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.)