So now that you have the scoop on how my time at Maria's came to be, I want to take some time to share some of the moments that God has used during the past 6 months to confirm that this is from Him, along with many of the people that have encouraged and supported me along the way, believing that He who began this good work will be faithful to complete it (Phil. 1:6).
Although I had started telling a few people about China, I wanted to wait for just the right time to tell my sweet kids. On Valentine's Day I told my kids that I would be moving to China. We had spent every Monday since August learning about a new country, so naturally, I had saved China for this day. Not sure how they would react, I broke the news slowly. After showing them the location, I asked my kids what language they thought was spoken in China (thinking it was pretty obvious...) They responded with "Spanish...English...Arabic" so I again emphasized "CHINA"...one of my kids yelled out "I know...it's Chinish!" :) That seemed to break the ice!
The conversation turned to orphans and adoption, and I was amazed by the insight and compassion that my sweet kids offered. Needless to say, we never got to our reading lesson that day, but it was ok. One of my students was adopted and it was so neat to see her making the connection to what God had done in her life by leading her to her mommy and daddy (and her middle name just happens to be Maria, which we all thought was pretty special).
You can imagine the text messages I received that night from parents asking if this was true...you never know what you'll get coming from a 5 or 6 year old!
At the end of the month, I had a chance to visit the Show Hope office in Franklin for the first time. Although I was already excited about Maria's, my time there with the staff encouraged me more than I could have imagined. It was so neat to meet so many people who not only talked about caring for orphans but were doing so in their own lives in very real and tangible ways. If you havent already, I encourage you to check out this amazing ministry at www.showhope.org
Sidenote: at the same time that all of this was going on, my dear friends, Adam and Laura Swann announced that the Lord was leading them to adopt a child from Ethiopia. It was such a neat thing that God chose to lead us in such similar directions at the same time and I cannot wait to see how God continues to faithfully provide and teach them through their journey. If you would like to follow their adoption journey, go to http://adoptingswanns.blogspot.com/
March will have to wait until tomorrow...dessert it waiting :)