Monday, March 18, 2013

Gotcha,Toby! (And middle of the night musings)

It is silent. Dark. I hear the sound of even breathing. I clear my throat hoping desperately not to disturb the sweet slumber of those so precious to me.

How in the world am I ever going to sleep?!?! This new child of mine doesn't need nursed through the night as the bio ones did...but their momma still loses sleep. Why????

Cause it turns out its dreadfully hard to sleep while your heart is bursting at the seams with joy!!!!

This child we will officially adopt in a matter of hours was once a "waiting child."

He was unchosen.


He sat on the Shared List month after endless month since he was just 3 or 4 months old. (The Shared List is China's central listing place for children with mild to severe special needs. All agencies that work in China draw from it.)

And no one came forward for him.

Many people advocated for him.

Many people clicked on his picture.

But for one reason or another, he still waited.

Turns out, he was ours.


I cannot speak for anyone but myself, but since God has moved so mightily, I've got something to say and I do hope you will stick around to hear it.

Toby has Arthrogryposis Multiplex Congenita. Geesh that sounds scary, but guess what? Underneath that long name, he is just a boy who needs a family.

Just a boy who needs a family.

This time, WE were that family.

And ohhhhhh...if you could have seen him throw his head back and giggle tonight, you would NOT SAY to me, "Oh he is SO LUCKY."

You would say, "Wow, your family is SOOO LUCKY to be chosen to have him!!!!"

(Then I'd say that luck has nothing to do with it. That God alone did this uniting!!)

Let me tell you something.

There are millions more orphans waiting.


It is true that not all are eligible for adoption, but many are.

Many, many, many wait.

Who do they wait for?

A Super Family "who can" to come along and say, "I'll save you from that fate!" ?!?!?!?

No. Definitely no.

Such people should shake in their shoes, for they CANNOT save. They cannot rescue.

They can only obey.

Adoption is not about people saving people.

Adoption is obedience.

(No, I do not think we ALL are to adopt. But we are All to have a part in caring for orphans. ESPECIALLY if you say you follow Jesus. You are commanded in Scripture to play some role in caring for the fatherless.)

Adoption is not showing off a calling.

Adoption is not done for oneself.

Adoption is hard, painful and messy. Just ask any adoptee who has or is growing up. The holes in their life story, the ache to know "what if" things had been another is a part of their very fabric. A tension that never leaves.

Adoption is obedience to the Father who did not reject us because of our sin, but gave His only Son up to death so we could be forgiven and then ADOPTED as sons and daughters ourselves...completely made new. Completely clean. No history of our past sins tacked on to us like a tattered, dirty orphanage blanket--COMPLETELY FORGIVEN.

We adopt not because we are amazing, but because HE IS.

Reality is, we are weak. We are selfish. We want comfort, luxury and we want to self indulge. We are completely unfit for this calling.

And that is where the secret lies: when we say "Yes," to God when He asks us to adopt, we acknowledge a call to a lifelong, daily, blow-by-blow dependence upon Him.

A super natural strength is required.

But WE do not have to supply it. We merely have to get ourselves out of the way to channel it.

Jesus calls it "dying to ourselves,", "picking up our cross and following Him,"..."suffering for His sake."

Not our favorite verses, are they?

But something happens to us when we donwhat is counter intuitive. When we obey instead of indulge.

When we say we will trust Him for the "hows" and not even TRY to figure it out ahead of time.

We find joy.

Invigorating joy.

We learn to walk emptied of self (although the struggle daily remains to serve self!) and are given abundance.

We live with purpose. Meaning.

Did I mention joy??!?

We found our Toby because two women, Sarah and Kelly, partnered together to tell his story and do what the Bible tells us to: speak up for those who have no voice.

Toby had NO MEANS of telling us, waaaay over lost in our lives in America, that he needed a family. He had no method to do this. No concept of his need even!

But Sarah and Kelly did.

They didn't adopt Toby, but they advocated on blogs, told his story and therefore played a VERY CRITICAL role in him being adopted.

Many, many MANY of you gave us money to come here and bring him home. You did not adopt him. But you played another VERY CRITICAL role in him being adopted.

And I have no measure of those of you who prayed for Toby while he was referred to as "Bo" on different sites and those of you who prayed for him after we recognized God calling us to him...but you played a VERY CRITICAL role in him being adopted.

This was a huge group effort! I believe all adoptions are.

Are you feeling a tug on your heart? An ache to do something more for orphans?

Don't shush that voice.



The road is not marked out with nothing but roses anymore than life as a Christ follower is, but there are some very real promises that ARE given.

What is impossible for man, is possible with God.

You will be given abundant life.

Your fruit will always be in season because your strength does not come from your circumstances but from Whom you draw your strength.

My goal in this post is not for you to adopt.

My goal is not for you to become a foster family.

My goal is not that you will finance adoptions, advocate for orphans or anything other than to LISTEN TO GOD'S CALL TO YOU, SPECIFICALLY.

If you do the latter, you may well do (many of) the former. You may do something completely different in regards to orphan care.

But the point is you will no longer sit along the sides and NOT be part of it.

Seriously?? Listen to me: You WANT a piece of what God is doing. You want to obey His plan for your life.

You want meaning, purpose and fulfillment.

Living for yourself gets old and stale. An insatiable hunger that is never satisfied. Stop it.

My life is ├╝ber blessed because of this little orphan sleeping in the crib at the foot of my bed. Tomorrow he will go from orphan to son. My blessing will only swell.

Is the road ahead smooth? Easy? Fun?

Most likely no.

But i never ever want to even think of what it might be like had we not said "yes."

Isn't it time for YOU to say yes too?

(Disclaimer: this post is a stream of consciousness from a 3 am writing on an iPad that has given me fits. I'm not proofreading for fear of losing it i am sure there are mistakes and run on sentences and the like. I apologize for those now but hope at the end of it all you will be moved to ACTION on behalf of the orphan rather than picking and chewing this messenger apart!!)


  1. Love this, Amy! :) As far as I'm concerned, 3 a.m. musings are inspired by Him!! I did a post last year called "Diagnosis: Daughter". The long words (lipomyleomeningocele, missing digits were the ones we were staring at) can for sure be scary. But behind those words are a human being, fearfully & wonderfully made. Today, we celebrate Kemeri's one-year gotcha, 3rd birthday, & little miss even started preschool today. She is loved, welcomed, & celebrated for who she is...Daughter of a King.

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful blessing with us!!

  2. This is beautiful. Thank you for speaking truth and congrats on your new son.

  3. This is an AMAZING post. Thank you for sharing and for putting words to how we feel. I love that you are BOLD and brave with the words we all need to hear. Do you mind if i share on my blog and facebook?


  4. Wow! Amen Sister!! Congrats!!

  5. Great post!

    And God clearly had YOU guys as his perfect family - so all those others who passed him over were so he'd end up where he belonged...with you guys!

    (P.S. From a fellow Disney lover, I'm SO jealous you got to HKD! I read that from the hospital and was trying not to be even more jealous...because I love Disney - and any place that involves using a passport to get there - any day...but when you're stuck in the hospital it's even more appealing! ha! Almost got there having to go to the Middle East the round about way using miles, and so was going to go...and ended up in the hospital that time, too! Someday! Love that you guys did that - and someday when your life calms down hope you say more of what you thought about it! Ha!)


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