Here's where we stand today. It's long. And complicated. But the shorter-than-long-and-longer-than-short version (I just made that term up and I will say that it is a wonderful way of describing a middle of the road recap of things...if I do say so myself) is that we have pretty much sailed through all parts of Hope's adoption. In fact, it has been so unexpectedly fast that we almost haven't felt 100% ready for the next step each time it comes.
It has been clear that God's hand has been in this whole process. We have gotten approvals much earlier than we ever should have all along the way. We have had confirmation after confirmation that out of all the children in the world that God could have led us to, He led us to Hope. Sometimes you just sense God's hand moving in front of you. And because everything has been going so smoothly I just had this sense that there was a reason for it. I felt like God was showing us over and over that we were on the right road. He was setting up clear markers for us to look back on to remember His faithfulness so that we could look back when it wasn't all fun and easy.
Which leads me to today. Well, yesterday to be exact. We spent all last week making travel arrangements for China. And let me tell you that leaving 4 kids at home for 2 weeks is not the easiest thing to prepare for. I made a million (not really, but close) different options for where they would stay and with whom and when they would shuffle around between family and friend's houses. It was like a Sudoku puzzle. In my head 24/7. I had a finalized schedule made and we were ready to book our plane tickets Monday morning. I checked yesterday morning for the final email from our travel coordinator that would give us the go ahead to confirm our flights and hotels. Instead, I found out that we actually have to stay in China for 3 weeks, not 2 weeks.
And I flipped out in my head. And ate a cookie at 8:00a.m. And then I flipped out again. And I tried to undo my cookie choice by eating something healthier, eggs. Not a good combination. And I went on an emailing, phone-calling frenzy. And then I remembered. I knew the hard part was coming. I knew that following God's calling to adopt came with a cost. A great cost. One that, as of yesterday morning at 8:00am, was adding up quickly in the calculator that had magically appeared in my head. And I felt God whispering, "Silly one. How quickly you forget Me. How many ways do I need to show you I AM HERE? I AM in this." First, I wanted to answer back with, "Well, a check for $$$ would be a nice thing." (I do think God gets my humor!). And then I calmed down and thought about the cost. And the financial cost seemed less of a burden as my personal cost came to mind. The cost of my comfort. The cost of my time. The cost of my control. The cost of my sanity at times, if I'm going to be quite honest. You see, I'd like to say I easily lay those things down for others. But I don't. I scream and flip out and kind of don't want to pay the cost sometimes. Yesterday was one of those days.
Today I see more clearly. Today I count it joy to walk the hard road. To pay the price for a little girl I've never met. To leave my kids and my comfort and travel across the world to find her. To open up a place in my heart that is made just for her. I'm human. I freak out. I hate the unexpected. I am terrified of planes, can't stand icky hotels, crowded streets, standing in line, and public restrooms. But I'm signing up for this and more to gain a treasure. One that was handpicked by God. One that is a part of our family before she even knows we exist.
I share this because one day I want Hope to read this and know that she is worth it all. I want her to know that God led us to her. And we chose her. We loved her and chose her before we even knew her. We could have walked away. We could have not even started to walk at all. We could have thrown in the towel because the journey was all too costly. But (give me 24 hours!) I can honestly say that what seems like a huge sacrifice is not much of a sacrifice at all. Not when you hand over yourself and your pennies and get Hope. She is worth the cost.