Such is the case now. I'd love to tell you that this journey has been full of warm fuzzies. It hasn't. This journey has challenged us in many new ways. However, as I look back at each testimony to each of our children, I can see how God has been preparing us...in faith, in surrender, in our family/marriage, in trust, & in OBEDIENCE. In each journey, He took away our preconceived notions of what WE thought we could handle (be it needs or circumstances surrounding situations), & replaced them with our children. And that's what this journey finally came down to. Why would we not trust the Lord in what He's putting on our hearts? He has been faithful; He has blessed this family beyond words. This life is not always easy (ha, just read my Reality Post), but it has brought me to a place of knowing what true joy is.
"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author & perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, & sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary & lose heart." ~Hebrews 12:2-3
Yes, I have had doubtful, fear-filled moments where I grow weary & lose heart. "Lord, life is so crazy right now with Joe in the midst of his doctoral work." "Lord, we are essentially artificially twinning these babies." "Lord, how will I manage traveling to China & leaving Kendi behind...she's still a baby?" "Lord, the money?" "Lord, what if my arms aren't big enough?" "Lord, "things" are so good in our family...what if she doesn't like us?" "Lord, what if....?" One day in my worries & questions, a question came right back at me. "Dardi, what if you weren't going to bring her home?" That feeling of grief that I had when we initially let her file go washed over me all over again. So, when those negative thoughts threaten me, I go back. I go back to what I KNOW (see previous testimonies), I go back to that horrible feeling of loss, & I go back to the TRUTH. God does not choose the equipped; He equips the chosen. This is an entry from my written journal in June:
"When I begin to feel stress, I try to focus on remembering everywhere I've already been in my life b/c when I look, You were always there. So many lessons learned, but so easily forgotten. And how easily I become afraid & doubt the steps I so confidently just took. And then I remember yet again--My life is not my own, & when it feels most uncomfortable are perfect opportunities to seek You."
And God? He has not only brought us to this place, but He goes above & beyond anything we could possibly dream up when revealing Himself in the details. I have a very sweet story of provision, but I'm going to save that for a separate blog post. I want to focus here on a beautifully amazing example of how He gave us a sweet affirmation of this journey to Kemeri right when we needed it.
Our little girl's name given to her by the orphanage folks is Yu Jia. Yu means understanding and awareness; Jia means beautiful woman. According to her paperwork, "giving her this name means the hope for her to be a pretty and sensible woman". In case you didn't know, we had quite a time with what her name might be. First, we needed to find a "K" name we connected with. But even more important was the middle name...God had laid "Joy" on my heart through scripture, but we have a niece with that middle name, so I was struggling.
Two-by-four to the backside My "ah-ha" moment: There are names that mean "Joy", & right there it was...Abigail: The source of a father's joy. This was perfect on so many levels. Source of her earthly father's joy, source of THE Father's joy, & even sweeter is that Gail is my mom's middle name! So, on August 1st, we announced that our little girl would be Kemeri Abigail.
Have you ever had a "God moment" that just brought you to your knees? I had one of those on September 29th. I know the exact date b/c I was reading the blog of another adoptive mama who had been wrestling with names, & they had finally chosen Abigail for their newest daughter. She wrote, "Yes, 1 Samuel 23 where it talks about Abigail- she was a beautiful and sensible woman". I could hardly breathe. I even had to pull out Kemeri's referral paperwork to double check, & there it was..."Giving her this name (referring to her Chinese name) means the hope for her to be a pretty & sensible woman." It still leaves me speechless. I did not know these things about Abigail in the bible. But God knew. God knew her name, no matter the language. And He chose in a moment of my weakness to give me that gift of knowing to settle my heart into a state of awe, thankfulness, & anticipation for this daughter He has known all along.