First let me remind you, I did not go to China looking for a child. We had been assigned a foster child 6 weeks before and we had our hands full. I was headed to China in July to serve as part of a mission team in an orphanage there. My assignment was to teach PT techniques to orphanage staff to help them work with their special needs kids there.
So it was my first day in the orphanage. The other team members had scattered to their room assignments and I was spending time in the therapy room. I wrapped up there and walked outside to check on my teammates. There were several toddler rooms playing outside with their nannies. One group was lined up in baby walkers all tied together. I looked out over the group and a specific child caught my eye. I remember thinking immediately about my friend who has had a dossier in China on hold for almost 2 years now. The little girl smiled at me and my heart melted. I stepped back inside and immediately texted my friend, "I just met your future daughter and I am not kidding."
Later that day I was making my way from room to room to evaluate the little ones and see how they were doing developmentally. That was when I spotted her again. That time I walked over and picked her up. She looked into my eyes and said, "Mama." I kid you not!!!! For those of you who don't speak Chinese, mama in Chinese sounds the same as in English. Anyway, the nannies started squealing and my teammate buried her head in her hands. This child didn't talk normally. She was only 1-year old and she had a heart defect that made vocalization difficult because every breath was labored. I went on about my business but just couldn't seem to shake my new little friend.
Throughout the rest of the week I found myself dropping by to see her first thing in the morning, before lunch, and at the end of the day. I corresponded with my friend back home about how she had to re-enter the process and adopt this child. She would respond, "I don't think she is my kid. I think she is yours." Oh no I don't even have a dossier in China! She couldn't be mine! I inquired about her paperwork and found out that she should have been in the set that had just arrived to the agency but there was a spelling error and it was sent back to the orphanage. Hello God???
Then I told my husband about this precious child I had met who had called me "mama" 3 times by then. His response floored me. He suggested that I stay in China with her while he completed the paperwork and then just bring her home with me. Did he not remember how long that took? I am not sure if that was his excitement about my love for another foreign child or if it was a reflection of how much he was enjoying not having me around that week. :)
Okay so the nannies in her room are awesome and they could see my fondness for this little one. They started keeping her up last for me to spend extra time with her at the end of the day. I love her nannies and consider them friends today. They would say to me, "She loves you. You should take her to America." The seed was planted.
I wonder if God was having as much fun watching this all play out as I am having re-telling the story?
Oh how I can't wait to tell you what all He did next.