a little and a lot

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Star of Wonder

Throughout our adoption process with Brooklyn (all 8 weeks of it so far!), we've experienced so many instances in which we could say "only God."  Now looking back, I am seeing even more ways God made a way for us to pursue Brooklyn.  I'm hoping to share as many as I can remember here, as a testimony to the power of God and for my own memory's sake.

But first, I have to start with Facebook.  Ohhhhh, Facebook.

I was late to the game, having graduated college before FB was sweeping the collegiate nation.  I remember hearing about the concept one evening when I was hanging out with a younger friend, and I thought it was the dumbest idea ever.  You just make friends with your friends?  And then you poke them?  And yet, shortly before Facebook opened its gates to the general public, I weaseled my way in with my old Auburn email address.  It was the summer of 2006, and I was already married, thus missing out on the thrill of changing my relationship statuses.  Those were good times, with statuses like "Jesse is wearing a scarf today, even if everyone else thinks it's silly" and photo albums for every month...

Ah, the dawn of social networking.

But Facebook lost its luster along the years for me.  Shortly before Rhet came home, I remember feeling really sensitive to what I was going to put "out there" about my child.  I felt a new desire for privacy.  I didn't love reading all of the judge-y rants or knowing everyone and their Great-Aunt Sue was weighing my own words with a critical eye.  (And I hated myself for doing the same.)  Over the past several years, I used FB mostly as the tool to keep up with my long-distance friends' happenings.  I had even deleted the app from my phone this year, finding that I was happier to spend my time elsewhere.

Please don't read that has a "high and mighty" state of being.  I just feel it's important to start there with what happens next...

On the evening of Sunday, October 12th, our family had just gotten home to Memphis from a roadtrip.  We had unpacked, had a quick dinner, and I was finally laid out and catching up on Facebook within the browser of my phone.  And I saw her face.

That face.  It gripped me.  And I immediately passed the phone over to Nick.  I can't remember his exact reaction, but it was probably a light-hearted eye roll or a snarky comment to make me giggle.

Brooklyn's picture and a short plea for a family had been posted on a waiting child advocacy page by the adoption agency social worker that day.  And a close friend of mine had shared the link.  There were 90 likes and 103 comments on the original picture.

Something in me needed to know more.  I emailed the social worker that night asking for more information on the little girl they were calling "Brooke."

The rest, as your mostly know, is history.  There were other things happening during this time period, but I'm sticking with the Facebook-centric stories for this post, so we'll fast forward to the night we asked God for a clear answer that we needed to say yes to Brooke.  I shared a little bit about that in this post, but just to remind you, the answer we received came via a (then) stranger's personal message sent to me on Facebook.

We've befriended a couple strangers over Facebook through that first personal message, and they have become not only dear friends but part of Brooklyn's larger family in the way we regard them.  I can't wait to share more about them in another post!

The day we announced on the waiting child advocacy page that Brooke had found a family and the family was ours, we had something like 90 likes within 10 minutes.  (The post ended up receiving 293 total likes!)  I'm not sharing that to highlight the the popularity, but to show the way this little girl of us just grips people.  When you see her picture, you keep looking.  You want to know more.  This interest on Facebook, in my opinion, has brought many people to their knees in prayer for her.  And it is these prayers that have influenced the hand of God in her paperwork and our process.

Shortly into the process, a friend added me to a group of a small number of families completing medical expedited adoptions in China.  This group has been like GOLD, helping me learn the fastest way to complete the paperwork for our medically fragile child.

Last week, we started on online fundraising campaign.  We were asking for $22,000 to cover travel expenses and fees for the rest of our adoption process with Brooklyn.  It was a very large amount to try to raise.  And it was during the holidays.  But we had been given the hope that if things continued on the trajectory they were on, we could be traveling to bring our girl home in January, so something needed to be done.  3 days.  THREE DAYS.  The news went out over Facebook, over this blog, over a few personal emails.  And the amount was raised in three days.  By family, by friends, by strangers.  We were amazed but not surprised.

And here is what I'm left thinking about Facebook: of all vehicles, of all platforms, of all ways that God could bring us to this little girl...it was this one.  And it has been how He has spurred on prayer and given wisdom and brought provision.  All through this social network that I had very recently pretty much despised.

He does that.  He can take our avenues of common culture and lead people to Himself.

Many years ago, three wise men were studying the stars.  As in, I'm guessing, astrology.  And what did God send?  A star.  The brightest one.  And it led them to worship.  


Adopting Rhet: Click on the timeline above to read more