When I found out I was pregnant with Isaac, we told our parents by giving them copies of our 'family tree.' For Ricky's parents, his mom and dad were at the top of the tree and lines were drawn to Ricky and his brother Lance and a line from Ricky to me and then a line was drawn from Ricky and me to a box that read 'Baby Simpson, due October 2009'. A similar tree was drawn for my family. When I found out I was pregnant with Emma, I made Isaac a T-shirt with a family tree drawn on the front. The branches at the top said 'Dad' and 'Mom' with our birthdates and the branches underneath read 'Isaac' and his birthdate and 'Baby' due April 2011. We then let Isaac walk around our parents' houses until they realized what the shirt said and then celebrated our baby, who we would later learn to be our sweet Emma Grace.
As we began putting together our China Dossier (all the paperwork we need to send to China for their approval), we were told to put a picture of our family in the packet. So, in keeping with our 'family tree' theme, we had a picture taken in our front yard in front of our 'family tree'. Each of us are holding a small branch that represents our 'little one in China' (this is what we call our child in our prayers). The moment this precious child is finally placed in our arms and the paperwork is completed, the child will be a branch on our family tree, just as Isaac and Emma are branches, forever adopted into our family! It is hard to wait for that moment.
Yesterday I looked up all the references in the Bible to the 'orphan' or the 'fatherless' and was so encouraged by God's heart for our child and the orphans of the world. Deuteronomy 10:18 especially struck me. It says in part, 'He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow...' God is defending our child. I decided to look up 'defend' in the dictionary and it says 'to drive danger or attack away from' and this is what He is doing for our child. He is there, even when we can't yet be there. And in that truth there is much hope and thankfulness as we wait.
Dear Little One in China, God is defending you. He is with you. We are asking Him to hold you, today and forevermore. We love you and are so grateful to look forward to the day when your branch is officially grafted onto our family tree!
An update on our progress: After speaking to our caseworker last week, she told me she is almost finished writing up our home study and it should be officially completed in early May, just in time for Mother's Day! What a great gift to this mama! We are already putting together our China Dossier and will begin our immigration paperwork once our home study is complete. Prayers in the process are appreciated!