As we prepare to leave, things continue to get more and more hectic. Those of you following us via Facebook saw this in my post from Monday.
Thank you so much for your prayers. Please keep them coming. We have definitely been under attack! Yesterday, someone hit the van - nothing major - just additional stress and confusion during an already hectic time. God took care of it. Our van is FINE, their car's bumper, not so much. Shannon Keith Ginn's car is making some STRANGE noise that will have to be investigated and fixed before it can be driven too much farther. China requires new(er) $100 for use when they exchange money. The bank here in PC says "We only have 'regular' money - not any special money. And we're just a bank. We can't order new bills." Borrowed luggage today - our luggage mysteriously has broken zippers. Again, thank you, thank you, thank you for continuing to pray for us. We know we are following God's plan for our family and are choosing to see today's chaos as nothing more than an opportunity for God to show out. But again, please continue to pray friends. While most of those problems have been resolved, others have continued to present themselves at the most inopportune times. As I sat on the couch last night, unable to sleep AGAIN, I thought and thought about the verse I have been leaning on lately. Exodus 14:14 "The LORD will fight your battle for you; you need only be still." This is not a verse I was familiar with until last week. As I was fretting over whether we would get to travel this week or would have to endure another week of waiting, I cranked up my van and immediately heard this verse. WOW. What a strong reminder of just how needless my worry was. I wish I could say that meant that I have not worried since. However, that is not the case. It does mean that I have been able to let more go and focus more on my family and the preparations I still have to make and focus less on the "what-ifs" that come with this process. While there have been many sleepless nights throughout this journey, these last few days have provided some of the most difficult. Last night, I spent a restless night on the couch and began to think of the verse from Exodus. I also began to consider that this could be considered an exodus of sorts. Our little girl is leaving behind all that she has ever known and is coming to a strange and foreign land. She does not know the customs, traditions, or even the language. She will not know or trust us. It is very possible that she will have never experienced love, comfort or protection. It is also possible that she will not know how to accept comfort from us. We have been told to expect her to even refuse food and drink for the first few days. This is so scary for us. We are leaving both of our boys here and traveling to get her, a child that will be terrified of us. At this point, we are literally counting the hours until our departure. We will leave at 1:00am, in just over 15 hours. There are so many thoughts and emotions as we prepare to say goodbye to our boys and meet our daughter. We thank you so much for all of the prayers and supports you have offered us throughout this journey. We also ask that you pray specifically for these things: 1. Pray that our boys (and Nana) will have an easy time during our absence. We will be gone for over two weeks. This will be difficult for all of us, especially our three-year old. 2. Pray that our travels go smoothly. Neither of us has even flown internationally. This in and of itself will be stressful. Especially the flight back with Faith. This sweet girl has not ridden in an automobile, let alone flown in a plane full of strangers. 3. Pray that God will prepare her heart so that she can easily accept our love. She has never known family. While her caregivers will have been using the words "mama" and "baba", she has no concept of this kind of love. Pray that she will be able to easily transition and that her fears will be eased. 4. Pray for wisdom and guidance for the doctors that will be taking care of her once we land. She has an appointment on 4/16 with a doctor who specializes in caring for children with cerebral palsy. She has an appointment on 4/22 that will include physical care, an evaluation by a developmental specialist, and consults with physical therapy and occupational therapy. Any medical care she has ever received has most likely been at the hands of personnel who were very rough and uncaring. Orphans commonly receive only the crudest treatments, and receive that only when it is absolutely necessary.