Saturday, November 17, 2012

Orphan Sunday

November 4th was Orphan Sunday, our first Sunday in the US with Miss Nora.  I'm a little sentimental like that and find it to be quite significant.  Orphan Sunday is a special day set aside by churches to advocate for awareness and action on behalf of orphans worldwide.  And, today is National Adoption Day! 

Our church typically recognizes Orphan Sunday on the 3rd Sunday in November (tomorrow).  Last year we were asked to share a bit about our adoption journey for Orphan Sunday (written sharing ... not great with the public speaking aspect of sharing ... I know, I know, if we can't feel safe in sharing amongst our church family, where can we?).  Anyhow, I wrote more about what we shared last year here.  This year we were again asked to share.  We graciously turned down the public speaking gig (maybe next year?) but agreed on a written update which is below.

As part of our update we were asked for a family photo.  In steps Amy, graciously volunteering to take some family photos for us (actually, Amy stepped in even before we knew we were going to be asked to share, she made mention of this gift to us while we were still in China ... so thankful).  Not only did Amy take the photos, she has spent a tremendous amount of time pouring over the photos and helping me design this year's Christmas card. 

For Orphan Sunday we chose one of the simpler photos to include with our adoption journey update.  And, while I'm super tempted to share some of the other photos here, I'm going to refrain because, well, I wouldn't want to ruin the Christmas card surprise when we send them out.  These photos are so special as they capture Nora as part of our family in her first couple of weeks home, and they capture her sweetness before surgery.  These will be our only family photos before Nora's smile changes in December.  So meaningful ...

November 2012 Adoption Journey Update {Orphan Sunday 2012}
On Orphan Sunday 2011, we shared our adoption story with you, our church family.  Today, on Orphan Sunday 2012, it is our joy and privilege to introduce to you Nora Jane, our daughter, orphan no more.

After being on the “wait list” for a China adoption for nearly three years, we got a call on June 21st, a call we had long anticipated.  Our agency had a referral for us to review.  This was our first glimpse of our precious Nora and thus began the final steps to bring our daughter home.  On October 18th we departed for China, and on October 21st, we met and physically held Nora in arms.  What a joy to hold this little one in our arms after holding her in our hearts for so long.  It was an amazing moment, a moment that cannot eloquently or sufficiently be described here.  And, it is with awe that we look into her beautiful eyes, wondering how He could choose us to be the parents of this amazingly strong, brave and beautiful girl. 

Our adoption process has been storybook at times, and it has been “cry out to the Lord on your knees” hard at times.  We know that we could not have made it to this point without the grace of our God (and the many prayers, encouragement and support of family and friends!).   

We are humbled that God would choose us to grow our family through adoption.  The gift that we have been given is truly remarkable, and we are eager to see how His story continues to unfold in our family.  


Melanie said...

This is great, Heather! Love the family pic. We had the opportunity to share our testimony at church today, as well. It was a video recorded interview presentation. Wasn't thrilled about seeing my gigantic face on the big screen though. May God use it as he desires.

Beth said...