When I consider where Stan and I are right now, and how the LORD orchestrated the events, I am utterly amazed.
As I've told you, we weren't planning to adopt again. I received an email from a foster home in China, asking me to pray and advocate for Xiao Yong. Our lives have changed dramatically since that email.
Stan, who has always said our house is full...decided he might enjoy having another son around...since our boys are grown now. It was the first time I had any inclination that he might be willing to adopt again.
As a family, we spent the weekend in prayer for Xiao Yong. We even considered adopting him ourselves. I had a photo of Xiao Yong in Ellie's life book. He had been in the same foster home with her, and he was the only child left behind from the time she lived there three years ago. Since that photo was over three years old, I searched for more up to date photos of him.
I joined the yahoo group Advocate for Waiting Children, only because I wanted to find more recent photos of Xiao Yong. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. The people on this yahoo group are SERIOUS about finding homes for waiting children. Message after message concern children who are waiting for their forever families.
In the same folder as the photo of Xiao Yong, was the photo of the face you've begun to see quite often on this blog. I was instantly drawn to those chubby cheeks and that contagious smile.
But, we were considering the adoption of Xiao Yong.
Three days after that first email we learned Xiao Yong had found his family. This family had met him just one year earlier when adopting from the same foster home. You can read their awesome story here: Xiao Yong's Story.
And, then I couldn't stop thinking about the face of Zhuang Zhuang. I did some advocating for him, and some looked at his file...but no one was ready to make the committment to adopt him.
And, we had no money.
I do not believe it is coincidence that I saw the face of Zhuang Zhuang just one week before the Love the Least Conference. After hearing Gwen Oatsvall say she has little patience with people who say, "I would adopt only we don't have the money," I was challenged to think differently. Stan was challenged, too.
And, I heard this song from Josh Wilson, I Refuse. I heard, "I refuse to sit around and wait for someone else to do what God has called me to do myself."
I asked Stan to read the first two pages of If You Want to Walk on the Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat. Well, as most good husbands do, he usually ignores my suggestions for reading. He's afraid I might be trying to change him. (And, sometimes I am. ;)
But, Stan did not read the first two pages of If You Want to Walk on the Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat, he picked up Radical. He thought that was the book I suggested. He read the first two pages, and kept reading. He read the first 28 pages...and was challenged like never before. Then, he went ahead and read the first two pages of If You Want to Walk on the Water, You've Got to Get Out of the Boat.
And, much to my surprise, without any hesitation, he was ready to move forward with the adoption of Zhuang Zhuang, knowing we had no money. As the God ordained provider of the family, he was ready to trust God to provide.
God continued to amaze me in the choosing of an agency. I had contacted the agency we used with the girls' adoptions, and I did not have peace about using them. So, I contacted the agency who had sent a representative to the Love the Least Conference. When I called the China coordinator, she said, "I know who you are. I follow your blog. I have prayed for your Ellie." Another God moment.
And, now as we have chosen the agency, it just happens that our Ezekial Gunter is on this agency's waiting children list. If we had chosen to use our original agency, we would not have found our Zeke.
And, here I stand amazed. Take any of these God ordained moments of the story, and the story would NOT be the same.
It all started with this face:
So, now his photo will go in our Memorial Box. We will always remember how God used him to bring our sons Drew and Zeke to our family.
And, if you won't to know what a Memorial Box is all about, click on the photo at the top and visit Linny's blog. Your day will be blessed!