This picture will forever be etched in my mind as the very first time we saw Avery Lan in person. She has changed so much!I cannot tell you how much this child was meant to be ours. It is something only God can do - create a child half way around the world with two birth parents and join her with us P E R F E C T L Y. Avery is OUR daughter. It is like she has physically been with us since she was born and we just had to go pick her up at day care or something. She was MADE for our family, and we were made for her. Are you listening to me? She has filled a spot in our family. She is very smart (clever is what the orphanage director called her). She gives us all hugs and kisses and even shares some with close friends and family. I look at her sometimes and cannot BELIEVE she is here and that she is ours.
Her language has progressed by leaps and bounds. She says everyone's name except Ethan which is probably a Freudian slip or something. When she calls for Nicole it sounds like a bird calling "co COLE! co COLE! co COLE!" She even says the dog's name, "Jazzy." She's healthy - no bugs in the last few weeks. Her heart is perfect! She is eating more and more American food (she will actually eat an apple and a banana and not just smoosh them). She takes good naps. Her night time sleep is still inconsistent, but she has more full nights of sleep than not. She allows more than just us to pick her up now. She will stay in the church nursery with no problem (even though she REALLY likes Praise and Worship!). She used to somehow know when it was time for Praise & Worship and we would have to get her. She'd go with us to the sanctuary, clap and sing. Then she'd hop down, run to the back of the sanctuary and head to the nursery. Girlfriend knows who deserves all the praise!
I have mentioned to a few people that we don't want to be the 'poster family' for international adoption. But, FORTUNATELY we are whether we 'want' to be or not!!! I make sure we all look presentable before we go out in public because we get some stares and questions (no more wearing my pajama top with a hoodie over it:). Most people are very good and make sure to notice Carlie AND Avery (because it's usually those two I have with me). Few people ask questions, and to be honest I wish more people would! I am always happy to tell Avery's story. Thankfully with Avery's hair so short it is an easy way to bring up the fact that 'yes, she is adopted.' I'm always surprised when people say, "REALLY!!! She is????" Do I look Asian? I know my husband doesn't look Asian. I guess people are being polite. But I mention the fact that we brought her home recently and that is why her hair is so short because they kept it shaved in the orphanage. That is usually the 'opener' for a further conversation. I'm always willing and excited to tell a little bit about us and how we became a family. I will have to modify that as Avery gets older and more aware of herself and us and the fact that we don't look like the typical biological family. God makes families in many different ways!
To be with Avery and the rest of our children is an opportunity we would never have missed. I am so thankful that we were called and were obedient. We are blessed beyond measure. The joy these children have brought to our lives is beyond anything we could ever imagine.
There are so many orphans in this world. I know I get at least one email a week, if not more, about a prayer request for a family trying to adopt, or a child who needs a family. It breaks my heart to know that there are children out there who just want to know what it's like to have a mom or a dad. Someone to go to bat for them when they need it. Someone to give them hope, love, nourishment, a future here on this earth. Is it easy to adopt? No. Is there some red tape? Of course there is. satan does not want families to be together and he will make it even more difficult. If you feel a nudge to adopt then be ready for some opposition and spiritual attacks! Are we special? Nope. Is everyone 'called' to adopt? Nope. But as believers we are all called to care for the orphan - adopt, pray, provide financial support, volunteer, foster.
Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by this world. James 1:27