Our journey began with a trip to Birmingham on Tuesday night. We spent the night there with a super couple (the Nowlins) and they took us to the airport the next morning. New friends for just a week, but connected by God. It feels we have known them for years. God continues to amaze us how He connects His people.
Our group includes my precious kids. Oh, how I love them. How I appreciate their passionate anticipation of their new sister.
I keep hearing and watching my 7 year old squeeze her hands together and exclaim, “We are going to get my sister! I cannot wait!” She seems to be understanding how hard the transition might be for Phoebe. I see her compassion etched on her face. I value her developing empathy.
Upon entering our first flight, the flight attendant (FA) asked my son, “Where are you going?”
FA: China? Wow. Why are you going to China?
E: To get Phoebe.
FA: Who’s Phoebe?
E: My sister.
FA: How old is she?
E: 1 (with his little finger in the air).
Later in the flight, she and some other agents came back to talk to me. They finally asked, “Do you have a photo?” I got out my phone and showed her picture. One of them began to cry saying, “She is beautiful. I am so excited for you.” They then came back with a HUGE bag of snacks from business class for our journey.
It amazes me how adoption pulls so many people together. The circle of those who continue to be part of Phoebe’s life blesses my heart.
My mom (nana) is also going. She is coming to help primarily with our oldest ones. But she also is coming to watch the birthing of Phoebe into our family. She was there when our daughter and son were born and she was there when the doctor called to confirm my miscarriage. It only seems fitting for Phoebe that her Nana would be part of “She Comes Home (Gotcha) Day”! This will be the birth of Phoebe into our family.
My dear friend Lisa is also coming. Lisa is a friend we have had through our ministry since 2002. She has been a constant person I visit whenever we’re in Birmingham with our ministry. She and I are so different in personalities, but so connected by the Lord in friendship. Lisa is coming to be help with the kids but also to be a prayer shield around the process and to anticipate and meet needs of our family. She also will be witnessing the birthing of Phoebe into our family. She has traveled with me before, and I would travel anywhere with her due to her calm spirit! I feel like my prayers at this point are “Help me Jesus… Help me Jesus…” so knowing she is there to pray more specifically is calming!
My heart is full as I sit on this long flight. I am thanking Jesus Christ, my wonderful friend and Savior, for being a God who cares so deeply for the broken and the lost. For Phoebe. For me.
And you know it’s not the huge things we do in our lives with Christ. It’s the small steps of obedience in which Jesus rejoices (in reality our big choices are simply summations of many small ones). I believe that because I rejoice in the small steps of my children. I watched Joeli draw a picture for Phoebe in a journal she is making for her on this trip to China. As she drew, a little smile of happiness settled on her face. I could see her love grow for her sister with her thoughtful act.
As I held Eden’s hand in the airport, he said with his animated face, “I have the most perfect job ever that I have thought of. It’s the best job ever. Do you know what it is?”
Me: What is it Eden? What is the best job ever?
E: The best job ever is I am going to tickle Phoebe’s feet! Don’t you think that’s the best job ever?
My kids’ self-initiated acts and words give me insights into their hearts. As a family, we are not only on our way physically, but we are on our way emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. All of us.