If you’ve been following along for a while, you might be relieved to know this is the last post in this series! The story ends today! 🙂 Thank you for patience in this multi-month story journey.
Part 7: Never Ask or Imagine
It didn’t take long for joy to turn to nervousness.
She wanted to adopt this girl.
She said ever since she’d seen the pictures of Jacob holding Xiao Ai at her orphanage, she hadn’t been able to get her face out of her mind. She didn’t feel for her the way she did for all orphans… it was special. It was different. It was the heart of a mother.
But there were a thousand reasons why it wasn’t a good idea. They were finished raising children, after all. Many of their friends were already enjoying grandkids, not taking kids to Pre-K and ballet lessons. And my father-in-law’s job didn’t seem all that stable. Paying for an adoption was out of the question, not to mention just general fears and concerns about how to provide for another small child.
So we weren’t just praying for someone to adopt Xiao Ai, we started praying that Jacob’s parents would adopt Xiao Ai. During that conversation, I recalled with absolute clarity the moment on the balcony at Xiao Ai’s orphanage when I told Jacob that I thought the perfect parents for Xiao Ai would be his parents. What we thought was impossible was turning into a possibility.
Over the next couple of weeks, my father-in-law’s heart started to open even more to adoption. He and Majaunta both took a major leap of faith, and moved forward with quite possibly the craziest decision of their life. I’ll save you the long and painful story of an arduous adoption, but on August 6, 2007 (our wedding anniversary!), Xiao Ai became Hannah Joy McKean. And, two months later, Jacob and I moved to China.
Words don’t normally fail me. But when I think about the magnitude of what God did in her life and in ours — by bringing us together through a seemingly *chance* encounter, and then not only bringing her into a family (that’s all I dared hope for), but bringing her into OUR family… well, there’s just no way for me to describe all of this. Some people look at her and say things like, “Oh, she’s so lucky.” The blindness of that statement leaves me speechless. We are the ones who have been blessed beyond measure… to see the hand of God working in such a miraculous way? What an incredible faith-building experience!
If you would have told Jacob and me that the journey we were going on when we got on that airplane in 2005 to go to China the first time would have resulted in this… with Jacob’s parents adopting and us moving to China to work with orphans. Well, I might have laughed. But, to be honest, I might have run away in sheer terror.
Looking back, I can only be thankful that God only discloses our journey one step at a time.
1 Corinthians 2:9