Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thanks to you, she sees us!!!

Last month we heard through the grapevine that somebody named Juley was going to pick up their little one from Pearl's orphanage and that they were willing to bring Pearl anything we wanted to send.  Last May when Jessica and Carson went the orphanage asked for pictures to show Pearl and since we knew they were open to it we jumped at the chance.  We sent a locket with our photos in it, a picture book with pictures of our whole family including grandparents, our animals, and our home.  We also included a Disney Fairy doll who had an Asian look to her ;}.  Juley said she would get photos, videos, and tell Pearl anything we wanted but we had no idea how lovingly she would do that for us.

Over the past few weeks I have played the moment she would see us in those photos for the first time over and over again in my mind.  I wasn't sure how she would react.  I thought she might be confused, quiet, a little scared, hopefully a little interested too.  I thought the images would look a lot like this first one:

But you cannot imagine my overwhelming joy and surprise when he next reaction to seeing our family picture was this:

There are so many things to say about these two images.  First, the woman she is with obviously loves her and seems even a little emotional about it.  And Pearl obviously loves her.  And look at the others cheering for her - they all want the best for her.  They want her to be happy with a family.  And then the next thing you might notice is the sweet children who are not seeing their families.  They're curious but it's a little sad too.  What dear children.  And I cannot wait to embrace those woman and thank them for loving these children as their own.  I will praise their names for ever more as I'm sure the angels of heaven do.

The images go on and on and all of them are so sweet that I wanted to share them all so I made a slideshow for the rest.  I also wanted to share them because we are only able to bring this sweet girl and her sister home because of your continuing help.  We are so grateful for the strong hands and loving hearts who have supported us and our girls in being united again as a family.  And though it is hard to need help, words cannot express my gratitude. Seems we're in this thing together.  :} 

Here are the pictures:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

When he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid.

Sometimes I think about the night Peter and the other apostles saw the Savior walking on the water1.  It was a terrifying thing to see but the Savior called out to them saying, "Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid."  And Peter answered, "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water."  Somehow they lowered Peter onto the water and he began to walk towards the Savior.  I don't know how far away he was but I am going to wager that it wasn't just a few feet.  And as Peter was walking he started to see the winds pick up which I imagine also made the water become very turbulent and he became afraid.  As soon as fear replaced the faith in his heart he began to sink but yet in that moment he still had enough faith to cry out to the Lord, saying, "Lord, save me.  And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

What a beautiful moment.   The scriptures have become alive to me through the adoption process.   I am sure that I am not alone and that we all have seas that we are asked to walk on.

I know that looking out onto the water and seeing the Lord there can be terrifying.  We did not want to adopt for a long time - we knew that financially speaking we were not in a place to do so but then the Lord called out, "Be of good cheer, it is I; be not afraid."  And so we were bid to come out to meet him.  We were asked to walk on water.  

Walking on water is impossible if you didn't know it.  Not one of us thinks that with enough practice we could figure it out.  And yet, he did it.  And sometimes I feel that way about as far as we have gotten in the adoption process because financially speaking - it is impossible.  And I'll bet when Peter first started walking on the water it was exhilarating.  But as the reality of what he was doing hit and he started to notice the winds and the waves it required more of his faith then leaping out of the boat.  Each step becoming a whole new leap of faith.

Perhaps when the winds picked up Peter saw how far he had to go.  Perhaps Peter wondered why he had volunteered himself for this.  The deep and murky cold water was underfoot and he was the only one crazy enough to get out of that warm steady boat.    But he must have known that he wasn't walking on that water by his own power, he was walking by grace.

I am ashamed to say that I am no Peter.  I haven't had just one moment where I am afraid and beginning to sink.  It happens all of the time.   But the Lord is there, catching me and chiding, "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"   Or to borrow from another story with wind and waves,

"And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.

And he[Jesus] was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?"2

He is teaching me that He does care.  He is no fair weather friend.  He did not ask me to do this and then step out of the picture.  Many times the winds feel VERY boisterous and my faith is little and my fear is so so great but He always rebukes the seas when I call out to Him.  If I reach out to Him he always catches me.  He is in charge.  I am grateful for his patience as He helps my faith in Him grow.

1 - Matthew 14:25-31
2 - Mark 4:40