Matt and I spent this weekend in Grand Rapids. It was an amazing weekend - dinner at a wonderful restaurant downtown Grand Rapids, great food, great wine, and time to relax. On Sunday morning, Matt and I had the opportunity to visit one of our favorite speakers, Rob Bell, at his church in Grandville, MI - Mars Hill Bible Church. I'll admit, I was a bit under the weather due to the bottle of wine we consumed from the night before but that wasn't going to stop us from going! The service was amazing. If you haven't seen Rob Bell in person before, you should! It felt like he was speaking directly to us - the service was about how we sometimes look for the presence of God, when the scripture tells us that His Holy Spirit dwells in us already. It ended with a personal anointing where Matt and I were able to speak 1:1 with a wonderful man who prayed for us and our baby girl. He prayed we would feel God this week as we make this life changing decision. During the prayer, the entire church (probably 1,000 people) sang a wonderful song about how "All will be well". Rob Bell ended the service asking the holy spirit to take each of us to "uncomfortable places" to allow us to grow but for us to feel God within us as this happens. It was one of the most moving services we've ever been to and it felt like a gift from God that we needed this week.
On Monday night, 6/27, we received a referral for an 8-month-old baby girl born on October 5, 2010. Matt and I knew the email was coming - our amazing social worker Sarah had given us that heads up earlier that day. We called her mid day to confirm we were a "go" and she said she had just returned from a relaxing vacation, was well rested, and ready to roll. :-) She told us we were one of her only matches that evening with paperwork in China already so she felt really good about the evening. She told Matt to keep our email on "ding" mode so if we fell asleep or were away from the computer when her email came in, we would be notified...lol.
I proceeded to sit at the computer hitting "refresh" from 7 pm until 10:30 when the email finally came in. Matt and I opened the referral and were so pleasantly surprised! The referral was for a little girl (8 mos old now - which is super young in adoption land) who was low birth weight - the Dr. estimated 32 week premie - but now looked to be catching up. She had adorable big eyes and pink fat cheeks. Was this our daughter?
The next two days were nuts ....trying to get answers from doctors, making sure Matt and I were on the same page, thinking about all of the information being thrown our way. Meanwhile, we have family in town (cousins!) and Lexie got sick with a summer virus so we were just barely making it from day to day!! We also knew there was a baby girl in China waiting for an answer for her forever family.
During the week I prayed to God that He would help us through the decision making process. I could tell I was exhausted, worried, excited, and on edge, all at the same time. At one point Matt said "Thanks Rob Bell, we are here....the Holy Spirit has moved us to places that are new...and we are uncomfortable!!", LOL. Within 8 hours though, we had 2 medical reviews and we both knew we wanted to move forward with adopting Chun Xiao. For the first time in my adult life, I could literally feel God within me and it immediately calmed my anxiety, amazing!! Now we move from praying for ourselves to praying for our daughter and that she feels the peace of the Holy Spirit as she waits to join her forever family. We have peace in knowing that "all will be well"!
Matt and I formally sent in our Letter of Intent (LOI) for the baby girl this morning. We are over the moon excited!! We cannot share pictures or complete details of our daughter until we have pre-approval from China (hopefully in a week or two). See updated timeline information to the right as well for those of you interested in what comes next in the process. We WILL have a name for her when we share pictures as well, so stay tuned!!
Thank you everyone who prayed for us and supported us this week. We are SO blessed with amazing family and friends. We are so looking forward to bringing our daughter home to meet all of you!!