Wednesday, July 21, 2010

"Learning To Love A Child..."

During our adoption process, I came across a quote by one of my favorite authors, Donald Miller (probably best known for Blue Like Jazz)...  It was in his book Painted Deserts, he wrote...

"And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home...some summer and some winter... My hope is that your story will be about changing...about learning to love a child...about learning to love others more than we love ourselves...

We get one story, you and I, one story alone. God has established the elements, the setting and the climax and the resolution. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn’t it?

And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don’t worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed."

Funny, but when this quote grabbed my heart, I had no idea how God would teach me that life is as much about the journey as it is the destination...

When we first began this journey, I naively imagined falling in love with a child from the moment we met...  I imagined a child that would love us and quickly entrust herself to us...  A little girl who would allow us to do all the things the books said we needed to do, like hug her, rock her, read to her, swing her, play with her...

Gotcha Day - July 21, 2008

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But what I didn't understand at the time was this...  If all of that happened easily, if we quickly and easily arrived at our "destination" of a happy, well-adjusted 4th child, we would miss the incredible sights of the journey...  Sights that clearly showed us the love of God...  Lessons that taught us so much about what it means to be an adopted child of the King Most High...  Moments that took our breath away as we watched the breathtaking power of our great God...

I am so thankful that God moved us and gave us the courage to journey out...  To risk the comfortable place we'd reached with our family...  To sacrifice the known for the unknown...  It truly has been a journey of learning to love a child and it is a journey that has changed us forever.

2 years ago today, sweet Abby joined our family...  It was a hard day...  It was a hard first year...  I can't tell you how many tears I cried because I longed to hug her, hold her, just be her mom.  But God was with us every step of the way, He never stopped guiding us and He never stopped pouring His wisdom, grace and love into our hearts...

Learning to love a child is about learning to love with the heart of God...  It is a life changing, heart transforming journey...

If God has placed adoption on your heart, don't be afraid to step out in obedience...  It's a journey that you don't want to miss...  And as Donald Miller said, we each get one story...  How will your story read?  And will it impact, maybe change forever, the story of another?

Abby...  we are so blessed that God chose us to be your family.  Thank you for the smiles, the laughter, the joy you bring...  Thank you for opening your heart to us and letting us love you...  You are one special little girl... 

The Power of Love

Beach2010 (116 of 183)

6 comments:

Patientlywaiting said...

Beautiful Sharla! Oh, how I remember our time together in China! Happy 2 years together! Abby, you are beautiful inside and out!

Hugs,
Robin

Lori said...

Thank you so much for sharing that, Sharla. I needed to hear it. Your posts always bless me so much.

Thank you, friend!

Cheryl said...

I love your heart. I love how you love. I love that you share. While our journey is not the same, there are elements of ours that, you sharing your heart, has helped us through. Thank you friend.

Anonymous said...

Today, 2 years later, tears still fill my eyes when I look @ that first pic. of Abby. I remember so well when you posted that from China and I thought my heart would break. Now look @ the happy joyful, sweet, tender, spunky, bright, fun-loving child that
she is.

Abby, sweet dear one you are loved more than you could possibly know.

Bear Hugs and kisses to you with loads of love,
Noba

kitzkazventure said...

Wow, I just marvel at Love Transormation pictures. We just attended our Kazakh adoptive families big get-together and our video was of everyone attending's (over 80 families) Then and now pics....overwhelming what love can do, what God can do! So, happy Gotcha day and 2 year anniversary. Many happy, happy years ahead! :)

trina said...

Oh my. I just read Robin's blog and now your post. I'm really all teary now. We love you,Abby and hope to see you soon. Yes, a reunion. We must. I can't explain it but these little ones bring me closer to Him. How can we not see the face of Jesus? :)