Anything I pen today will pale in comparison to the story God has written for Hudson and upon our hearts as his chosen, forever family. I wish I could open up our hearts and lay before you the past year…the emotions, prayer upon prayer answered, hurts, joys, tears, laughter, fears, doubt, and torment God has healed and covered by His love…The messes in us and our adoptive children that God has revealed and has been washing away by a torrential river of love.
Guiyang, China. Hudson was found by a WHOLE LOTTA love!!
How many people, I wonder, walk their whole lives and never find or partake in this kind of love. A love worth all the hard. Worth fighting for, being attacked for, digging your heels into the trenches for, hurting for, …. or even obediently going through the motions when you feel nothing at all. I just wonder for those who have never had a revelation of, have never pursued, or have never realized a love SO REAL has been pursuing them all their life!! A love so tangible, so powerful that it heals the deepest of scars….and pours into the crevices a filling that is alive with HIS very own life healing blood shed upon the cross. These aren’t just empty words…for we have been witnesses to the power of it’s healing in our own hearts and in Hudson’s.
It is a love, His love, that died for me and in return makes me willing to die for it. To look crazy to the world for it….then die to all “I want” “I think” “I desire” This love fills the innermost being with a want for only it, exchanges superficial thoughts for HIS substance, and penetrates the ground of my heart with pure seeds of HIS heavenly desires producing fruits of HIS righteousness right before these earthly eyes of mine!!
For many months I have not written. The most prominent reason was I tricked myself into thinking yet again, things had to be completely swept clean around here…physically and spiritually. Why do I allow myself to believe I should not share in the midst of my own struggles, when the truth is….
….it is in the struggle that we are reborn. It’s where Hudson has been born, and we have all been changed. Despite our struggles…love has won.
Today, as we celebrate a monumental day for Hudson QingJin Sparks, we rejoice in so much more than physical eyes can behold. Hudson has been reborn, and so have we. For the first time in almost a year I can honestly, really, really say I “feel” in full measure! I have learned to fight, press and scream through labor pains until something beautiful is birthed….but there were moments I could not even “feel” what I was fighting for. I knew in my head, I stood upon the truth I had read about in God’s word…..but now I am partaking of the fruits of months and months of labor. A great, big, beautiful love for Hudson has been born in my heart. And I feel he has learned how to love us back.
It might sound overly dramatic to you, but it has been the real, hard truth of a journey that began with John and I stepping out in obedience to embrace and bring the freedom found only in His love we encountered ourselves……to a chained up, broken, rejected, fearful, beaten, starved, neglected in every way possible…. little boy.
We cannot rejoice today without trying to give even if a glimpse into the story of his healing….. How for the first time in Hudson’s 8 years he was taught what a family is and the meaning behind the word love.
For the first time in his life his physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs were touched. For the first time parts of his brain began to fire up and heal that were shut down during the trauma he faced from the time he was born.
We have witnessed a little boy once labeled in a report from China as “bad learning” begin to now read, do addition facts, sort words, and be a part of a 2nd grade class this year! There are so many parts of his story I wish I could share in detail. His new teacher Mrs. Cleary is a part of his healing and this new chapter in his life. We really felt God leading us to a school where he could get speech therapy, OT if needed and ESL classes. God brought us on a path to a teacher who not only believes in Hudson, but sees to his heart….. A place we have found few do, or make an effort to do. She teared up over him at conferences, which made me leave the school in tears for about the 3rd time this year after talking to her. She was willing to customize his education plan this year to be able keep him with her and was already doing things to help Hudson with sensory processing before we even addressed some of these needs. Hudson begged to be at school and to play with other children and absolutely adores his teacher.
Hudson’s very first day of 2nd grade.
So, we have yet another reason to rejoice today….that he is in fact a very smart boy, able to learn, make friends and is absorbing so much from being in an environment where he is with peers and a teacher who is compassionate to his needs. He chose birthday surprises for his classmates, had the excitement of a field trip to the theatre and when his teacher called me about an hour ago to tell me he was sick…she said they had a special birthday celebration for him this morning. Now our very sick little guy is home resting on the couch. If you could, please cover Hudson in more healing prayers…
He was chosen as Trojan student of the week which meant each day the class got to get to know Hudson a little better. Part of being student of the week was bringing home the class Clifford book bag and puppy to get photos with him as he did the things he liked to do most. The first thing Hudson did when he got home was run out excitedly and watch our farmer take the corn off. He knew that the farmer would come close to his birthday and kept waiting for him.
Today, on his birthday, he was to take in a timeline of his life. Wow was this an emotional project, but I felt even more healing, joy, and love poured out as I finished it for him. He has no photos of the first 7 years of his life, and tells me no one ever took any of him. But I always let him know his Mama will continue taking many! My favorite moment of the morning was seeing him in the car studying his timeline with such peace and contentment washed over his face.
My Timeline – Hudson QingJin Sparks.
He helped me pick some of his favorite memories. Like when we sent a birthday cake and panda bear to him in China last year while we waited for him, when we came to get him in China, the day he became a U.S. citizen, his first Christmas, first Chinese New Year with us, first camping trip, first day of school, first costume for our fall party, and his first birthday party. I drew a photo of what I thought Hudson may have looked like as a baby and he liked it very much. He said “that is Hudson?” I said yes. The smile on his face and joy in his heart has healed places and allowed me to feel even more… his Mom. We can’t share the most intimate details of the hurt Hudson has endured, but there is a place in Hudson’s heart that will always be connected to his birth mother. He tells me she was beautiful, worked so hard, and wore red. Today I cried for her too. She would be so pleased and her heart at ease knowing he is OK…and isn’t hurting any longer. Maybe one day God will lead us to her so we can share this beauty with her.
Hudson remembers so much and is genuine, sincere and truthful about all the things he has endured. But God has also gifted him with an attitude that almost immediately finds the positive and good. He will talk about the very dark times of abuse, neglect and hunger he has endured but quickly turns the conversation to something positive. I know it’s the way he copes, but he really is a positive little boy. This was not the case at first. He didn’t know how to smile naturally or even what joking around was. His face was not relaxed and he would not allow us to touch him or get near him. He had never had healthy touch the way a baby would get by a mommy rubbing lotion on him. So that’s where I began. And today…I was able to lotion on his feet…without him jumping around all over. Progress. Healing. Beauty.
This isn’t the only victory…many of the behaviors, attachment, eye contact, physical, mental, emotional, and spirit-filled moments cannot even be counted. The moments he first began to crawl on our laps and seek our affection… were priceless. The way we have seen his mind heal more and learn new social skills and boundaries. He wants so badly to learn and tries very hard to obey rules and be a good boy. If he has a day where he has a hard time regulating he always says “I want to do a good job… tomorrow will be a good day!” I can learn so much from him. He is hard on himself but is learning to allow for mistakes and start afresh. He is affectionate, kind-hearted and concerned if he thinks anyone is hurting. He never forgets to pray for his Mimi and prayed for months for Elyana’s feet. He is a blessing to us and we love him so much. He has formed new relationships and is building trust-filled, solid relationships with his aunts, uncles, cousins…and more solid bricks of love are laid each day with his siblings. His heart is so big and will let anyone in who makes an effort and shows a genuine love. It amazes me that a little boy who has faced so much rejection has true joy and acceptance for others!
Hudson benefits from taking breaks from noise and excitement so Aunt Nana sat in his room and built the LEGO plane together that her and Uncle Eddie bought him. He loves his family so much. Any family birthday or celebration gets him so excited to play with his cousins.
One of the highlights of Hudson’s year was celebrating the 4th of July. He has a true love and gratitude for this new land he calls home. Even from the early months he has always expressed to us how nice America is. He would go around the house singing (rather loudly) America the Beautiful. And his version of the pledge of allegiance this week was “I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of be nice America.” I couldn’t correct him on that one.
For many months something would trigger a bad memory for him from China and he seemed to need to get out the horrible things he endured, but these days he talks less of those scars and is really settling in. We are all settling in more each day and taking the challenges to God with prayer and rejoicing in the victories. We don’t discourage him getting things out when needed, but I felt a new season blow in about a month ago…a knowing that I wasn’t to stir up hurtful memories but allow the salve of time and new memories to take the place of so many bad flashbacks. Just allowing him to be a “regular” little boy …..that goes to school, rides his bike, fishes with his PopPop, picks pumpkins…and unwraps birthday gifts!! He had his birthday party on Sunday and it will be a day he remembers forever.
Today is a victory day!! Our enemy shot so many darts at our hearts beginning on that street in China where we caught first glimpse of a very scared, broken little boy…..but so many of you prayed and covered us as we ran into enemy territory to rescue Hudson. Some of you were used to assure us again… he was most certainly chosen for us, and us for him. That we needed him as much as he needed us. And that healing would come…love would flood into all our hearts. And it has. So thank you. For being a part of this story of victory and love, and for bombarding our hearts with truth when we needed it most!! Thank you for seeing the “preciousness” (as Karyn Purvis always called it) in Hudson. God opened my heart to it and I have fallen in love with my little boy. We all have.
Today I thank God that he has poured this life giving sap of love into the cracked, broken, and withered places. And with that….I have to go back to the scriptures he gave us those days in China…..those promises we have seen come to life right before our eyes!!
The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.
And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations.
For your shame ye shall have double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion: therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them. Isaiah 61
And finally the promise my dear friend Susannah has so faithfully prayed for Hudson…
“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten.” Joel 2:25
When God promises to come, He always does. When He promises life in exchange for death…He makes good on that promise…. He came. And this very special day has finally come. The day we can look back and rejoice at the miracle working God we serve!!
Happy 9th Birthday to our little boy so full of life!!! We love you SO very much!!