For all of you that have been following our journey, I know you have been praying and awaiting news of Hudson’s Gotcha Day. I have honestly been at a complete loss for many words.
Hudson came to us absolutely broken and neglected. It was the hardest Gotcha Day we’ve had thus far. But we believe that God truly gives us “beauty for ashes” and never, ever fails to fulfill His promises.
We were taken off guard from the very beginning. The two individuals who brought him didn’t even take him up to the official government room but kept him there standing outside the building. You can see the man in black standing in the background on the phone the whole time. (This is John typing….He was a jerk…there I said it. Adoption isn’t all flowers and lollipops every time. After our meeting I spoke with our guide and he agreed that he was “not a good guy”)
I (Cindy) was following behind and saw John stop to talk and my first thought was a Chinese child wanted to say hi.
But it was our son.
His eyes were empty and all he owned was in a small bag. He began grabbing out tangerines that he had brought for us as he named us each…Mama, Baba, little and big brother,then little and big sister.
John quickly and boldy took Hudson’s hand as we entered the building, then waited for the orphanage official to arrive.
Finally the official arrived and we tried to gather any information about his broken little life. No nannies, no foster parents came….he came with a man we all felt uneasy about and an older woman that didn’t even enter into the Civil Affairs office. They handed him off to another orphanage lady who was in the office who knew nothing about him. It was Sunday, so many of the workers may have been off, but it just seemed so sad. No one came to rejoice over us taking his hand.
But even in the brokenness God was rejoicing over him….
“The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing.” Zephania 3:17
Our guide told us the man that brought him was complaining that he was too busy for this and he didn’t have time to wait. Our guide made sure the orphanage knew about it. All the looks and everything about the moment tried to instill fear into our hearts. It felt as if our enemy met us there to try and deter us from doing what we were called for.
What we found out from a nanny our guide called on the phone just made it harder. It sounds like he was only in foster care for a year, then in the orphanage, where we were told they pretty much left him to himself. We could see visible signs of neglect all over him. Much of the information did not match up with what we had been told, but we still took steps of faith forward signing documents and putting our thumbprints over the signatures.
We found out the orphanage didn’t put him in school because they didn’t feel he would do well. So it sounds like he watched allot of cartoons with the other children that were left there. Most other children are in foster care in Guiyang and our guide said his orphanage is “not really good” and did not encourage us to visit.
We are left with missing pieces of 8 years of his life. Someday as he heals he may trust us enough to tell of us the memories he has of being abandoned 2 years ago.
At first he would barely look at us, and only talk softly. He was like a hurt puppy. It’s so hard for me to even write this. I was so shaken, but stayed calm. We know the Holy Spirit covered us there and even now. John was so strong and I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done without his reassuring words telling me that all the brokenness was just another confirmation that we were supposed to come. That we were right where God wanted our family to be. In the center of His will.
Light had truly come to shine into the darkness. No wonder we have been feeling such resistance.
He was disregarded and left alone for far too long. We were even witness to this first hand as to the way the orphanage handled his adoption day. But this was the day that changed the course of his life and ours.
Each of other our children came over to check on him and after each page he colored he would show us all. They were all so concerned and knew he was hurting badly.
He came offering nothing…no forced smiles, no hugs, not even tears that we would’ve shown some attachment in his life.
But, to John and I it seems the most realistic picture of what Christ had done for us. We came to him with nothing, offering nothing…yet he loved us and waited for the revelation to make our hearts come alive little by little. Jesus went to the lowest places to find and touch those who everyone else had deemed unlovable. These things are all a comfort amidst uncertainty.
Every time Wesley had to go to the potty with me I would speak out loud in the hallway scriptures from the 91st Psalm and one from Revelations that we have “overcome the enemy by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony.” I had never been through anything like this.
Here Hudson was placing his hand print on our adoption documents.
Our guide has been so kind but seemed nervous. He even told us in the van as we left that another family that came for a small child contemplated not going through with their adoption, but said they took the child since they knew she would die if they didn’t take her. He was trying to tell us we could say no. But what our guide doesn’t understand is that God has chosen this little boy for us. And to say no would be to refuse a blessing and Hudson might truly die. He was already dy=ing inside from a lack of love. We told Jerry (our guide) that all he needs is love. God’s love will awaken the places of his heart that are yet untouched.
We will continue to stand in faith refusing the lies of the enemy that have been spoken over our son from birth. We refuse those lies and strongholds and will praise God, drowning them out. We will rejoice in the fact that Hudson has been given FULL and COMPLETE son-ship.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” Ps 139:14
Today we finalized the adoption. Since yesterday Hudson has begun to laugh and though he resists my touch he often goes to John. Today though he got hurt and actually let me touch him and set him on my lap for about 10 seconds. Progress. He is amazing and we will behold the miracles of a Healing Father. We will behold his goodness and will speak out over Hudson what he is now.
Redeemed. Chosen. Beautiful. Beloved. A Treasure. Healed. Restored. Loved.
“Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee” Jeremiah 1:5
This picture says more than my words. Look at the change already taking place in Hudson. He will smile and even let us tickle him. He really, really loves John.
Both boys do. Wesley actually flipped out today when John had to walk with our guide to do some official business. All good news.
Yesterday when we walked into this building Hudson was so withdrawn and uncertain. Today he is still uncertain, but takes the hand of his Dad. He has no idea what we’ve done to get to him or what will take place today. But he officially ours!!
In the months and years to come he will be able to look back on these pictures and know that he was certainly chosen and loved…even in all his brokenness.
It won’t be long before his eyes will come alive and he will learn what belonging means. He is in a family that will love him regardless of the pain and sorrow he has endured.
There have been waves of fear washing over me today. But, this afternoon as I wept against Johns chest something broke. And even as a write more and more of God’s peace and joy washes over me. I have been listening to allot of music with truth and I’ve kept it playing here all afternoon.
I want to encourage you if God is asking you to step out…that it may not be the flowery images your heart desires. God’s love has no boundaries and sent us all the way to China for two boys without a home to call their own.
The design above was designed by our friend Aja Mills for our family and specifically for this adoption. It has come to my heart so many, many times.
Every moment hasn’t been perfect and full of flowery feelings. It’s dirty business running into the enemy camp and pulling out the prisoner. I’ve read about it, but never fully understood until now. God is changing my heart so much through all of this.
Can I thank you all again for your prayers and encouraging texts and messages. Every time I look at my phone (that is now connected to a VPN – thanks to my tech guy) ….I see a new message. And though I cannot always respond right away, I am holding each message close and feel we have been blanketed with your prayers.
Please, please don’t give up praying….your prayers are working.
Wesley kept wanting to sit with John today. God is healing his little heart and building more trust with each day. Wesley has a smile that brightens our hearts and a silly teasing that makes us all laugh.
Hudson enjoys building Legos and playing his tablet. He likes it when all the kids chase each other around and is so joyful when we feed him.
John took Ryan, Hudson and Wesly on a guy outting to buy the two younger boys new shoes this afternoon. Hudson came with shoes too big for him, and Wesley’s were too small. They came back beaming!!
This photo is evidence that God is at work here in this place.
“But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Ps 3:3
This has been the soothing music filling our hotel room with truth….Hidden in My Heart, Scripture Lullabies. I and II.