I first "met" our son on January 8th. Of course, at the time, I didn't know this bit of information. I only saw his picture come across our agency's Instagram account. Our agency was in the middle of their #onewaitingchild campaign where they prayed for a little one's file each day. Naturally, his sweet and squishy face melted this Mama's heart. Been there. Done that. Several times. I'm often melted by the faces of these sweet and precious waiting children! This little guy captured a deeper spot in my heart though. And for the next month and a half, I thought about this little boy often. (Read: I stared at his pictures several times each week.)
If you know anything about me, you know my heart is tender. Like way tender. I'm always the awkward person crying when someone else cries. I'm sorry. It's who I am. So my obsession with this little boy may not surprise you. But as I said...this was different. At the time, all I knew to do was pray. Every time I thought about him...I'd send up a little prayer.
You see, just a month prior to "meeting" our son, our social worker had called us and told us about some program changes they were seeing within China. When we first began our China process more than a year ago, we were told the matching process for a home study like ours would be 2-3 months for a boy and 4-6 months for a girl. Since we were open to both, we were told we would likely be matched with a boy. Perfect. Wonderful. 2-3 months. Bam. Let's do this, China!
Unfortunately, there were several other families with home studies just.like.ours. And so our agency was noticing that the wait for matching with a boy or girl was looking more like 6 months or even MORE. More!?!? By this time, we had been on this journey since November of 2014. (Sidenote: I actually had to look that up because I was second guessing 2014. It's felt like an eternity and yet I still can't believe we've actually been journeying for that long.) Hearing this news was definitely heartbreaking. I remember receiving the call in the hallway just as my students were coming in from recess. I held back tears as our social worker apologized for the disappointing news. Obviously, this was nothing she could control. But I appreciated her apology. I sucked it up and said what anyone would say..."I'm sure God has a good reason for this wait!" I plastered a smile on my face for 15 more minutes until my kiddos went to their specials class and let out a few goooooood tears.
I called Eric to share my frustration and to cry some more, but we still came up with a list of "pros" about this program change. We were in total defense mode. 1. It'll give us more time with Emmaline. She wasn't even ONE yet! And then there's Sydney and Landon who are smack dab at the end of their school years. 2. I'll be able to finish teaching the school year because I have like NO sick days to travel to China and unpaid leave is uber expensive. 3. We have plenty of time to gather the remaining $20K that we need to finish our adoption. Alright, God. I get it. This will be ok. We will be OK. Fine.
And stillllllll, I could not get this program change out of my head. Not because it was disappointing and frustrating. (It was most certainly both of those things!) But because it was aligning all too well with a nudge I had felt in that deeper part of my heart for a while. The nudge that began as a whisper and was turning more into a yell. The nudge that I had ignored and defended for far too long. This nudge...to consider a kiddo that might not match things written into our home study. This nudge to step outside what we might have once considered comfortable in 2014.
Now...fast forward back to January 8th and the day I first laid eyes upon our sweet little boy. His face was constantly in the back of my mind. For fifty-one days. He's all I could think about. And so like I said, that nudge slowly turned into a shove with each passing day. On February 28th, I finally talked with Eric about what I had been feeling and told him again about this little boy that I had showed him back in January. He agreed that we should at least see if his file was still available. So I emailed our social worker and began the email with a safe and defensive "I'm sure his file probably isn't available...but" because you know, you have to be guarded sometimes. It's a human thing. And while I shouldn't have been, I was surprised when our social worker quickly responded with the words..."I would love to share his file with you! He has not been matched with a family yet and we only have his file until March 15!"
February 28th. March 15th. That's 15 days. I'm so grateful God's nudge turned into a SHOVE! Sometimes we stand on the edge...afraid to jump in...I've written about this sort of thing before, I know. But boy oh boy, I cannot thank God enough for the nudge He began in me that helped us meet our son. The next two weeks leading up to March 15th were a wild ride and I cannot wait to share with you all the ways in which God worked with us and our little guy! Is God nudging you about something? I'm here to tell you...He nudges for very good reasons. Very.good.reasons.