Nope, we’re not Irish. We celebrate Gotcha Day!
I still weep at the goodness of God’s gift to us…a daughter of our hearts.
Gotcha Day is today for Amy, our Beloved.
Remembering when our sweet Amy first came home.
“She is a J…. before you ever leave through the door to the taxi to go get her.”
A strong statement in support of the sovereignty of God from Robert.
He was 16. She was less than 4 months old.
It was Saint Patrick’s Day 15 years ago today.
So what happened that day?
I got the call midmorning. Our family had been discussing and praying about adopting a baby from the Tianjin Orphanage for Handicapped Children. Jim volunteered there regularly. I did not. I had no desire or godly push to go.
Bringing another child into our family would impact our teenagers’ future. If anything happened to us; they would have to raise their sister. The conversations were amazing and validating God’s care and love even among the orphans. They were willing to have a new sister. We were of one mind in this matter. God’s unity.
Amy, our beloved was still had an infection and so ill plus underweight. It would be weeks before she be taken outside of our home.
The ayis (caretakers) are concerned. There is no heat and were afraid she would get sicker. This darling who was my darling had just been released after 5 days in the ICU. (The state-run heat plants officially turned the heat off 15 March).
Somehow we still had heat. Eventually we did get a portable radiator heater. It was still very cold.
Marsha, the zealous advocate expat nurse who volunteered called. She placed many very sick babies in expat homes. The orphanage director freely acknowledged those babies would never be coming back. That was true.
“Can you come get her?”
Was it God deciding it was time? This baby girl was one who had caught Jim’s eye and unknown to him at the time, his heart, just the way it should be for a Dad.
I had never wanted to go to the orphanage ever! I was not going to tell Marsha no.
Actually most people never told Marsha no when it came to these children and babies.
God must have had a little chuckle over this. I got my coat and walked down the 6 flights of stairs to get in the taxi. She rattled off what would happen and how I had to sign a form. I think. I was in a “nothing was registering” daze.
I had a new daughter. She had been mine, ours for a while; I just didn’t know it yet. I did now.
It was the hey day of in country adoptions without using an agency. Fostering children from this city orphanage was allowed. There were many children adopted in those days. The volunteers, director and the CCAA had a unique God blessed relationship.
I was dazed. I was going to get my baby.
The ayis (caretakers)wrapped her up in a donated blanket. There was nothing that had been saved from her arrival at the orphanage. It just wasn’t done then. I fixed my eyes for the first time ever on my daughter laying next to an ayi.
Her hair had been shaved for the IV’s leaving a crown only of jet black hair that stood up. She was long and thin.
I could not look at the babies in the cribs lined up on each wall. “I can’t look. I must not make eye contact.” I remember thinking. It was surreal. I did finally glance around NOT looking in any babies’ eyes.
I had to sign her out, like checking a book out. Marsha vouched for me., the volunteer nurse who worked tirelessly for the babies. She and her family were part ofthe expat community.
I held this new daughter close and tight. I drank in her eyes as she looked intently back at me. I pulled back the blanket to see her hands. She had long elegant fingers that held on tightly.
Few words were spoken; maybe whispers. I don’t remember I wanted those first ones to be for us only.
In Boscov’s Spring Prom Fashion Show last Saturday
Amy, our Beloved.
Mei Xin, our Beautiful Star.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!