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we almost missed out

Some days I feel like I am part of a really crazy reality show.  You know, the kind of show where cameras follow an adoptive mom around, filming her every move.  Will she hang in?  Will she give up?  Will she walk away from her children? Just how is she going to handle this? Is she loving her children well?  Will the orphanage staff finally start accepting her?

It really is a crazy thing being here. The things I see. The behind the scenes goings-on. Oh my! I feel like I am constantly being watched. Eyes are everywhere.

Just when I think things could not possibly become more crazy, sheesh, something else happens that leaves me thinking, “Oh my goodness, what in the world was that all about.”

Yesterday I was visiting my sweet girls.  I told you that we get to hang out together in the one and only vacant room.  They call it the ‘zoo room’.  I call it the ‘zoo room that seriously needs to be cleaned.’  After the first ten minutes in there I become unaware of the smell. We visit with two ginormous rabbits that can hardly move in their cages, two not-so-lovely rats, a mouse, a turtle, four birds and a dozen or so goldfish.  They tell me it is for the children’s ‘therapy’.


So there I am playing on the floor with my sweethearts, when all of a sudden the door opens.  A woman comes in, and as she sees me she kind of back tracks a few steps.  She has a shocked look on her face and I sit there wondering what’s wrong.  She soon gathers herself and comes into the room.  She drops everything on the floor, and goes straight to Harper.  She picks her up and loves the living dickens out of her. 

Okay then…um, and who might you be? 

I figured she must definitely knows my Harper.  Quite obviously loves her, actually.  She brings her a toy and shoves it in her little face as the thing sings some Russian lullaby. She cannot stop smooching my child’s gorgeous cheeks.

I understand, I mean those cheeks are irresistible.

Then, my friends, it starts.  She starts having a full-on conversation with me in Russian.  I tell her I don’t understand. “English”, I say.  “Me…English”.  Dang, that did nothing to help my case. She continues on, pointing at Harper and then at herself and telling me some long story.  Oh my goodness, yes, that’s great, but I have no idea what the heck you’re saying to me. 

Help…I need help here. I have an idea.  I call Tatianna who is with the chief doctor filling out yet another form the judge has decided he just has to have.  “Tatianna, there is a woman here who is talking to me like we have been friends for life.  Only problem is that I have not understood one word that she has said to me yet.  Could you please come up here and help me out a little?”

My SOS works. Five minutes later I have a translator.  Whew.

It turns out that this lady was at the hospital the day Harper was born.  She is some kind of an advocate for children who either get left at the hospital after their birth, or who end up in orphanages.  She knows, and clearly loves my child.  For the next hour I heard Harper’s life story.  I know every orphan has a story, most of the time it is impossible for an adoptive parent to know, but for Harper that has been different.  Sitting before me was a woman who knew every little detail of my angel’s life.

I hear about her birth.  I hear about the “stress” after she was born.  I hear about how her family could not look at her sweet little face, she was too “different”.  I hear about how the father decided she had to go to the orphanage because is was “too hard for the mother”.  I hear about the healthy baby girl they have since had. I hear about how happy they are about that. I hear about how the father so desperately wants his daughter in the orphanage to be adopted.  I hear about how he supports the orphanage financially, and often comes to drop off things, but not once does he stop in to see her.  Not once in over two years.  Yep, I hear it all.

I fight back tears as I listen. It’s hard to hear, but I am so thankful that I get a window into my precious daughter’s past.  Such a gift from heaven.

We spend a long time chatting, me and this other woman.  She wants to know about my family, my other children and our lives.  I show her my little brag book. She asks a lot of questions as we sit outside. It’s a lovely day and I love that my children are getting some sunshine and fresh air.  We walk around the grounds with the girls in strollers, just lovely.

Little did I know what was unseen, lurking in secret places, watching my every move.

Today I found out that Harper’s father came with that lady yesterday.  I never saw him.  Or, maybe I did.  He was curious and wanted to see who Harper’s mother was.  So he came and watched, from where I have no idea.  Huh?  Seriously?  Oh my goodness.

One thing he knows for sure is where his “Sophia” will be going.  He has seen me! He got details.

He must have got a bit of a shock when he saw me. Remember the woman walked in the door, saw me there and looked seriously surprised? Well, they tell me that I look exactly like Harper’s biological mother. Even down to the clothes that I wear.

Pretty. Darn. Wild.

I inquired as to whether he was having second thoughts, and was maybe sad that she would be leaving this country. Was he wanting to see her sweet little face just one last time? Would he like to hold her and savor her sweet smell just once? Just maybe?

“No!”  He was so happy that she would be going to America.

Well, okay then.  A lump rose into my throat and I forced it down. It was more than my heart could bear.

I drove back from the orphanage today thinking about it all.  A thought brought tears to my eyes…we almost missed out of one of God’s most precious creations. Just as this father had missed out, so did we almost too. We never set out to adopt Harper.  We knew she was in the orphanage because we had seen her picture. The possibility of adopting two children was there from the start, but it was a huge decision. She would be our seventh child, and we had so many reasons why we should not do it. They all made perfect sense, of course. Trust me, we gave the Lord a list of our pathetic excuses. Over and over again. We’re just so stinking human.

Still, the little angel with the blue eyes would not go away.  She was never far from our thougths and prayers.  Ever. Whenever we saw Hailee, we saw Harper with her. Inseparable.

Finally, just before we submitted our dossier for Hailee’s adoption, we added Harper.  You can read about it here if you are a newer reader of my blog. We finally surrendered our will, our future, our plans, our dreams, and our fears to the Lord and said, “Yes, we’ll bring her home too.  Whatever you want, Father.”

Oh my goodness, the thought of almost missing out on this precious gift from the Lord makes me go cold. I shudder to think about what would become of her life had she been left behind. I can’t even let my mind go there.  She is just too precious for words. She is a bundle of  absolute love, love, love.  So often I have been told that children with Down syndrome are the most loving kids around. They love like there is no tomorrow. I can totally see that in Harper. This girl is a whole lot of love wrapped up in a tiny, exquisite package.

I am so absolutely thankful today.

Thankful that this angel will never know abandonment ever again. 

Thankful that God knew what was best for our family, even when we had every single excuse under the sun as to why we should not do it.

I hear it so often,”This child will be blessed.” “This child is so lucky to have you.”  “This child will finally know the love of a family.”  “This child’s life is about to change.”  While all of that is great, I know that the greatest blessing of all is going to be for us, her family.”  I know that our lives will never ever be the same again…they will be so much better, so much richer because God decided, before the foundation of the earth, that we NEEDED to adopt this girl too. It is for our GOOD that we bring her home. Oh how I am beginning to see that even now.

Thank you, Father God, for this precious, most amazing little gift. 

Incredible things happen when we say “Yes” to God!  The journey may a little [or a whole lot] daunting or scary…but obedience to God gives Him such an incredible opportunity to open the floodgates of heaven and pour down more precious blessings than our hearts could ever hope or dream of.  One of those blessings for us is sweet Harper.

I went to bed last night thinking about Harper’s father and wondering what he was thinking.  I couldn’t help but think about all that his family was missing out on in this angelic little girl–her absolute sweetness, her ability to wrap herself around anyone’s neck, her love of being held super tightly, her infectious giggle, the precious tongue that she has zero control of, her teeny tiny feet, her little toe that is bent, the way she raises her arms to tell you to pick her up, her curiosity.  I thought about it all, and felt such sadness for their loss.  They will never know the true delight that this special child is.

And then I thanked God that we never missed out!

Counting my blessings tonight. To think that we came so close to missing out on such TREASURE on this earth. Oh my heart.