my phone rang. i recognized our adoption agent's number. it must be josh. why would he be calling? uh-oh, what is wrong? i thought...
"jody, i have great news!" he said immediately. "great news...i can't even believe this, but your LOA is back early. much earlier than expected."
"what? are you kidding me?" i was stunned. we had just this past week come to terms with the fact that we were still possibly a month away from receiving this LOA. i, too, couldn't believe it.
"that's awesome, great, unbelievable...wow..." i stumbled through my excitement, not really knowing what to say. i could feel the smile stretch across my face. i could feel the increased beat of my heart and the joy spreading to the tips of my toes. this was big. and i knew it.
josh continued, "average wait time on this is typically 60+ days...yours came back in 29 days. i don't know why. i am not sure we've ever had one come back this early. it's crazy. this actually puts you a month ahead of where we thought you'd be."
"josh, i know. i can't believe it...but in a way i can. do you know the hundreds of people praying for bella right now?" i replied.
just last week josh had told me because of the timing, we probably wouldn't be getting bella until end of summer or early fall. we had been hoping all along for early summer, convinced that bringing her home before we were into another busy school year would be best. i grew panicy at the thought of leaving our crazy household in august as emily started high school and the other three resumed their hectic schedules. i asked people to pray specifically that this would speed up. the very night before the phone call, while tyler was praying at bedtime, he asked God to move things along more quickly. only a few days ago in my last blog entry (just the facts mam), i wrote about how our dates added up to a later travel time but declared we would pray "earnestly and expectantly" for an earlier date. crazy. i would like to say that this was our faith. i would like to write that we prayed with complete faith God would indeed move things along....that we prayed expectantly as we are instructed to do. but i would be lying. i typed that phrase, yes. i said those words, yes. but i can tell you it was probably more just a plea than it was a statement of my strong belief. i am sure on the inside i was thinking more along the lines of, "well...we'll pray this way, but we know nothing goes quickly in the world of adoption. we know that smooth is not usually the descriptive adjective used...we know most things come back late, not early." i typed "earnestly and expectantly", but truthfully, i felt half hearted and doubtful.
when i got the call this week from josh i experienced disbelief and great joy. soon after though, i had an intense moment of embarrassment. i had doubted God. deep in my heart i had doubted God, the Savior and Father of bella grace. i doubted the God who has been delivering people from darkness and imprisonment for thousands of years. God who parted the red sea. God who provided manna in the wilderness. God who protected daniel in the lions' den. God who walked on water. God who multiplied fish and bread. God who has rescued me from great darkness. what could i say? once again, completely humbled that He would choose to work through this adoption teaching me even more Great is His Faithfulness. our children recognized it immediately. they knew prayers had been answered. there didn't have to be a reason for our LOA to come back so quickly. it came back quickly because God heard their prayers. God hears their prayers. their faith is simple. my thoughts were centering on china and the government and the system and all of its miles of red tape. i hadn't factored in a our miraculous and all powerful God. i hadn't factored in that for a God who moves moutains this piece of paper was nothing.
so with that lesson learned, we go forward. we now have about 60 days until we will receive our TA (travel approval). if things continue to move along, we will most likely be heading to china sometime at the end of june or early july. we are thrilled. not because we convinced God of our timing...but because we are convinvced that His timing is perfect. as i stated in the last entry, "He knows the very day we will walk in that orphanage and hold our bella for the first time." we will continue to pray earnestly and expectantly....and we will.