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,
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
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