What a joy this new season has brought. It seems that after 5 months, we are starting to feel really settled in. There are, of course, adjustments still taking place….but oh so much progress has taken place in all our hearts!. Elyana has only been watched two times by anyone other than her immediate family, but is showing signs that she is ready to, on occasion, be in the care of trusted loved ones for short periods of time. She hasn’t been without her brother and sister during these times though.
It’s hard to explain the protection we must have for her. I told John this weekend, that I see how very nieve and innocent she is even yet. She lived 2 years closed off from the world, and little by little, is gathering pieces of information and processing it all. So, we try not to throw too much at her at one time. Most toddlers have already processed so much information around them, but hers was a very limited amount of information. So we continue to gently teach, and keep her on a consistent schedule. Through consistency we have seen amazing changes in our sweet littlest girl. The years and years I prayed to adopt, I always knew it would be amazing. But, wow…..to see the miracle of a changed little heart right in front of you…..it’s truly a picture of what we’ve been given in Christ Jesus.
I look back on day one. Gotcha day…. and can hardly recognize our girl.
Her eyes were more of a blank stare and she knew nothing except nannies, congee, and many children all around her every day. She was just one of many.
Now her eyes are met with ours each day, and she knows she’s really something, and that her needs will be met. She no longer has to smile and ham it up, to get attention, in order to gain affection and food. She just has to “be” There’s nothing she can earn. Even on gotcha day I had no clue how much healing she needed. We read the books, took classes, and prayed ALLOT! But, through loving one day after another, after another, after another……Elyana has come to understand family. Something she didn’t even know she needed or was lacking.
And the joy that has poured into our hearts and hers, has been straight from heaven.
This morning as I sat quietly listening to one of my favorite singers Kari Jobe belt out “Oh The Blood” and read in Romans, I was given a clear picture of my heart that was much like an orphan at one time. I didn’t even know I was wanted, loved, and that I NEEDED Him to heal my heart. But he sought me….when I was unaware. Just like we trudged through a mountain of paperwork, climbing that mountain to get to Elyana. We knew what she needed, and loved her so much it hurt…….yet she was clueless. She lived her little life boxed into a world so bland, when a world of color, music, and endless love awaited her.
I’m so thankful that God pursued me, and continues to pursue. And now that I know just a portion of how much I am loved, I long for him also. Elyana has started to ask for John and I more frequently in the last few weeks. When John is at work she will say “where Daddy go? Work?” And I reassure her, he is at work and we will see him later. She had her first melt down when John left one day. This is what we call progress! I actually took pictures for John, and he of course felt joy that she longed for him…needed him. In this same way I know our Father feels joy when we cry out to him, need him, long for him. Just this week she has started to notice when I go to do laundry or am in another room for a few minutes. She will turn to John or one of the kids and ask the same questions of me, then yell “Mommy” or “Mama.” She knows my name now, and that I will come when she calls. It’s trust we’ve built between each other. And I can’t help but think this same trust is what I have for my heavenly Father. There has never been one time in my life that He hasn’t answered when I cried to Him. He always comforts me when I seek Him….through His word, in a still small voice as I pray, through music, faith filled stories, or the exact message He knew I needed to hear. He’s always there….and I trust Him. He never grows tired or weary of my voice calling to Him, though my human self most definitely faces weariness. He is not confined to human weakness and no one can measure the depths of His love.
In this I rest. Rest knowing He is the healer of orphans, and the healer of my heart also.
As I sit here writing, I can hear our sweet and silly littlest girl talking on her pretend phone, and cooking in her kitchen, bouncing on her ball. She laughs, talks, and plays securely. In her home, loved by her family, resting in a great love that covers her.
Look how much she has grown in one year. The pictures above were taken in March, and May of last year while we were doing paperwork, and waiting to get the phone call saying we could finally see the match God had for us!! Boy was God right on….he knew exactly the sweet girl our family needed.
Elyana celebrated her very first Easter this year and would point to Jesus in our resurrection set, saying “Jesus, He is Risen!” She has been given a family, but most preciously she has been given the great “I AM” She has been given the gospel, and one day I pray she accepts this precious gift from her Savior then takes this message to whomever God may ask her to.
It’s my prayer that everyone finds this resting love…orphans and people everywhere. For he sought us, when we were unaware.
“I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.” Romans 10:20
There’s no greater place to be. No more fulfilling place, no peace attainable to it, no joy measurable, no love so boundless.
~We ask continued prayer for Elyana’s orphanage pal Kya. She is still in ICU, and may remain there for months until her next surgery. They also found her aorta valve is folding over, so may need to do another catheterization. Every time Kya is taken off and sedation med, she throws such large fits that she puts herself in danger. Things are looking bleak, and Tracy (her mom is feeling it) But, I ask that while Tracy has grown weary in the fight…we would not. Let’s surround Kya with our prayers, and may our hope rest in the Father. May she feel the “peace that surpaseth all understanding” and may it “keep her heart and mind in Christ Jesus.”
The picture below was the last time we saw Kya. At the airport in China (our 6hr lay over) waiting to go home. I’ll always remember how very little Kya looked in John’s arms.
Our hope will continue to rest in Him. As we wait and pray….we know where true rest and healing is found.
Oh The Blood – Kari Jobe