Thursday, July 9, 2009

when you least expect it

when you least expect it.

a phrase with a whole new meaning for the mcnatt family. 

i called my friend to make dinner plans for the evening, but as i was prone to do on occasion, i asked her,  “so, beverly, do you have a baby for us today?”

i jokingly asked her. honestly, i was thinking more about which restaurant we were going to meet at.

but bev, in all seriousness, replied, “as a matter of fact, i do.

moments later, i found myself hanging up the phone and opening up an email attachment. 

xue zhu zhang. 

there she was. rosebud mouth, round face, dark eyes.  dark eyes which clearly had a story to tell. as i stared at her picture, i found myself wanting to listen. i wanted to hear her story. all of it. i wanted to hold her in my arms.  all of her.

but as much as i found her tiny features compelling, the thought of us actually doing something about this emotional tug seemed like a stretch. 

how could the mcnatt family become a part of her story? 

i mean, we had only just decided that we might consider the process of adoption. we weren't in any position to act on this file or pursue this child. 

or were we?


and because i can never miss the chance to mess with my husband, i forwarded the email and adoption file to him at his office, writing only, “beverly said we can change her name.”

hours later rick and i had a  brief phone call. he was in the middle of a meeting and i was in the middle of a group of darling hispanic children on  a city mission's project. 

but we found a few minutes to talk.  

“yes, i am serious,” i said. only realizing at that moment, how serious i really was.

“honey, i thought you were kidding." rick replied. "oh wait…is this an ambush? we're having dinner with beverly and dave tonight...did you and bev set this up?”  

he was convinced.

i thought to myself, "no, but i'm pretty sure God did."  

rick knew that our friends, the fickens, had adopted two of their three children and they were passionate advocates for adoption. rick has also always known it would be my heart’s desire to adopt.

we had only this spring, re-visited this old and worn-thin conversation. we had only just begun to consider the reality. but even with the recent meeting of our minds and even with the very hopeful maybe-someday in our pocket, this file felt gigantic. inconceivable.

but, forgetting the file,  this little girl somehow felt just right. possibility. 

i assure you, we had planned to first "get prepared" ...

we had planned. 

oh yes, we had planned...

but there she was -- all rosebud mouth and dark eyes round.  

a baby girl with a story.

and we wanted to hear her story.

we wanted to hear more.

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