I have no words for what this World Adoption Day series has done to my heart, y'all - and it's not even over! With each post, God has opened my eyes and my heart to just how much He loves us (read: ME!) and pursues us (Again, read: ME!) - even in our most unloveable and undesirable state. I am so difficult to love and yet, His patience trumps my stubbornness every time, my friends.
My dear friend (and I'm starting to say "soul sister") has some beautiful words of encouragement to share with you. Laura Choy and I ended up roommates much by happenstance last year at Noonday Collection's annual conference for Ambassadors. We did not know each other AT ALL but quickly realized God had knit us together long before we met that weekend. We talk almost daily now and her wit and encouragement are balm for my soul on weary days. We have since become "The Lauras" and couldn't be happier to be tied to such a beautiful soul. I am so thankful for her and for her friendship...and today, for her transparency as she shares their beautiful story.
IN HER OWN WORDS...
|The Choy Family |
shortly after Aliyah's arrival.
While my husband and I were engaged, we had the opportunity to travel to Germany for a work conference that I was invited to for missionaries headed to all parts of the globe. A talk given on Ephesians by a man who had adopted a special needs child from Thailand stirred up a desire to adopt…in my fiancé. When he asked if I would ever consider that idea, I bluntly replied, “Nope.”
Fast forward 4 years, our marriage and 2 children later, I had just been through an extremely dark season of cynicism and doubt regarding my faith. I had turned from God and was searching for new truths. It took a long year to find myself right back where I started but now more fully and more deeply convinced that Jesus is THE ONLY WAY and HE is in fact THE TRUTH! But more importantly I’d discovered His LOVE!
My journey of cynicism and doubt started as a young child who felt invisible and unseen. In my faith, I perceived God as good and very much in control, and in fact very loving, but just not loving of me. I thank God for letting me wander in the desert and yet graciously holding my hand while I tried to shake Him away. He was very persistent in His pursuit of my heart and extremely gentle. Amidst the doubt and disbelief was a hunger. I kept finding myself reading a blog by Katie Davis who eventually wrote Kisses From Katie (HIGHLY RECOMMEND!). Even though I’d decided her faith in a loving God was silly, her life example shone so brightly I would feel His love shine through her example straight through the computer screen and the beautiful faces of those she ministered to. I would battle anger and hope and tears and joy as I read stories of Katie’s complete life surrender and pouring out of unspeakable love towards people barely hanging onto life.
|These sweet boys think their little |
sister is pretty special!
My son Kyle would find me crying as I read and ask me about the children’s faces he saw on the screen. I told them about the plight of the orphan. He was 4 at the time and said to me, “Mommy! We need to pray that those kids can find a mommy and daddy!” And so he did and I listened feeling a slight tap on my cold heart.
In October 2009, I finally said to God, “I’m in! I believe you love me even though I don’t feel it all of the time. That is trust, and I am willing to trust again!"
Overnight, I felt the Spirit of God renewed in me once again. My faith was full again!! In November, our pastor taught on Ephesians 2 and from the pulpit invited us to consider the idea of taking what God so clearly teaches us in the gospel of His pursuit of us through adoption into His kingdom by grace, and to live that out through physically adopting a child if God might be leading.
|I can't handle the cuteness of the Choy family!|
I was almost literally sitting in my husband’s lap! I knew! He knew. We needed no words but the decision had been made.
By February, only 3 months later (a true miracle) our papers were complete and on their way to Rwanda, Africa. It took what seemed like forever but on Valentine’s Day 2011, we got our invitation to come pick up our baby girl and by March we had her home as a part of our family.
Loving her and pursuing her and now fighting for her heart past issues of trauma that cause her to reject me, has been such an amazing picture of how God fought for me and showed lots of enduring grace, that He in fact DOES SEE ME and that HE DOES LOVE ME!
I love how God weaves the tapestry of His story! I would never have been open to adoption alone. But He took me through a time of really tough suffering to show me who He really is and how He loves and how He wants me to love as well!
|The Choys, Summer 2015: Jon, Laura, |
Kyle (9) and Clayton (7) and Aliyah (5).
Seriously. I love this. All of it. Again, I am so grateful for Laura and time spent with her sweet family in Austin last month. I hope her story - and all the others that I've shared this month - have spoken life and hope and encouragement to you! I hope you have been reminded of our role as Christ followers to love and support the widow and the orphan. I hope your heart has been moved to respond to this command - in whatever way God has called YOU to.
There's only one post left, and it's one of my favorites. Ok. They all are, but I have a beautiful niece brought into our family from the island I love so much! I can't wait to share the Waltons' story next...