We have an incredible Creator who weaves our stories together in ways we are sometimes privileged to know and in others that we will never be privy to. I don’t know how many people actually read this blog other than my family and a few friends, yet my stats claims that there are lots of people who apparently visit and read my often random thoughts and observations. Who knows? Maybe my words have helped or inspired some of you. If so, I would love to hear it. So like, you know, maybe leave a comment or whatever….
When I was a kid, I remember a song that I sang in church once. I believe it’s called “Tapestry”. I can still recall the lyrics:
“I am a thread in the tapestry, I have The Master’s hand on me. And then He weaves me carefully making textures as He goes. Each of us part of this great design, You’ve got you part and I’ve got mine, all of our lives are intertwined, as the pattern starts to grow! Through thick and thin, The Master weaves us in. Young and old, we are the colors of the rainbow. Our lives are short and long, but together we hold strong, with this everlasting tapestry!”
No making fun. “Christian” music back then wasn’t exactly edgy. But this song, however, has a lot of truth in it. We are a part of a tapestry of humanity. Our lives are indeed connected, and every once in a while, some of those connections can sort of blow your mind. We are in the middle of one of those mind-blowing connections.
On Monday, January 7th, after a beautiful conversation with our sweet J, Craig and I came to the conclusion that our concerns over adopting an older child were ridiculous and unfounded. Our kids were so incredibly open to it, they loved the idea of having an older sibling, and we had seen how our lives might look welcoming an older child and all of its fabulousness, struggles, language barriers, awkwardness, and wonder. Our plan for the next adoption HAD been to return to Ethiopia for a toddler girl. But God leading us to New Horizons and J, changed our hearts. So on that day, I once again looked at photos of waiting children, this time looking at older children, and expanding the search to Eastern Europe. I have combed through hundreds of pictures before. My heart broke for each one. But this time, I froze. My heart skipped a beat. Still, I kept scrolling, then I scrolled back to her. Heart skipped again. Scrolled down again. Scrolled back. There was something about this girl.
I caught Craig about to return down to his home office and stopped him. “Look at this girl, honey”, I said, shoving the iPad in front of his nose. He looked. He smiled. He got a weird look on his face. “Oh”, he said. “Oh?”, I said. “Oh”, he said again. Then he put his things down. This was my first clue something was happening. When Craig puts work stuff down, it’s serious. “She’s lovely. How old is she?”, he asked. “Twelve”, I said. He looked at me again, with tears in his eyes. “Okay”, he said. “Okay???”, I said. “Yes. Okay. Who do we talk to?”, he said. “Uhhh…I dunno. I’ll email someone I guess. Okay?”, I replied. “Okay”.
Firstly, I know, our conversation was extremely intelligent and riddled with big words and complex critical reasoning. Be jealous, it’s okay. That’s how we roll.
So I emailed the facilitator of the webpage. That was Monday, remember. On Friday, as I sat amidst a pile of teenager clothes, accessories, Ziploc bags, and a bathroom scale, I received a return email telling me that the sweet girl I had seen in a photo, was in Ukra*ne and that I should email another woman for more information. Normally, I don’t sit amidst such things as teenager clothes and whatnot, but I was assisting J with packing for her departure the next morning. She had just declared me unnecessary in her process (typical 17 year old!), so I was able to email the person to whom I was directed by the website facilitator. This woman was the one responsible for getting our girl’s picture on to the website, and was advocating for her, after she met her in the late summer while she was in Ukr@ine adopting her two boys. This particular woman, Kristen, emailed me back in about 10 minutes. So I emailed her. And she emailed me. And I emailed her. And then she sent me her phone number. And it was local.
What? I emailed her again, asking her where she was located. She replied with the name of a town a mere hour away. Are you kidding me? This woman could live in California! Washington! Texas! Other far away states! But she didn’t. She lived an hour away. I couldn’t believe it.
The next day, after an extremely difficult farewell to J and feeling like my heart was being ripped from my chest, then wallowing in my misery for most of the day, I called Kristen. Do you ever have those experiences where you speak with someone and you know you’ve found a lifelong friend? Threads in the tapestry, friends. Kristen and I spoke for quite some time and she later informed me that she knew from the first few minutes of talking with me, that we would be adopting “V”.
It was only the next week that we decided to move forward with adopting this girl who captured our hearts. We are now almost done with our home study, and we’re ready and raring to go with tackling “The Beast”, aka, the dossier.
Last month, I met Kristen face-to-face where every first face-to-face meeting usually takes place: Starbucks. We sat and talked for a few hours, until we had to pry ourselves away so we could return to our families, who obviously don’t function well without us. Kristen is one of those people for me, who is so easy to talk to, like a long-lost friend I never knew I was missing. It was during this fist meeting, that I learned when she met V for the first time.
But let’s back up for just a second. Craig and I were discussing the possibility of adopting again during the summer of 2012. We decided at the end of August that we would take a month to pray about it separately, then come together again and share what our thoughts were. A mere two days later in church, we were both moved in an extraordinary way. It was nothing less than the Holy Spirit speaking directly to us, separately. You can read more about this experience in this post, which happens to be co-written by Craig. Note the date. August 23rd.
Back to Kristen and new friendship and delicious coffee. As we chatted about V, her boys, Ukr@ine, adoption, how crazy we were, etc, I asked her when exactly she was in Ukr@ine. She had mentioned, “late summer”. Hmmm. So when was that, exactly? She said they arrived the 21st, met their oldest son on the 22nd, and then met V on the 23rd. Of August. She met my darling girl on the day we posted our intent to adopt again. More threads woven into the tapestry. She promised this precious girl that she would do all that she could to find her a family. A family is what V had asked Kristen for. A family to love her and never leave her. A family to count on and call her own. A family to fight with, to laugh with, to share with, to sit with, to grieve with, to struggle with, to grow with.
Sweet, darling, precious, V. We will be that family for you.