That's right. I'm returning to China.
While part of me wishes I was announcing another adoption, that's just not what God has in store for our family at this time.
So, here's the whole story of my return to China.
About a year ago, I was encouraged by a fellow adoptive mom, Kelly to join her organization, The Sparrow Fund on their annual mission trip to China. The Sparrow Fund was in need of professionals who could help with developmental assessments for the children in an orphanage they work with. Being than I'm an Occupational Therapist, Kelly thought I could help. Everything in my head wanted to say "yes" but, my heart knew it wasn't the right time for our family.
I told my mom about the trip and she and I both agreed that some day we would love to serve the orphans in China together. However, as the opening for this year's mission trip got closer and closer I got more and more scared. How could I leave my children? What about the cost? What about that long flight? I was so sick in China last time. Will Brad be too stressed?
You get the idea.....FEAR
In December, Brad and I enjoyed a night away in the mountains. We used that time to ski but also to talk budget, year goals and of course as our conversations tend to do they led us to China. I expressed that I had a growing desire to go back. I brought up adopting again. He said, "I'm not going to say never but, I'm going to say that I know that now is not our time". I accepted that as adoption has to be something both people are 100% on board for. We know now more than ever that it's not an easy road to walk and you have to be a unified team.
At this point my heart was still leading me to China but, my fears were still in the way of saying "yes" to the mission trip. Isn't it crazy that I was less fearful of another adoption? I guess that's because it's something we have already lived.
In late January, I heard a radio host on our local Christian station talking about Jesus' disciples and how scary it must have been for them to hear Jesus say, "drop everything, leave your families and follow me". Scary. Yes, but, they obeyed.
Later, the host said, "If you hear God calling you to something and you are not responding for fear of how it will affect your children or your family then you are putting your children before your God".
Wow! Yup, God spoke directly to me through that moment on the radio.
I prayed, then immediately called Brad, and said, "I'm going to China". He was ecstatic as he had been encouraging me all along. I then called my mom and said, "We are going to China!" She too was thrilled.
It was amazing how at that moment my fears didn't go away but have been reassured. God has given me a peace similar to that which he gave me through the adoption process. What a comfort it is to know I am walking according to his plan.
So it is with fear, excitement, anticipation and a humble heart that I look forward to returning to China in October of 2015 to spend 11 days serving the precious babies that are so dear to my heart. I look forward to using my OT skills to help update their forever families as they wait or to possibly help make a child's file ready for adoption. But, mostly I can't wait to snuggle babies and share the love of Jesus with his precious ones.
Prayers for our group as we come together are deeply appreciated.