Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Miracle of Cana

~July 2007 - A LOT HAS HAPPENED FOR OUR FAMILY!!! We have waited to journal about it until now. Ohhh, the beauty of her name…CANA…God knew when He gave us her name over a year ago….He knew the journey that lied ahead of us!!

~May 15, 2007 - WONDERFUL and DEVASTATING NEWS!!! 2weeks since referral… The wonderful news is that we received a medical update on our little Cana (see below entry). God has healed her heart!!! Although there are still some medical concerns regarding her current health, God has repaired the hole in her heart.

Hole in her heart you say...Yes! She has VSD (ventricular septic disorder) When we began the journey to our daughter, we knew without a doubt that she was waiting for us in China. We also knew without a doubt she was a 'waiting child'. A child classified as a 'waiting child' in China is considered a special need child. Along with our dossier to CCAA, we listed 11 special needs we were open to our daughter having. As we waited, we fervently prayed for Cana and specifically for her health. Once we knew it was her heart, we again prayed very specifically...that God would heal her heart and He DID!!! Praise the Lord!!

The devastating news that we received today was that because the hole in heart has healed, she is no longer considered a special needs child. Therefore, CCAA has requested that we return her referral and receive a referral of a new special needs child. Their reasoning is because it is not fair for us to receive a healthy child if we've requested a special needs child. There are 2 routes when adopting from China. The special needs route and the non-special needs route. The special needs route is an expedited process (which we realized as we were sending our initial docs. to China...wonderful surprise). Anyways, families with the same LID as us have approx. 1.5year more to go before their referral. So again, they feel it’s not fair.

Well, since we are not the judges of what fair is, we will simply say ‘What about us, what about the baby we have fallen deeply in love with. What about the fact that you assigned her to us as our daughter (she was a sn's CCAA direct match..we did not choose her off a list), that we feel so strongly she’s our baby girl?’ Our hearts are so heavy with grief. This is our precious daughter and now we are being asked to give her back. This is so unbearable.

Our agency has asked us to write a letter to the director of CCAA describing how much we love THIS little girl. How much she is already a part of our family, how much we’ve bonded with her, what we’ve done to prepare for our daughter, etc. We will begin working on this letter immediately. How do you explain in a letter, to a complete stranger in a different country and part of a different culture, that we love THIS little girl with our whole hearts….that we love her as our own…as if she’s been with us since her birth.

~May 16 ~ We have completed the letter. Now off it goes and we wait for an answer. We have no idea what the outcome will be but we can only hang onto the hope that our baby girl will be coming home. The Lord has been speaking to our hearts in many ways through this trial. As Stacy sat down to add more to the letter, she was so frustrated that the words weren’t coming…ohhhh, our hearts are just breaking. She noticed a gift bag on the table that had held a birthday gift for our precious Cana. There was a verse on the bag and it said, “With God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26. The whole verse says, But Jesus looked at them and said to them, “With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Oh Lord, this seems so impossible. How will a man who doesn’t even know us allow us to bring our daughter home? We WILL trust you!!!

~Not too much of an update. God continues offer comfort as our hearts continue to ache so deeply. A friend of mine, Susan Richardson, gave me a bible study on a cd 3 days before all of this happened on Sunday. So I began listening to it that night and made it about halfway through. Susan said that God woke her up at 2:30am and put on her heart to burn the cd for me. It's a study on 'The Abundant Life'. I started to listen to and thought this would've been a good study a couple of months ago. But Lord, how does this apply to me now? I took a few notes and decided to go to bed. Here are the notes I took: 1)the third day always is waiting on something miraculous to happen, 2)Overflowing/Abundant Life (my life verse is Psalm 23:5), 3)Just present the problem and leave Him to supply our need in His perfect timing!! Just present the problem and leave Him to supply our need in His perfect timing!! So, that is exactly what we are going to do!!! It’s so hard to give this completely to the Lord and LEAVE it at His feet but that is what we are doing. Only He sees the whole picture!!!

~May 17 - God continues to speak to us through His word. It's absolutely AMAZING!!! This morning I sat in my bed with a very, very heavy heart. The tears flowed as I thought of our baby girl not coming home. Then God spoke to me...."Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Roman 15:13 I've been having my quiet times in Romans and this was in today's passage. This precious verse was given to me waaaayyyy back in February when we thought our referral was for sure coming and it didn't. God placed this verse on my precious friend, Julee's heart....she had no idea what was going on because she was in the hospital having a baby :) Anyways, God gave me this verse AGAIN!!!!! We will hang onto the hope that only YOU can supply!!!

~May 20 - Still no word so we are off on a little vacation to San Diego. We are going to do our best to relax and have some fun family time. Before we left on Friday, Stacy had a visit with Dr. Jordan in hopes of getting his medical opinion on Cana’s new medical update. He has agreed to write a letter that we can send to CCAA giving his medical opinion on her health status. He does have a few concerns regarding her low weight gain over the last 8 months. It appears that she has only gained 2.5lbs. during those 8 months.

~May 23 - Our little vacation was fun but very difficult as we waited to see what Director Lu says regarding our letter. On our way home, my cell phone rang….it was our China coordinator with more devastating news. Director Lu has responded to our letter with 2 options. Option 1) Keep Cana’s referral but wait until the nsn’s date of May 19, 2006 are matched….meaning wait 2 years until we can bring her home. Option 2) Return her referral and receive a referral of another child. Heartbroken doesn’t even come close to how we feel right now. BUT we are filled with God’s great strength and trust that His plan is perfect. We need to spend some time praying about what our next step will be!

Well, neither one of these are an option to us. Option 1 requires making her wait 2 years to be with her forever family, we could not do that to her…she needs her family now! It is a huge risk because if for some reason China’s International adoption program closes down, then she will never be with a family. Option 2 is just ridiculous to us because we don’t want another baby, we want OUR baby. We want OUR Cana…she is so deeply in our hearts…we can’t just trade her for another child. We feel that Director Lu is fully aware that we won’t make her wait 2 years and that he is trying to push into Option 2. Why can’t he see that we don’t just want ANY baby? We want the baby that CCAA referred to us…the baby that we’ve named Cana…the baby that we’ve bonded so deeply with. She IS our daughter!!!!!

~After much praying, crying, and grieving over this decision, we have decided to appeal one more time to Director Lu. We have great confidence that God is in complete control! If He allows Cana to come home, it will be an AMAZING MIRACLE and an impossible outcome that only the Lord can do. If He chooses for us to not have Cana, then we will rest in the hope and trust that He will reveal His perfect plan to us. I write this with such a heavy heart but a completely trusting heart. We have been constantly reminded that Director Lu never changes his mind and not to get our hopes up. So we have tried, as much as possible, to prepare ourselves for loosing our baby girl. The thought of loosing her is more than we can bare but we will trust our Lord…we will!!!!!

Throughout this trial, Paul has continually felt like God was putting on his heart the story of Moses and Pharaoh. Moses was up against the most impossible feat and most impossible person. A person with a stone heart! A heart that God chose to harden so that He could receive all glory for freeing the Israelites and so that no man would receive the glory…that only by God’s perfect and precious plan would the Israelites be freed. Moses had to obey for God’s glory to shown.
Another story that continues to come to both us, is the story of Abraham and Isaac. God commanded Abraham to take Isaac up to the mountain top and offer his precious son as a sacrifice to the Lord. As Abraham climbed that mountain, in complete obedience and trust, his heart must have been so deeply grieved and broken…his precious son, his only son. As Abraham laid Isaac on the alter and prepared to kill him, an angel of the Lord stopped him and said “Do not lay your hand on the lad, or do anything to him; for now I know that your fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.” Abraham’s obedience is such a beautiful, amazing picture of his love and trust in the Lord. A trust that proclaims that God’s will is perfect and we can always trust Him to guide us. That we can always trust that His plans for our lives are greater than we could ever imagine! Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

~May 30 - We don’t know what God’s plan is right now but we have faxed our final appeal to our coordinator who will fax it to CCAA/Director Lu tomorrow morning. We probably won’t hear anything for another week, possibly longer. We chose to keep our letter very short and to the point. We briefly outlined a few adoption laws that we found on CCAA’s website :Article 2 of the ADOPTION LAW OF THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA Adoption shall be in the interest of the upbringing and growth of adopted minors and in the protection of the legitimate rights of the adoptee and the adopter, in conformity with the principle of equality and voluntariness, and not in contravention of social morality.

The second and most difficult part of the letter was ‘giving’ our baby girl back. We stated that if he was not willing to allow us to bring her home now then we would have no choice but to return her file. Because we love her so much and want the absolute best for her, we have to make this unbearable decision. So, off the letter goes and now we wait and pray!!!!

~June 1 – We have news...less than 24 hours later of Director Lu receiving our letter, we have news....OUR GOD HAS MOVED THE MOUNTAINS….OUR BABY GIRL IS COMING HOME…SHE’S COMING HOME!!!! OUR PRECIOUS CANA IS COMING HOME!!!! ALL GLORY AND HONOR TO OUR LORD!!!!! He has chosen to bless our family with the most amazing miracle. He has changed Director Lu’s heart….He has soften his hard heart!!!!! We are in complete awe!!!!
With no explanation, Director Lu has given us permission to complete Cana’s adoption NOW. We can’t believe this precious miracle….only our Lord could move such mountains!! Oh baby girl, we are coming….daddy and mommy are coming!!! We hope to travel by the beginning of July!!!!!
We have never felt so much fear and uncertainty in our lives. But through the fear and this unbelievable trial, our God was faithful to give us peace. A peace that only He can supply…a peace that He was in control.

Thank you, Lord!!!!! Thank you for stretching and changing us through this trial. Thank you for trusting us with this amazing journey. Thank you for moving the mountains to bring our precious girl home. We are in awe of Your greatness and love for us. Thank you for entrusting us with one of Your precious daughters!!! We love you Lord!!!!

So, her name, her precious name…..God gave us the name Cana while in a bible study in April of 2006. Cana is the city where Jesus performed His first miracle. The miracle of turning water into wine for the wedding feast. As soon as we heard this name, Paul and I both thought what a beautiful name and it stuck. We had no idea, until now, how this name was so perfectly picked, by God, for our daughter. He knew all along that He would perform this amazing miracle in bringing her home….He knew!!!!!!!!!!!!

God has performed the most beautiful MIRACLE for our family. We want everyone one that reads our story to see God's amazing glory and perfect plan in bringing our daughter home. It is ONLY by HIS hand that our Cana is coming home.

UPDATE: Our beautiful Cana was placed in our arms..FOREVER..on July 9, 2007!! Our baby is home to stay!!!