As we begin to recognize Gods voice and see how He moves and the way He patiently guides our hearts in the things He has for us, His stirring becomes so familiar, so real, and so unlike anything else. He is rich, fills, empowers and changes us into His image. His beautiful image that is full of life and love, real, true love. We become who we will never become on our own.
Gods stirring for us is a process......
Our hearts have been stirred once again for a little boy in China. This stirring has been a process of patience and standing back to allow God to work and move to bring His perfect will to fruition.
Our stirring for our little Jin Jon started about two years ago, around the same time our prayers were being sent for sweet Morris. They were both on the same waiting child list and they have both utterly and completely captured our hearts. God so perfectly guided us and worked out each detail through Morris' adoption to prepare our hearts and build our faith in such a way that we would be open and ready for our Jin Jon, His timing is truly perfect.
March 2012 was not only the month God stirred my heart to Morris specifically it was also the time in which He stirred my heart for children with Down Syndrome. It was like the stirring He first put in my heart for China, something I can not explain, a love I can not deny that is from God alone.
Though I knew Morris was ours I could not understand this heart I now had for children with Down Syndrome. I knew it was for a reason, I knew it would come to pass, but I did not know it would be two years later before God would reveal His plan.
Luke was very drawn to our Jin Jon's (Tucker's) video, and so was I. My heart was so full for both boys I cried out to The Lord in a prayer for them. A prayer I wrote down on paper and put away (I don't normally write out prayers like this) God brought the peace and patience He knew it would take to wait this long to bring our second boy home.
Tucker did not have a file, which means he was not available for adoption at the time Morris was. He had a picture up but no file. God knew why, I know God's hand was behind this, He knew we were to bring Morris home first for a very specific reason, reasons we may never understand, reasons we really don't need to understand. We are grateful He knows. We trust His timing.
Like I said I did not understand my heart for children with DS, I did not understand my heart for Tucker. I did not know we would eventually be bringing him home, all I knew was he captured my husband and my heart and I wanted him to be file ready and to have a family of his own. My prayers for him were mainly that he would have a family, an indescribable heart of love for him.
As time went on and we were busy preparing for Morris God continued giving me glimpses of His heart for orphans with DS and at this point I was 99% sure we would eventually adopt a child with DS I did not know when, where, who, how or why all I knew was God was moving.
God was so faithful to keep my mind and heart in His perfect peace and to keep focused on Morris and His needs. Our time in China really opened ours eyes and hearts to how much people everywhere need Jesus, how desperately we need Jesus, how we can not love without Jesus. Our visit to Morris' orphanage started to really guide our hearts to Tucker though we were not fully aware of it at the time. Really most of what I remember is Tucker's little face staring up at me through an open window as I looked into Morris' classroom. I looked over at Luke with so much joy in my heart (as we were trying to get the camera out and everything felt so chaotic) and said "look there's Dylan" (that was his name on the waiting child list). He was so excited to see us, he followed Luke around the entire time, grabbed onto his leg and Luke took a picture of him. He smiled with a big sweet smile the entire time we were there. As we were about to leave Tucker reached up for me and I picked him up and gave him a little snuggle. On our way back to the hotel our guide told us how much she loved Jin Jon, how sweet and smart he is, and how she hopes he will have a family.
I can honestly say God gave me what I needed to get through our time at the orphanage and our time in China. The need can seem very overwhelming, God has shown me over and over what I can do to help is surrender and do what He puts in front of me. My prayer is always " Lord show me what I can do to help, however that may look." He is faithful to guide.
Bringing Morris home and helping him adjust to his new life was at the top of our priorities. We wanted him to feel secure, loved and have his needs met. Adopting again was not at the front of our minds though we are always seeking to be open and obedient to whatever The Lord has called us to. Though my focus was my family my heart kept being pulled for orphan boys specifically with DS and so I started to pray.... "Lord, what is this heart you've so clearly given me.
As Morris began to adjust and learn English he truly amazed us at how fast he adapted to his new life. He loved showing us pictures from his Orphanage and telling us everyone's names. He is a love. He told us little Jin Jon's name and began praying every night and every morning for Jin Jon to have a family. If any of us forgot to pray for his friend Jin Jon (even before meals) he would interrupt our prayers to remind us to pray for him. He began saying things like "Daddy, I want Jin Jon to come to my house." Through Morris' sweet heart for his friend God was guiding our hearts. My heart was now stirred once again to pray for Jin Jon, my prayer was that a families heart would be stirred for him. I began advocating for him and was told he was not yet file ready. This was so burdening my heart.
Morris' heart for his friend truly began stirring all of us for Jin Jon.
August 4th 2013 was my sisters birthday party, we went to her house for a barbecue. It was a time to laugh and enjoy family. Elias our four year old climbs up in a tree interrupts everyone yelling at the top of his lungs to announce that we need to pray for Jin Jon to have a family and for his brother in India devakumara (the boy we sponsor). He asked each person to choose who they wanted to pray for Jin Jon or devakumara by pointing to them. There were a few people that were not Christians that prayed. He prayed on his own with a loud voice for all to hear. It was amazing, it was out of the ordinary and this stood out to everyone there.
This stood out to me and I knew this was something I needed to fast and pray about. God reminded me of the prayer I wrote, but I did not know if I kept it or where it could be. As I looked for it I found it in a bag of papers. It was dated September 9th 2012.
I really felt I was to take a week to fast and pray that Jin Jon would become available for adoption. That his file would be ready. I decided to start the fast and prayer the week leading up to September 9th and to end on the 9th the date on the prayer. As I fasted and prayed my heart was so full for him I felt almost sick.
God gave me this scripture in Proverbs
"Hope differed makes the heart sick but when the desire comes it is a tree of life."
The week seemed to pass so slow but God gave me such a strong confidence that He would answer my prayer and that Jin Jon would finally be file ready. I fasted from Internet altogether so at the end of the fast I checked the waiting child list Jin Jon was on it and I noticed right away his picture was updated, I was so happy - I emailed our agency asking if his file was read, not expecting a reply since it was closed Sundays. I got an email back almost right away saying HIS FILE CAME IN!
I was in awe yet not at all shocked. I ran outside and showed Luke his updated picture and told him everything.
We serve a living God.
I knew now this would be a time to quietly pray and see what God wanted to do. How He wanted to work. I was aware that we had to be home six months before we could start another adoption at this time we were home with Morris 4 months and I truly felt like we should wait and see if there was someone else interested in adopting Jin Jon. Luke had suggested to wait a couple months pray and see what God had in store. It was a step of faith as I thought for sure he would have a list a mile long of families waiting to look at his file, but he didn't.
Sept 9th I was praying that if we were the ones to look at Jin Jon's file Luke would be the one to bring it up. I found out through a friend that you could adopt again before six months of being home if you were approved. I told Luke about this, I did not mention my hearts desire to look at his Jin Jon's file Luke said "Let's look at his file" I emailed our agency and that evening they sent his file. Before looking at it I waited for Luke to get home and quietly prayed.......
Tucker has Down's Syndrome, Tucker is not defined by his extra chromosome, he is uniquely and wonderfully made, he is who God created him to be, he is a child of God and we are so thankful for who he is. I am aware of the medical needs children with DS face and it does not scare me but I also know that we do not know what surgeries and therapies Morris will need in the future so I prayed that despite Jin Jon having DS he would be healthy. His file says he is healthy and smart. I know God puts these prayers in our hearts so when they are answered we will be confident in His calling. We are aware that despite what his file says he could have health issues but we feel God has answered our prayer and is leading us one step at a time to little Tucker.
We looked through his file and his name means many trees, I thought of the verse God had given me right away
Hope differed makes the heart sick but when the desire comes it is a tree of life. I didn't say anything really to Luke. He then said " I love what his name means." I told him how I prayed that he wouldn't have any major heart problems. We were quiet, we both wanted to see if anyone else was open to adopting him,we waited on The Lord for three more weeks....
After three weeks still no one had inquired about him. I began to pray that Luke would be the one that brought up placing his file on hold. We were talking exactly three weeks after looking at his file and Luke showed me a video of something about Down Syndrome he was watching- I told him that at this point no one had inquired about Jin Jon and he said we should just put his file on hold.
I emailed right away and the next day they placed him on hold for us. We again said let's take some time to pray.......
A week or two later after talking to a social worker at our agency, praying, and waiting on The Lord we knew he was ours.
About a week after that they approved us to move forward with him even though we had not been home quit 6 months with Morris. As of November we have been pre approved to adopt Jin Jon......
God has answered the cry of our hearts, He saw sweet Morris' heart of child like faith and God is bringing His will to fruition. We are blessed beyond measure to be called to adopt another little china boy doll. God moves in His timing and gives us the peace, patience, and confidence to keep going one prayer at a time, through the waiting and through the unknown.
I never want to live a life that is not lead by the spirit, I never want to miss out on all God has, and I never want to say no to the blessings He sets before us.
God does not ask us to conjure up a heart to do his will, He does not ask us to work it out on our own, or to try and figure it out or strive to do it alone, He gives us a heart for His will for us. He gives us all we need, He draws our hearts close to the things that are close to His - He sways the hearts of kings, He works out all the details, He gives us the grace, love and confidence to carry out His will set before us.
Let's never miss out.....
Lord here I am, use me....
We have one short life to live. You can have all the world just give me Jesus!