Yesterday, I was cleaning my bedroom when the three words faith, hope, and love seemed to come to me from the LORD. It wasn't during my quiet time, and I wasn't thinking about anything in particular, so I stopped to meditate and see what the LORD was telling me.
Then, as quickly as the words came to mind, the LORD began to speak to my heart.
Throughout our adoption, these three things, faith, hope and love have abided.
Our adoption of Ellie took great faith. On November 6, when we first learned about Ellie, Dang Min Chun, all I saw was her face and her medical condition, lumbar meningocele. I didn't even know what that was. I talked with Stan and he felt it wasn't time to pursue a special needs adoption, so I thought that was the end of that. I knew if the LORD was in the adoption, both husband and wife would feel it and know it.
One week later, I received an email from our social worker. Five children from our agency's Children of Promise list still had not been matched with families. Dang Min Chun was one of them. I instantly called Stan to the computer, and this time, he felt it. We were both near tears, as we really both felt the LORD was speaking to us. Stan called our pastor, and we all began to pray.
We actually requested to see the files of 3 children, but we only felt the LORD leading us to Dang Min Chun. We took her medical information to a local doctor. From research on the internet, we had learned that a meningocele is one form of spina bifida. After surgery, its effects can be minor, however, there are more serious medical conditions that can be associated with it. The doctor we talked with felt her medical record was too incomplete for him to help give us any more information.
We continued to pray and finally talked with a retired doctor. She looked at her head circumference and felt that intellectual delays would probably not be a problem. We were still looking at the possibility of bowel/bladder control issues, as well as the possibility that she may never walk.
Our family continue to talk and pray. We knew that requesting to be matched with Dang Min Chun would be an act of faith. We had to all agree that we could deal with a child in a wheel chair and/or without bowel/bladder control. Our 18 year old child put it best when she said, "Mom, if it had been me, it wouldn't have mattered."
We decided, as a family, that this child was fearfully and wonderfully made. We stepped out on FAITH, that the LORD would provide for our needs and the needs of this child. As we stepped out in faith, we held out HOPE that she would live a happy life. If the LORD would choose, we would HOPE that she would not suffer ill effects from her meningocele. If she had additional medical problems, we acted on faith that he would help us do all we could for her.
Many of commented on our faith through this adoption. "I" have commented on our faith.
But, yesterday, I realized, it was faith, it was hope, but most of all it was LOVE. We had to stop asking ourselves, "Can we handle this medical condition?" and start asking, "Is this the child the LORD intends to be part of our family?" The answer was becoming so clear, and we were indeed falling in love.
So, we followed through and wrote a letter to our agency requesting to be matched with Dang Min Chun. We knew there was a possibility that other families were doing the same. I stopped worrying about whether or not we were making the right decision. By faith, I knew if she were the child the LORD meant for us, we would be matched.
Then, on November 20, we were given HOPE. More medical information had been found on Dang Min Chun. We knew she was crawling, USING HER LEGS, but her right foot seemed to be effected by the repaired meningocele. We knew she could stand with support, and we knew she was talking.
Then, on November 21, we were once again face to face with our faith. We were told that Dang Min Chun had been matched with another family. We had to trust our LORD, while our hearts were heavy.
Imagine our surprise, when on Dec. 4, our social worker called. She said the other family had changed their minds. They were afraid they couldn't support Min Chun's medical needs, and she was ours if we were still interested. And, you all know our answer.
Once again, our faithful LORD was giving us HOPE. I still had Dang Min Chun's picture in my wallet. I had never put it away. It was as if I knew all along that she really was ours.
Our love for Ellie has continued to grow. Our faith in our LORD has continued to grow. Our hope in the future has continued to grow. We have been blessed with a contact in China who has given us much more information, and we truly believe Ellie will walk! We believe she won't have bowel/bladder control issues either. But, this one thing we know, our Jesus has placed in us a love for a child half way around the world. Whether he chooses to completely heal her, or teach us that his grace is sufficient, to God be the glory.
"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity." I Corinthians 13:13