SPOTLIGHT: ADOPTING FROM CHINA
The Lyon Family
We are the Lyon Family. I was chosen to be a mother through the gift and story of adoption. Our journey was not easy, and if you would have told me fifteen years ago that this was the life God had planned for me, I would have been disappointed. I would have been disappointed, because they were not my plans, and no one knew me better than me. My countless pages of plans were bound tight, with the stretching of spine and the branding of black-ink to paper. They became tangible and definitive. But God, He is not finite; He is infinite. My plans were confined and narrow, and His for my life were boundless, eternal and everlasting. He knew those pages etched with ink would be the same pages I would cry over, and grieve over for years. But, His love and His knowledge were inconceivable to me, constrained by the narrow lens of my human understanding.
“My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place,
when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.”
When my eyes were finally opened my story would be replaced with the breadth of pages written with His hand, a story, spinning cosmic dust to sky. Our journey to family would change me, grow me, destroy me, and ultimately transform me. God knew that this was the one Journey that would teach me I could no longer hide my heart, because I would learn I could not be hidden from Him. The lifelong construction to keep anything or anyone from entering my hearts’ chambers would have to be destroyed. My protective framework would ultimately fail and NOTHING could barricade the plans He had for me. His pursuit for me would erode brick and mortar to expose my heart to finally allow Him in. When He made His breakthrough I was forever changed and my bounded plans dissolved into debris settling on the beautiful country of China.
When the debris and the decision to finally adopt after almost ten years of yearning and longing, God revealed our journey would begin with the preface of a daughter in China. But again my well thought out plans for China would be pushed into later chapters. There would be editing and re-writes on our Journey to family that began with China in 2004. Because a God who has permission to author our story is a God who has permission to insert, delete, and even change our draft to include His redemptive Story. So when our first Daughter Gracyn was Adopted from Taiwan in 2009 we were blessed beyond any human measure.
She was the part of the story that would teach us what the unconditional love of family was. Her name in itself was a teaching chapter. When she was placed into my arms the veil was torn, ripped open and what I saw on the other side was the face of God and, a world full of hope and grace I had not known until that moment. She was the building blocks of chapters that would follow, revealing a Loving Father I never knew. Her life began a redemptive work within me and my well thought out chapters would never have included even the word redemption in them. My finite understanding of redemption was shallow taught within the small context of the movie ‘The Shawshank Redemtion." Although I knew somewhat what redemption meant it was not at work within me. God knew that Gracyn would be the daughter who we would call our first, because we needed to be immersed in the language of God before we could speak and teach the language. Gracyn would reveal to us an amazing God, and a loving Father so big, and so magnificent, that we were ready to free fall face first to follow His plans in the following chapters to China.
There were mountains of paper work that began in December of 2004, and then more paper work, and changing paperwork, and editing and omitting, and Homestudy after Homestudy, and fingerprint after fingerprint, changing of agencies and siphoning of life savings to bring our second daughter home from China. It was a painful process and it was a sure fire test of our faith and obedience. But when I saw the face of our second daughter Jadyn God revealed to me a vision of her asleep in my arms. I had no idea it would take twenty one months before she would ever find comfort in my embrace. Gods plans for our family were far greater than we could ever have asked or imagined.
It was not until January 30th 2012 when we would finally meet our daughter Jadyn in China.
January 30th 2012
On January 25th 2012 our family of three set out on a journey to bring Jadyn home. We landed in Beautiful Beijing. and spent 4 days touring the beautiful country. The jet lag each of us experienced was difficult, but by day four we adjusted to the new time. We met up with other families within our travel group and toured with them. There were nineteen other families in our travel group. Our Agency was AMAZING!!! They took such good care of us and knew so much about the culture, the language, the food and shopping. This was a once in a lifetime experience that I wouldn't change for anything. Getting to know other families within our travel group was so comforting and exciting. Other families also brought their younger children as well. These families will continue to be part of our lives forever as part of a journey none of us will ever forget.
On the 28th of January we set out to fly to Jadyn's Province. Jadyn's Province The Henan Province was the largest in the entire country. This is where our large travel group was separated into smaller groups depending on which Province our children were in. We still had a very large travel group of twelve families. Gracyn was just three years old and I could not have imagined leaving her for three weeks to bring Jadyn home. I think the fragility of our attachment would have made it more difficult when we returned home for everyone. She did great climbing The Great Wall and shopping and meeting new friends.
There was some downtime for attachment and bonding with Jadyn and the family. The first night was really tough and you can read more about that on my previous blog So Far to Find You.
Since Jadyn was in a Show Hope Sponsored Orphanage in China, I wanted to make sure that I got to see MBHOH (Maria's Big House of Hope.) What an unbelievable experience to be able to see where my daughter spent some time when she was very little until she transferred to New Hope. The Director even knew who Jadyn was. On the day we traveled to MBHOH David and the girls stayed back at the Hotel and did some touring.
Blessed by a family who lost their daughter. If not for Maria's death where would my Jadyn be today? An amazing place loving on and caring for the sickest kiddos in the country. I made a promise to myselft that day - that I was going to do anything I could to advocate for Orphans in China.
We spent seven Days in Jadyn's Province and then we were off to our final part of our twenty-one day trip in China. Our last few days we would spend in Guangzhou. We had appointments for Visas and Passports. Jadyn had her medical exam as well which would be required before we would have our interview with the Chinese Consulate. Guangzhou was hot and humid an filled with rich culture and people. It reminded us a lot of home.
Finally, after a very long Journey we headed for Hong Kong and spent the night. We boarded the airplane for home the following day. I could not wait to get Home. I was exhausted, and ready for some Americanized food. I wanted to be in my bed so bad I couldn't stand it. There were lots of tears for all of us in those last few days. The adjustment was difficult. The sleeping all night even more difficult.
In those three weeks, our family was forever changed. We experienced a lot of sadness with the growth of family. The transition was hard for different reasons for each of us. To this day I wouldn't change it. What was the most difficult was when we arrived home we experienced illness and lack of sleep on top of jet lag. It would prove to be devastating to an adoptive family and for the attachment of Jadyn. Within 48 hours we had two children in The Children's Hospital for seven days from contracting Influenza B. I have never prayed so hard, cried so hard or have ever felt as alone as I did sitting wide awake in a hospital. It was devastating for Jadyn and her attachment with both David and I became even more challenging. She would have to learn to trust us again. And one day she will.
Our experience of Adopting from China was amazing, challenging, heartbreaking, and beautiful. I wouldn't change it despite the flu and the hospitalization. Because, in those days in China, and after we arrived back home, it was just me and God. It was a time when I had to trust all of Him, and that He was going to see us through. Thankful the final chapter of our family is still being written. Thankful we have a Father that is working in and through the adoption of our children to teach us about being part of His redemptive story. Because of adoption of this little girl from China, I have grown deeper into my faith and my relationship with the one I love to call Daddy, and I am overflowing with thanksgiving that He would chose someone like me to be their mother.
I’m a Ragamuffin Writer, A Lyoness Heart; Chosen as a Mother through the gift of Adoption. I’m a Wife, a Mother, a Nurse, a Blogger & Lover of Jesus. I love all things Adoption both the Bitter & the Sweet. I am a Daughter of The King most High, who was Chosen, Adopted, Forgiven, & Redeemed, and because of His love for me ~ I am committed to defending the Fatherless.