Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Whisper

Have you ever wanted to write a post and just not be able to get it started right or really have it say what it is that's really at the heart of it all? Well, I'm there.

I have started this post a hundred times in my head, each time wondering if it's just me who sees the fingerprints of God ... or if others would see them too. In fact last spring, while things were still very fresh in my mind, I wrote down my thoughts and the details in a journal, knowing that time would erase their sharpness. And I wondered, would I ever return to the story and share it? You may remember I started her story this summer (here) ... but didn't get into the details. I still don't know if there will be a time when the details that I find such joy in will speak to others in the same way that I hear them. And it gets to be a rather long winded story that I'm not sure anybody wants to wade through ... but I do want to share in part the blessings that continue to unfold in a super-abbreviated version. (If you remember seeing these photos last summer please stick with me ... the ending is good! I promise!)

Request for Lei's Surgical Sponsorship at LWB Medical Sponsorship Page

Please read the text from the website below the photo. When I first saw Lei late last March I was captivated ... and also so sad that all the surgeries were SO expensive. Everything seemed so far out of this stay-at-home mom's budget! And I simply prayed "God if there was something that I can afford I'd give it, I would." And the next day March 31st, when I checked the site ... this is what I found. Suddenly all but $190 was paid! If that didn't give me goosebumps let me tell you! I'm not sure if I was more scared to have been heard or excited or stunned. And I am not sure why all but that small amount was paid and I don't want to know any logical reason if there is one other than the answer to prayer. I am so blessed and humbled to have had a sliver of a part in this beautiful child's life. Why God chose to call her to my attention that night I do not know, but I am so glad he did and she will forever have a part of my heart for it. I submitted the balance on Monday, one of the first days in April ... and she was one of the patients on the fifth day of the six day Medical Cleft Lip Exchange April 8th that had 2 doctors from Minnesota performing and teaching surgical techniques for the doctors in Shanghai. Was she suddenly added to the list and prepared for travel for the end of that week? At first my heart wants to think so and then again it doesn't ... because then I think about the children who have not had the opportunity to have such a life changing surgery.

Lei at admission to Fujian Hospital for her cleft lip surgery, April 2009.

Lei right after her surgery repairing her cleft lip on one of the final days of the Love Without Boundaries Cleft Lip Medical Exchange.

Lei as she is discharged from the hospital and returned to her orphanage.

Lei today--15 months old and 9 months post surgery

One thing I noticed, maybe you did too? ... in her photos, she has the same look that is somewhat questioning and seeking, so very somber. Maybe it was the situation or the photographer, or her personality or a thousand other things ... She is no doubt smart, curious and full of blessings and love. And her eyes are so deep they speak volumes in their quiet darkness. I cannot wait for her smile to find her and for it to fill her eyes and her face. I know that it will be beautiful!

So in short,
Spoken For!
Soon to be united ... with her forever family!
Yes, I just received an update that she has been matched for adoption!
SWEET. Oh so very, very sweet!
What a blessing to have had the opportunity to be a part of her life. God is so good!
I did want to add one quote from my journaling entry, " ... all He was asking from me was $190 to save a little girl's smile in an orphanage--a smile that repaired would give her a chance to be adopted--hopefully into a Christian family."

I will continue to pray for her and that her family knows God and will lead her to the Lord so we can all meet her someday on the other side of this life if not before! I just had to share the love--the sweetness--of it all!
Soli Deo Gloria


Shawna&Co. said...

That just gave me goosebumps! I don't even how words. It's just amazing to be able to help and know this child is going to have a better life!

The Sanders Family said...

Oh my goodness, I have tears. No surprise coming from this soft-hearted mom, but you are so right...there's nothing like seeing God work in a situation. Someday you should think about sharing the long version of your journey with this little girl instead of the abbreviated one. I'm confident we would all see God's hand in the little details, just as you have, and we would be amazed and in awe!

And Valerie, I just thank you so much for your BIG heart for these children. You are a blessing to them, not only financially {however small you may think} and through prayer. But you are a blessing by being their voice and their advocate! The Lord is surely looking down on you with pleasure, for you hear the cries of His children and you answer! Thank you my friend! In Christ, Angie :)

Tami said...

Wow...Chills and TEARS here, Valerie.

This post was so beautifully written and yes, God's hand is ALL OVER THIS. Praise the Lord, for listening to His call....that whisper you hear on a spiritual level. Valerie, you have such a tender, loving heart for these orphans...I know God has, and will continue to bless you deeply in return for your obedience.

Thank you for sharing His glory with all of portrays so clearly how we ARE His hands and feet, and when we allow our heart to say 'yes' to His prompting, He provides the way, and weaves all our actions into a glorious end.

I hope you are able to find the family adopting her so you can continue to share in her journey and watch her grow.

Sending big ((((hugs))))...T

Amy said...

Valerie, thank you SO much for taking the time to write this post about sweet Lei. We always love knowing that the kids in our programs have people lifting them up and praying for them to find a forever family. That is always our greatest joy when we know a child who was orphaned has been chosen as someone's son or daughter! Thank you for believing in Lei and for helping her receive the surgery she needed. You have helped change her life forever!

Amy Eldridge

Tara Anderson said...

I've got tears, goosebumps, and a rejoicing heart!!! It is such a joy and a delight to be a part of these children's lives (even if it is just giving a "little bit") and I can only imagine your feelings in finding out that precious Lei has found her forever family!!! I can't wait until I get that news about Cora...and I keep praying that it comes soon!

TanyaLea said...

oh Valerie!! ~ somehow I just KNEW that was going to be the 'ending' to this post! :) Such GREAT news! I know your heart for that little girl, as you have shared her story with me before. She is just beautiful and I pray that her new mama and baba know the Lord, too! Thank you for sharing with us and thank you again for your heart for the orphans. You know I love ya for that!!! God has big blessings in store for you...I just can't wait to see Him pour them out in leaps and bounds for your faithfulness!

BIG HUGs!! :)

Marcy said...

I am new to LWB and Lei's update was one of the first I sent. To receive a note back from you touched me more than you can know....and then to read this....WOW! Thank you from the bottom of my heart for not only your prayerful donation but for keeping this precious angel in your heart all these months later. Thank you!
Marcy Dunaway

Girly Girl Mommy said...

Oh Valerie! The fingerprints of God are all over this. What a beautiful reminder to seek His guidance and ask Him for ways to use us as His hands and feet. There is no doubt that He intended you to play a vital part in sweet Lei's story, through your financial contribution, but far more powerfully through your dedicated prayer lifting this dear child up! How wonderful to be able to experience the joy of seeing prayer answered- her surgery and now notification of adoption. You have a wonderful heart and inspire me to keep praying and seeking to do the work He has spoken to my heart.

Shelly and Family said...

Truly a blessing from above!

Just reading this...brings me ack to my visit to Hope in Beijing...

So many little ones...needed so much of our help...

Thank you for posting this...

Shannon said...

Praise God Valerie!!!! Oh my goodness....ORPHAN NO MORE!!!!!!! You just blessed my morning! Thank you for being faithful in this little one's life and in posting. Thank you for your beautiful heart. I am learning more and more to listen to the Lord's voice. Isn't the result of listening and taking action so rewarding? He chose you to help be a part of her journey home!
I have been meaning to write because (no one else will understand this), we were at the doctor's office the other day and the kids were offered lollipops out of a bucket. Guess which one Georgia picked?...Ashlyn coconut!!!!! It made me smile and I wanted to pass it on to you :)

Gretchen said...

I am just in awe of you , my sweet friend! I love your heart! I know what your deep desire is, and I pray that with you too. You have been a blessing to so many children that you have prayed for and also for their Mommas. I am so glad that I have gotten to know you. You are such an amazing person.

The family

The family