Aug 24, 2011

A Full Heart

Many of you who have followed our blog know that there is a precious little girl at the foster home in China who will always hold a special place in my heart.

Her name is Cora.

We didn't really name our Cora after her; in fact, in a strange way, it's probably her name that drew me to her.  When there are 50 children, it's hard to feel connected with each and every one of them... so when a fellow volunteer chose my favorite little girl name for the new baby with a serious heart condition, I immediately felt drawn to her.

And the connection grew... it was no secret that she was my "favorite" among the staff, nannies, even her home orphanage officials.  Of course I treated all the children equally, and I truly do love each and every one of them, but Cora held a very special place in my heart.  In fact, my parting gift from NDFH was a framed picture of Cora and me together.


I dreamed up ways to adopt her.  Jacob and I aren't yet 30, but I knew the right people who could pull the right strings, and I wondered if maybe I could make her "mine" forever.  But I never really had a peace to try and pull those strings.  I'm no stranger to "working the system," but in this instance I had a very strong sense that I needed to sit back and wait.  To be still and to let God do what He would do.  (I did struggle with doubt; wondering if this was actually cowardice in disguise.  But it seemed so settled in my soul, I could do nothing but be still.)

Naming our daughter Cora was actually quite complicated.  I still harbored hope in the days leading up to her birth that the other Cora would someday be ours; after all she wasn't yet matched and we were only two years away from adoption eligibility.  And I would often ask Jacob, "Whose name would we change?"  But the morning the doctor said, "It's a girl!" and asked me what her name would be, Cora Eve slipped out.  And in my heart I knew.  I'd always love the other Cora, but I needed to let her go.  I had to surrender her.

My two Coras.

And we left China a month later... I hugged her long and hard, wondering if we'd ever hear about where she ended up.  I prayed she would find a family soon -- after all, I never wanted her to still be an orphan by the time we were officially eligible to adopt her.  But part of me was so sad thinking about the fact that I'd probably never know what happened.

A few months later, I got word that she was matched... but I had no idea to whom.  I thought that if it were someone who knew of my love for her, they'd tell me -- so I just assumed she was going somewhere I'd never know.  It made my heart ache a little, but I was so thankful she had a family.

A few weeks later I got an email from a good friend of mine in Dallas... her cryptic message hinted none too subtly that her family was pursuing Cora's adoption.  I seriously screamed when I read her note.  And yesterday it was made official; they received PA to bring her home.  My little China Cora isn't going somewhere I don't know; she's going to remain in my life.  She's coming home to a mama who has loved her as long as I have, and she's going to remain Cora... the name that fits her oh so well isn't changing.

She's coming home, and my heart is so full at the goodness of God.  How great He is for working all of this out -- without me conniving, manipulating, striving, or trying to work the system in any way at all.  I am reminded yet again that when I cease striving and be still before Him, He always gives good gifts.  (Well, I don't think His giving of good gifts is contingent on us being still; but wow!  It's so much more amazing and This-Is-Holy-Ground-Aware when we've done nothing on our own accord.)

11 comments:

Tara Anderson said...

Well...you've done it! I'm sitting here crying like a baby!!! I just still can't believe that God has worked this all out the way that he has! And I'm so thankful that you'll always get to be MY Cora's "Auntie Carrie". I love you!

Laine said...

So sweet, Carrie! I love how God has now connected your two families forever through one little tiny mite named Cora! Precious!

And yes ma'am, when we have done nothing to manipulate events, it is even more holy ground, I totally know what you mean by that. I experienced that with Keith...waiting for months while his file sat at a different agency...wondering if anyone would adopt him. We could've requested that his file be sent to our agency. But we waited. And no one stepped up to adopt him, and his file went on the shared list...and it was time for us to make our move and we know that God saved him for us!

And then with Krisha...having no idea who God would give us...making no move to request any particular child at all...and then He gave us a sister for Keith and in His awesome, only God way, He made Keith's sister be at New Day with him.

I mean while we're walking day to day life, we just pray and follow His lead, not knowing what the outcome will be..just trusting Him...and then sometimes He allows us to see the outcome...and He is glorified through the surprises.
He is incredible, is He not?

I never cease to be amazed at how He works...and I'm so thankful He allows us to be part of His plans! Even when we don't realize what part we will play!

TanyaLea said...

Oh how I love and treasure this story. Not only did I have the privilege of praying alongside of Tara and gently 'nudging' her along at times, but to know that there was truly NOTHING that ANY of us can do or could have done to 'manipulate' the events or God's path. When He closes a door, there is nothing we can do to open it. And likewise, when He opens a door, it is not up to us to close it, but to walk obediently along the path He has lit before us. I love EVERY.SINGLE.DETAIL of this amazing story and the "Tale of 2 Cora's" Only God... ONLY God!! <><

It makes my heart smile BIG time just thinking of your two Cora's growing up knowing and playing with one another. Two little girls, both fearfully and wonderfuly made, both born in China, and both growing up in the big ol' state of Texas... again, ONLY God!! :)

And Laine's story... just another example of God's amazing nature and how He is always in control and how His Glory shines through even more when we allow our {stubborn} selves to relinquish control. This is something I am STILL learning to do. To trust in Him and His timing when I'd rather pursue a particular child or take the rains and lead in my own timing. But both Laine's and Tara's stories (amongst others!) are just grand examples of how it's best to put our faith in God and rest in Him while He does the rest! He is FAITHFUL!! <><

Blessings & Hugs,
~ Tanya

Anneli Johnson said...

Don't even have words to describe what I'm feeling right now. God is so good is all I can say. I know how much she meant to you and I'm so excited that you will remain a part of her life. I don't know why I'm even surprised in the ways the Lord works becuase He truly knows what He is doing in everything! Congrats to Tara and her family as well. They are truly adding a little blessing to their lives.

Blessings,
Anneli

Valerie and Jeff said...

Oh Carrie! So happy that God has blessed both of your families with Coras--and especially the Cora who was planted in both of your hearts while at ND. I love this story SO much--I cannot wait to hear it bloom further in time.
Hugs to ALL of you!!

Jennifer said...

Oh my gracious. We serve an awesome God, huh? You will always have her in your life, always. :)

Sharie said...

Awesome!

Amber Parker said...

That is exciting news Carrie. I am glad she has found a home and so close to you. How wonderful!

Sally said...

Wow. Awesome. Thanks for sharing. So happy for Cora, her adoptive family, you, everyone.

Kim said...

Oh how this story fills me with hope. Simply incredible. God is indeed still in the miracle business!

Jenna said...

Oh, I didn't fully realize THIS part of the story. It give me CHILLS to think that Miss Cora will know by the testimony of her mom and of Auntie Carrie of how God SO LOVED her and moved mountains to place her in exactly the family He prepared for her!!!

I'm in tears.....again.

AND....she's semi-close to you too, huh? YAY!!!! That's all God!!!! (Maybe now you see a small piece of why God kept you in Texas? )

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