Thursday, March 14, 2013

Ripple #3: Friends... Old & New

Thoughts from an old friend:

Mei  Sims,
I’ve loved you from the first pictures, the first glimpses of your expressive, round eyes, the first video of your adorable feet, hands, smile…I was so crazy about you long before you arrived! But I wasn’t the only one, and I’m writing this on behalf of so many others. In the weeks your parents were in China, everywhere I went, someone was asking, “Are you reading about Mei Sims?” At the grocery store, the library, church, school, the topic was the same – you. It was like a tidal wave of affection for you was building as each day went by and we followed along with your parents from half a world away. We couldn’t wait for you to get here, to see your sweet face in person! I hope you will one day have an inkling of this, of the vast community that loved you before we knew you, that praised God for you, that saw in the story of your life His love for us, that witnessed, some of us for the first time, the beauty of adoption.  I know you’ll have unique difficulties because of your beautiful story, but I hope you’ll be refreshed by the waters of wonder and amazement and thankfulness that have flowed over you from the beginning.  
We love you, Mei Sims. And besides loving you so much, we also just really like you. You are fun and funny and adorable. Each time we see you, we still can’t quite believe you’re here, and that the little Waltchack we all began to cherish through pictures, videos, and blog entries, we now get to pass in the hall, wave to, have playdates with, hug and kiss (well…sometimes …when you let me=)). We get to watch your life unfold. And we are thankful. I am so very thankful for you!

From me: Laura is probably dying that I'm posting this photo but I love it. She was my most determined friend to get a hug from MS and the first time MS let her hold her, Laura froze.... she was scared if she moved then it would be over so she just stood like a statue and was mouthing "I'm freaking out!"  Such a fun memory!

Thoughts from a new friend:

Rushton is the first close friend I've known who has adopted a child.  Rushton and I were introduced in August 2011.  She was really far into the adoption process when we met, and the person introducing us included this fact in her introduction.  "Aww...your first baby?" I asked (I thought there was no way she was over 20 years old). No. Her FOURTH.  Better her than me, was my immediate thought.  As a pediatric therapist, I WORKED with many children who had been adopted internationally. Delayed, neglected, emotionally void: these are the words that came to mind. That was my perspective.  "I hope they get a good one."  I shamefully admit that was my prevailing thought for the Waltchacks.  As I walked through this process with Rushton (read: followed along behind Rushton in total awe) the scales were lifted from my eyes.  God is so much greater than "I hope they get a good one." I know that Mei Sims was knitted together in her birth mother's womb by a God, who from the beginning of time, designed that "China baby" to be a WALTCHACK from Alabama! I am so thankful I got to be there, along side of the Waltchacks, to witness that become so blatantly clear. 

As we saw the first pictures of Mei Sims, we all laughed with joy over that bald baby!  I remember studying her hand, worried that it looked a little bit funny (just a bad camera angle).   Now that I know Mei Sims as a person, not a picture, the worry and fear seem like a lifetime ago. It's so strange to think I was studying a tiny picture looking for any sign of imperfection that I could possibly see.  I wanted to be sure this was the "right baby" for their family. How foolish. Looking back over this process, my own gross, sinful imperfections are revealed to me. How un-Christlke I am, in every way. . . And how perfectly loving and merciful His adoption of me is, daily forgiving my nasty imperfections.  Mei Sims didn't need to be "just right," she just needed to be loved. And she fits in perfectly! 

Another thing that has become so clear through Mei Sims' adoption,  is how perfect God's timing is. Always.  And, although it never seems perfect when we're living it, It's amazing to look back over this long process and see that every little detail, setback, leap forward, is orchestrated by God.  How they all set the Waltchacks perfectly in-line to get the baby He designed for them.  How great is that?!

When Mei Sims came home, I was slightly terrified.  We'd been given strict orders not to touch her, feed her, or make too much eye contact with her :)  I was not about to break those rules.  I looked at her through the window of Rushton's house when she'd only been home for a day, too nervous to come inside. I might be exaggerating a little bit, but that is how I remember it.  One day, we were standing outside and Rushton HAD to pick Henry up (he wouldn't let me), so she shoved Mei Sims into my arms. Oh. My. Word. I've been in love ever since!  I like to say that I was the first non-family member to hold her in America.  I don't know if that is TOTALLY accurate, but it makes me feel so proud, so I stick to it.   

Like everyone else who has had the opportunity to know this wide-eyed, bright, smiley child, I am thankful. I am thankful that God's perfect timing allowed me to be friends with Rushton at the very moment in my life that I could learn so much from her!  I feel overwhelmingly blessed and honored to know this precious child.  This whole adoption process has touched my life in so many ways. First and foremost, it  has been a beautiful picture of God's adoption of me through Jesus Christ. It has illustrated again and again what James tries to tell us: life is just a vapor (James 4:14).  Our time here is so fleeting, so what's the big deal? Add a fourth child. Special needs? Bring them on.  The Waltchacks are just called to take care of Mei Sims here on earth. Simple as that. Yet at the same time, the most complicated thing of all.


From Me:  Mandy may be one of my craziest friends and I'm so thankful for His timing in bringing her into my life during that first year.  So I do have to clarify her story above a bit. I had been home a few days and Mandy missed the airport because she was out-of-town. So i'm in my kitchen and I keep seeing a car drive by slowly.  Then it parks out front and I realize it is her.  So I call her cell and am like "Are you in front of my house?"  Yes.  She was in the car with her whole family just watching the windows and hoping to catch a glimpse.  I finally convinced her to get out of the car and then she ran up to the back door.  She literally looked through the glass... I open the door and am telling her to come in... she crazily waves her hands and is like "I'm leaving now" .... runs back to the car and drives away and that was it.  See, I told you she was crazy!!  And she was the first person to hold MS as i rescued Henry from being stuck up in the play set... pretty sure MS was screaming the whole time but it still counts.... MS did grow to love her don't worry.

1 comment:

suse said...

This is hysterical! Rushton, I was researching setting up blogs, and thought of yours, which I hadn't read in quite a while. (my loss!) and i'm so glad I sat here and read this, on this LORD's Day in July. It is the perfect way to honor the LORD, God of the Universe, and our Saviour Jesus.
I love all these ripples.
When my twin sister passed on to be with the LORD, He gave me the image of throwing a rock into a pond, or a lake, and then the ripples spreading out touching things, rocking them with their gentle waves... so,
ripples, YES!! Mei Sims' adoption ripples have gently rocked many people's hearts.
Thanks, as always, for your posts.