On Saturday, it will the day when two years ago, I prayed for mei sims for the first time. I felt an urging to pray for her protection..... to pray for her birthmom as she would be facing what had to be the hardest decision of her life. I love God's timing as He prompted me to pray.... it wasn't for another 7 weeks that we even decided to adopt (we, meaning derek.... I was ready).... and 8 days later, unbeknownst to us, Mei Sims entered the world. As I prayed for the struggles of both baby and birth mom, they were actually in the thick of it all. I have mentioned this timing before on the blog, but it is worth remembering that God is surely in the details... even when He prompts us to pray.... there are pieces of stories moving about that we know nothing of... but still we pray...and then sometimes we even get a glimpse into why His timing was just right.
I can't wait to celebrate our baby's 2nd birthday on November the 11th and I will post about it after we actually celebrate. But today, my mind can't help but wander to thoughts of her "China mama".... there isn't a day that i don't think about her....after all, Mei Sims has her eyes, her hair, her skin..... her heritage. I have only admiration for this women who carried my baby for 9 months... whose body nourished her each day as she grew in her tummy... and on a weekend where we will celebrate "Orphan Sunday" in churches across the country I find it important to remember that behind ever orphan that is another one whose life was forever altered as well.
In God's soverienty, this particular woman was born in a country full of struggles.... in a country that mandates how many children you can have... in stark contrast to both the biblical mandate to be fruitful & multiply and to God's heart for children.... They are a blessing from the Lord-- they may make your hair turn gray and make you need counseling but they are a blessing! But her home country is one where there are rules and there are consequences.... many people are poor and many are hungry and many simply cannot keep the children to whom they give life.
So here we are at the beginning of November and I will forever think of her birth mom.... each fall as the weather changes knowing that the sounds, smells, and feel of fall which I love must conjure up feelings very different in her.... emotions that must still be raw and painful 2 years later. I don't know the details of her birth.... was her birth mom still dreaming of a life with this child until the moment she was born? Was it because she was a girl? Because she was sick? Perhaps she already had a child? So many questions and all I know is that her life and the life of my baby all changed in an instant. It must be with dread and fear that she sees Novemeber 11th approach on her calendar... as if she wants to hold her breath and simply make it through the anniversary one more time. If any of you have ever lost a loved one, then you can identify with her.... although November 11th is MS's birthday, it is more like the anniversary of a death for her birth mom.... after all, her dreams for her child died that day that she was born and then left... in an instant, her dream was gone.
To anyone reading who thinks "but she had a choice".... I would argue that you know nothing of the pressures of life in China... be in family pressures or governmental.... for the most part (especially in the rural areas) it is a country that doesn't value the lives of little girls.... a country where baby girls are often drowned at birth in a bucket of water... the water that would have cleansed them had they been born a boy. There is a fascinating albeit it painfully hard book to read by Xinran called "letters from an unknown chinese mother" which tells true stories from birth moms in china. It is hard to even summerize what all is in that book, but suffice it to say, these women are not calloused or cold hearted... they are not running from responsibility... they are just like you and me.... yet they are forced to make a decision that you and I could never understand.... because we live in a country of freedom where baby boys and baby girls are equally valued and cherished. Granted their are birth moms in the US and other countries but I'm specifically talking about china... there is a difference between picking a family to adopt and take care of your child and leaving your child on a sidewalk and walking away not knowing what will become of them.... I know that she left a piece of her heart on that sidewalk as well 2 years ago and I know it will be a lifelong process of healing. Also, in response to comment "she had a choice..".... in another sense, I feel like she never had a choice because God created Mei Sims for my family... I can expound on that another time but I see it as a time when "sorrow and love mingled together" as they do when we see Christ on the Cross.
If I could write my own "letter to an an unknown chinese mother", there would be so much to say but mostly I'd want her to read:
"You are beautiful. You are strong. You are courageous. I know that you loved the baby you could feel kicking in your womb. You live in a world that offers other "options" that some consider easy but you chose life for that sweet baby girl.... you chose life for my daughter and for that you are more brave than any woman I know. Our lives are forever connected... you are valued and cherished by a family you will most likely never meet...& it is our privilege to continue to pray for you as long as we live. By the way, my daughter is beautiful, strong and courageous as well. She is valued and cherished by a family who will never leave her... She is also a bit fiesty.... we need to chat about that"
Believe me, there will be a fun celebration here on the 11th but on the eve of this anniversary, I'd ask you all to join me in a quick prayer for this women. I do not know who she is or where she is but I know God! And God is certainly just as intimately acquainted with her ways as he is with mine. God's providence can be both bitter and sweet here on earth. We have seen Mei Sims rise from the bitter to now relishing in the sweet & I so desire the same for her China mom.... that this "anniversary" the bitter might begin to change to sweet for her... that daily, she would see a bit of her heart restored & be overwhelmed by an unnatural peace.... a peace so unnreal that it would stir something in her soul to find out why. Please join me in a simple prayer:
Lord, comfort her and whisper in her ear that her baby is safe, well & loved. Fill her with an unexplainable peace. And reach her with the truth of the Gospel of Christ Jesus. In Jesus Name, Amen
I had a dream recently that is worth mentioning. in my dream, God allowed myself and a friend to go up to heaven and take a sneak peak.... we were with others as well but I didn't know them. We were on these green, gently rolling hills as far as the eye could see. We were walking in toward the horizon and we could see shadows of people coming toward us. The someone told us we were going to get to see loved ones we had lost and my friend was so excited. But this same person turned to me and said "since all of your immediate family is still living, we have someone special for you to see." I was so excited and couldn't guess who it would be so I continue walking alone as floods of people are filing past me to greet the rest of the group. And I see this one shadow far away that is getting closer and closer. I know it is the one and can't wait to see who it is.... the figure is coming closer.... and....
wouldn't you know it but Mei Sims woke me up with a night terror?!?! I was laying in bed going "no. no. no. no. I want to see who it was!!! it was like I wanted to close my eyes and finish the dream really fast and then deal with MS but alas, my sleep was shot. I told derek about it the next morning and we kind of laughed about how I have such strange and vivid dreams. The next day, derek called and was like "I was thinking about that dream and I think it was" and then I cut him off and said "her birth mom!" He had narrowed it to 3 people and that was one of his choices as well. I'm totally not saying that was a prophetic dream but it did give me a vision of what a sweet reunion we could have in glory one day. It propels me to continue to pray for her salvation.... after all, what if that is the whole reason she carried a child which was not hers to keep... was so that someone half way around the world would intercede for her.... just a thought.... He has after all done crazier things than that.
And in case I have been too heavy, let's talk for a moment about MS's party. I'll share photos after its over but we had the idea that it would be fun to get those chinese lanterns that you light on fire and they float up with the idea that we could send them up on her birthday with prayers for her birth mom, praise for Mei Sims' life, etc. So one night recently, derek decides at 10 p.m. to try lighting one. It took forever to work, so I'm just folding laundry in the kitchen and watching him through the window, try and fail multiple times (that's what we get for buying cheap). It was pretty windy and when it did light, I went out (still holding laundry) to watch as it suddenly takes off, not going up up up but going parallel down the street. I'm watching this ball of fire go towards the neighbors house and derek was simply like "oh well" and about to go inside. I on the other hand cannot go in with the idea of waking up to my neighbors house in flames because of a renegade chinese lantern. So, if anyone happened to see someone running barefoot, while still holding laundry and chasing a ball of fire down our street at 10 p.m., that would be me.... not sure if I was planning on using that perfectly folded t-shirt to beat the flames out with or what? This is just a typical day in the life of being married to derek. I could probably write a whole book about his antics. But I'm glad to report it burned up just as derek said it would and was fine. We may have to rethink our launching of tons of lanterns though for the celebration.
That's it for now but thanks today for standing in the gap with me for a woman we have never met, but a woman who quite clearly changed our lives through the gift of her daughter.
MS is a full walker now--- she seems to have aged 3 months in the past week. Life with her could not be any better! Every night we look at all 4 of our kids and are in awe of God's blessing on our family! We are at that place in our journey that I didn't really believed existed back then at the beginning.... but it does.... and it is sweeter than my wildest hopes & dreams.
Sisters. Singing. Serious & Silly.
10 hours ago