talk about new and hope and beginnings...
mike and meritt started their pursuit of maggie back in the late summer of 2010. maggie was on the special needs list with a heart defect. she had had surgery in china and was doing well, living in an orphanage in xi'an. they fell in love with this little girl and as a family of five they began the lengthy adoption process. the plan was to get her within a year. the plan was getting only her. but with some changes in china adoption, one year later, they were presented with the chance to adopt a second special needs child.
i remember meritt's phone call. the deliberation. the heart-wrenching discussion. the what ifs. "can we do this?" she asked. "is this the best thing? is it what God wants for us?" it was big enough bringing home one little girl, but two? they prayed over the situation. it wasn't so cut and dried. if they pursued a second child, it would push back their travel to maggie. maggie was turning 4 in october -- what mother doesn't want her little girl home for her birthday? there would be no way the sims would be able to get maggie in time to celebrate. and i have to tell you, the missed moments, the missed birthdays and christmases...well those add up in a mother's heart. i remember so well when we were waiting for bella and we watched a christmas and then a birthday go by without her in our arms. it seemed impossible, but i already loved this little girl half a world away. when you begin the process of pursuing a child across oceans and continents, patience takes on whole different meaning. how could the sims delay their trip one extra minute more to bring home maggie? but then there was this other little girl. and her file sat with them on their desk...in their thoughts...all over their hearts.
and somehow God whispered into mike and meritt words of encouragement. words of hope. words of His faithfulness. you can do this! maybe maggie wouldn't be home in time for birthday cake, but she'd come home with something much sweeter -- a sister from her homeland. push back the travel a bit and bring home two little girls - amazing. imagine, two little girls from china joining an already busy and half-raised family of five. incredible, isn't it? perfect, wouldn't you say? my joke with meritt is that when she told me about this new turn of events, i knew immediately they would be bringing home two girls. as soon as she explained the possibility, i was completely on board. "of course," i thought. it seemed perfect to me. (is there anything more annoying then when the friend thinks she knows?). the sims' children are a little older: marshall, a college senior and about to be married; macey, a high school senior and about to head off to college; and matt, an 8th grader, getting ready to graduate and head into the busy years of high school. what a perfect time to bring home a toddler (or two), right?
and so enter mary henley. a second little girl in a totally different province. mary henley who also had a similar heart defect as maggie. mary henley who also had her heart surgery in china. and mary henley who also, very much, needed a mama and a daddy of her own. the sims would push back travel and pursue two little girls. maggie turned 4 last october and mary henley will be 4 this coming april. two girls in two parts of china coming together to one family. can i get an A-men! is adoption not the coolest thing ever? does God not have the most amazing ideas ever?
as i write this today, our friends have finally landed in hefie and are just hours away from meeting their first daughter. at 10 am january 4th, (their time - about 9pm our time tonight) they will welcome mary henley into their arms. a few days later the three of them will leave hefie and travel to xi'an to embrace their precious maggie. it has only been 18 months since we traveled this same road to our bella. there simply are no words to express the emotion of this experience. i cannot imagine doing it once and then boarding a plane and doing it a few days later. but that is exactly the story unfolding on the other side of the world this week.
would you keep our friends in your prayers? these days and weeks are huge. traveling around a foreign country with two toddler girls. girls speaking a different language. girls who are leaving all they've ever known, all that is familiar. we know from experience the supernatural which can occur. the quick bonding. the amazing non-verbal communication. the language of immediate love -- all of it pure and sweet Jesus. but this family would covet your prayers as their arms and hearts expand and as they stretch wide the borders of possibility. we've known meritt and mike and their children for a very long time, they will be incredible parents to these girls. they will bring maggie and mary henley home to more than america though...they will bring them to a family, a home, a chance to hear about Jesus. i write this today and the tears just flow for the
beauty of it all. to God be the glory.
thank you Lord for stirring in the hearts of this family. thank you for the work you are about to do.
"He took a little child and had him stand among them. Taking the child in his arms, he said to them, "Whoever welcomes one of these little ones in my name, welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me." ~ Mark 9:36 this is the verse mike selected for the top of their blog. and this is exactly it. what a picture of God's tender love for children and His tender love for us.
"we adopt not because we are rescuers,
but because we, ourselves, have been rescued."
but because we, ourselves, have been rescued."
follow the sims' story at: http://msims7.blogspot.com/