August 17, 2012
Many families adopting from China have read or heard the proverb of the red thread. Basically, it says that there is a definite link between you and the child that you adopt. Several weeks ago, we were told that we could begin to send care packages to our little girl. The agency gave us several cautions related to care packages. First, it would take three to four weeks for any packages that we sent to arrive in China. The second caution was that the packages would be delivered to the orphanage but there was no guarantee that the contents would ever be delivered to our little girl. Some orphanages would deliver the items to the child and some would not; it was entirely up to the discretion of the orphanage staff. Despite the lack of certainty over whether she would receive the contents or not, Christy and I knew that we had to send items to our Faith. We shopped and fretted over what items were “just right.” Finally, we decided on a blanket, two stuffed animals, and an album with photos of our family. We packaged the items and I took them to the post office. Before I got out of the car, I prayed that those items would reach our daughter and that she and the orphanage staff members would sense that there was a family that loved her already and was making preparations to bring her into a forever home.
Weeks had passed and Christy and I actually had a conversation yesterday morning about the fact that it should be about time for our package to arrive in China. We wondered aloud whether it would reach its destination and if our daughter would be permitted to receive the contents. And then yesterday, two big things happened. First, I saw that our check to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for processing immigration paperwork had cleared the bank! (Who knew that I could be so excited to see such a large chunk of money disappear from my checking account?) I shared this news with Christy. You see, adoption is all about waiting. During the waiting stage, any news…even something as simple as a check being cashed…can be a glimmer of hope. If our check was cashed, then at least we knew that our paperwork was being processed. Later, we received an email with the subject line that “Jiang Lan Xin has received the package from the Ginn family.” I opened the email and was totally surprised to see four pictures of our little girl looking at all of the items from our package. (Let me confess that I cried at my office desk.) That email contained something very precious; our first family portrait. It was a picture of her looking at our pictures. All of that was just to get to this point: We already felt an inexplicable connection to our little girl. Perhaps the connection is the invisible red thread. Until yesterday, our invisible red thread was still stretched and tangled. However, once we saw this new family portrait the invisible red thread felt more taut than tangled.
“A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families…” –Psalm 68:5 ESV