"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him,
so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."
HOPE...six months ago tonight, I was sitting by my mom's bedside knowing that she would soon be in the arms of Jesus. I felt hope knowing she would no longer be suffering. But I also felt extreme sadness knowing I would miss my mom SO VERY MUCH. And now, six months later, I feel the same...hope knowing she is healed and experiencing true joy in the arms of Jesus. Yet I still feel extreme sadness, wanting to much to talk with her, hug her, hear her voice, and call her to tell her good news about the children and about our adoption process.
For tonight was very good news...we have been matched with an amazing little girl in China! She is almost 26 months old and is precious! We got a call from our agency 48 hours ago on the night that the Shared List was released. I tried not to have my hopes up, but they were...I was SOOOO hoping to get a call but realized we very well might not. Then at 10:07 PM, Andrea Sisler with Lifeline sent an e-mail AND called to say she sent us a file to look at. I was STUNNED!!! I told Jason to look at it first because I was so nervous! He did and told me she was 2 years old, so that was great. Then when I couldn't take it any longer, I looked at her picture on the computer screen and all I could say was, WOW! Tears of joy and love started streaming down my face and I felt she could be our daughter!!! I wasn't familiar with her special need...a congenital skin disease, so we called Jason's sister, Nicky, who used to do dermatology work. Then the next two days, I was able to get in touch with two amazing dermatologist who were willing to look at her file and pictures. We requested additional pictures to show more of her skin, as well as a video, but when this morning came and there was nothing in my Inbox, I didn't think we would get any before our deadline of tonight to make a decision. But God can do anything and just before taking Andrew to preschool, Andrea called to say that a picture and video were sent and on their way to us. AWESOME!!! I fell more in love with her when I saw the second picture, and was also encouraged to see her hair had grown some. The video showed her playing outside at the orphanage (which we were told is a "good" one, thankfully) on a slide and although it revealed more of her deformed ears and skin problems, I am more in love and so anxious to get her here to get proper medical care for her.
Jason called me on his way home from Atlanta tonight and I asked him how he was feeling about this and our decision--to accept the referral or not. He proceeded to tell me that she is our daughter, and while there are many unknowns, we must walk by faith and not by sight. He even said he'd asked the Lord to speak to him through music while in the car yesterday and the very next three lines of the song said, "We walk by faith, not by sight, even when we don't know what the road ahead is like." AMAZING GOD!!! He said he'd come to terms with the fact that we probably wouldn't get any new pictures or a video, and then when the picture and video came this morning, he realized the Lord was saying, "Trust me and then let me prove myself to you." WOW!!! I was crying and laughing and rejoicing as we talked!
Once Jason got home, we signed necessary paperwork and I submitted it to Andrea via e-mail. Overwhelming, surreal, exciting, and scary all at the same time. All I know is that I love our Jenna and can't wait to have her here with us! We're planning to tell Nathan, Shelby and Andrew this wonderful news tomorrow night...and may even order Chinese food!!!
HOPE...my God is THE God of hope and as hard as all the waiting has been and will continue to be until we have sweet Jenna home with us, THE God of hope will sustain us and will keep her in the palm of His mighty hands!
Jenna....seeing your face brings me joy and a huge smile. You are beautiful and more than ever I cannot wait to have you in my arms. I love you, sweet daughter of mine! And Mom...I miss you more than ever and yet I know you are smiling and rejoicing with us tonight, too.
*For her safety, we can't post pictures of our precious Jenna yet but once we get approval to do so, you can bet we will!!!