Friday, March 22, 2013

Ripple #5: Strangers

This may be one of my favorite posts.  Here are two girls who are not in the adoption world and don't know me..... pretty much no reason they should have found my blog much less continued to journey along with us.  The one thing we do have in common is a relationship with Christ.... and He in His mysterious ways wove our journeys together.... kind of leaves me awestruck with the Lord to see Him take my daughter's story and use it to take a stranger down a rabbit trail of their own.... awestruck at His timing that someone can come along and encourage you when you had no idea they were watching and praying all along.  That is the beauty of the body of Christ.  God created us for connection... intimate connection with Himself and with others. We were never meant to live life in isolation.  When there is vulnerability in sharing our lives, we get to experience fellowship within the body in such a unique way.... this ripple is evidence of that. 

Thoughts from across the city:

I have never met Mei Sims.  Yet, I think about her often.  I worry about her hip.  I wonder how she is sleeping at night.  I smile when I see a new post on the blog.  Mei Sims came into my life through a friend from high school who also adopted a precious little girl from China.  She linked to this blog so that her friends and family could better understand the journey her family was about to take by reading about Mei Sims Gotcha Day journey.  And read I did!  
As I read the post about Gotcha Day one year ago, I was overwhelmed by the feeling that God had orchestrated this beautiful journey and brought it to me for a reason.   I was hooked and immediately went back to the beginning.  I wanted to feel every ounce of the struggle, joy, fear, anxiety and excitement that went with adoption – and specifically THIS adoption.  Even though we have never met, Mei Sims has become a part of my life.  She has shown me so much about our basic instincts of survival as humans, about bonding and attachment, about fear, about love, about coping and enduring.  It warms my heart to see what a transformation has taken place inside this sweet little blessing in one short year.
This world of technology and social media that we live in has many negatives.  Children choose to text instead of making a phone call or writing a letter.  I worry about my daughters’ developing interpersonal skills and telephone etiquette.  I hope that they will face problems and fears head on, instead of hiding behind a text or Facebook message.  However, I cherish the fact that they will be able to stay in touch with friends and family across the globe.  I am excited about the opportunity they will have to connect with people that may otherwise have been out of reach.   I hope that they, too, may feel moved to write a blog that allows the world to peek into their daily life.  Mei Sims, I hope that you will use technology and social media to enhance the unique circumstances that led you to your family.  The world is, quite literally, in the palm of your hand.
~ Summer B.

Comments from Me:  I actually got to meet Summer one time this fall.  She ran up to me and introduced herself and let me know she had been praying for us.... so sweet and encouraging.... Again, God providing just what I needed at just the right moment through an unexpected vessel.

Thoughts from across the pond :

Do you know that in the Roman times you could never disinherit a child you'd adopted? Adoption on earth is a glimpse we have of God's love for us that he left the comfort and glory of a throne to come to earth to collect us into his kingdom and adopt us as children. The love that your family have for you is an image of this and that is what has spoken to me and moved me to pray for your family for the past year. The first post I ever read about you was the day you were collected. Even though your mum constantly spoke of what a joy you were there was such a struggle for you to settle. The thought of all the operations you had to go through and the pain of learning to love and accept being fed brought me to tears reading. Your parents made a choice to love you though despite all of this and you have been transformed in the past year, there is such a light about you now. They fell head over heels in love with you as have many others who've never met you.

It was about 6 months after you were brought home that I plucked up the courage to tell your mum I'd been praying for you. I shared a picture I'd had of a daffodil lifting it's head like a trumpet towards the sun. I was reminded of 2 Chronicles 5 where those with voice join with the trumpeters to give praise. I think that the way that your story praises God has encouraged more than just me. I actually thought of you again recently when I was crocheting daffodils for St David's day (March 1st in the UK). I checked the blog to see how you were doing and your mum had asked for someone to write about how your story has impacted them. Next Sunday is mothering Sunday in the UK where churches give out daffodils to mothers. What an amazing coincidence that in the autumn while I thought it was odd to be thinking about daffodils God was working in the timing of this week: the week you were collected, the week between the daffodils emerging from the ground and been given out to mothers.

Oh beautiful girl, what an encouragement it is for God to work in the life of a complete stranger through you! To work within the traditions from another country entirely different from those which are part of you. The story of the Kingdom of God has no boundaries by country, we all are adopted into the citizenship of heaven.

Of course, your story is so much more than something which teaches others about the love of God, it's about a girl joining a real family and them learning how to be a unit. It's about a girl striving to understand the world she lives in, learning to trust and then love brothers, a sister and parents and growing in joy and light.

So happy one year to a beautiful family, though really it all starts much earlier than that in the working of strands together for God's glory! And I'm sure that our paths will cross in your future. I shall think of you every spring dear girl.

Love Claire

Comments from Me:  Claire told me I could edit out anything that sounded too "english-y" but I assured her brits sound much more cool than americans.  Don't you love reading "mum?"  I remember so clearly when she contacted me 6 months ago.  God had given her a vision for me....  I can't quite put into words how humbling& amazing it is to know that the God of the universe revealed a beautiful image for me in the mind of a believer across the ocean.... again, He used her to encourage me at just the right moment.  It shouldn't be but it is almost shocking to me that He did that.  

Her message to me was as she mentioned about daffodils.... so let me share something else with you..... I live one a street that has a daffodil "fairy."  I'm pretty sure no one else reading this has one of those, right?  Ok, so maybe it isn't a real fairy but there is an anonymous little lady who once a year leaves bags on the mailboxes up and down our street.  Each bag has a cup of water and is filled with fresh cut daffodils from her garden.  It is just a fun little happy to come home to... even my kids go wild when they see it.  Daffodils...  the same flower that He gave a girl in england a picture for us.... the same flowers that showed up again this year the week before we were to celebrate Gotcha Day..... suffice it to say, I will never look at those flowers again the same...  I will forever see them as pointing to heaven & giving praise to God just as MS's story brings praise to Him.

To sum the ramblings in my brain up, we certainly didn't ask around when we moved onto this street 4 years ago if there was a flower fairy of any kind..... we certainly didn't know about a girl growing up in england crocheting daffodils..... we certainly didn't know we would have a chinese daughter whose story would reach others..... but He certainly knew all.  He takes seemingly random details of life and weaves them together into something beautiful.  I picture the charlie brown christmas story when they go up to a naked tree, wave their hands all crazy like then step back and  voila.  It is beautiful.  And I think about life: go to  Auburn, go to China, marry Derek, have children, move houses, daffodils,  adoption, blogging, claire in england....... Crazy hands crazy hands crazy hands.  Voila. He was always working and for  brief moment He pulled back the veil ever so slightly to let me see and understand how it was all connected.... how "random" was turning into something beautiful.  And even better, this was just a glimpse!  In heaven, it will ALL makes sense and be more beautiful than we can imagine..... jaw-dropping amazing.  Let's just hope when that happens I'm not still dropping expletives.

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