracle from God to receive her file, it was more and more freeing. I felt a peacefulness in letting go of trying to control and remembering that God is always at the helm.
Now, that didn't mean that we stopped our begging, pleading and praying. Our kids enlisted their classes at school and we bravely told our friends and family (knowing some would think we were completely crazy)and asked for their prayers. We fasted as a family and prayed novenas for her to come to our family. I don't ever remember praying so long and so faithfully for anything or anyone ever before. I feel like I prayed for her all day long most days of the 1 1/2 years we waited. I even uttered perhaps the hardest tag-a-long prayers for her.........."or whatever family would be best for her".
I know God doesn't always answer prayers the way we want or the way we can understand.
There was a short time where it looked like we would not be the family that God had chosen for her........more on that in Part 2 of our journey......
I thank Him constantly for hearing and answering our prayers and choosing us to be Annie's family. We are so blessed by her and can't imagine our life without her!