"What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son but gave Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him graciously give us all things?" (Romans 8:31-32)
We have such a great God who will supply all we need as we follow Him in obedience. We are so dependent on Him as we step forward with Elsa.
Cindy met us this morning and Mr. Fu drove us all to the Civil Affairs office in Nanning City. There we waited nervously for Elsa to arrive with the orphanage director. Let's just say that she was not all hugs and kisses. In her defense, she is grieving for her foster family. We will have patience to wait for her to turn to us. We held her, tried to coax her with toys, food, and stuffed animals. In her bag that they brought with her was the well used photo album we had sent in August. She knows us in photos, but the real thing is going to take a little more time. We were able to take her adoption photo in a moment without tears and then went outside to a small park. Annika tried to entertain her by playing on some of the equipment. She only wanted 'Baba' (Daddy) to hold her. It was so cute. Cindy was so helpful to remind us that it is a good thing that she grieves. She has loved deeply and has attached to her foster family, so we wait and pray for the time when she will transfer that love to her forever family.
As the day progressed, Elsa needed to be entertained in order to remain content. This meant that we walked the block, shopped at the mall down the street, and encountered many stares. That's ok. In the midst of the day, God sent two special families to encourage us. We met Patty and her kids in Walmart. While her husband teaches English at the local university, Patty is home with their three kids. Noah helped us find things around the store. We hope to connect with them in the coming days. The second family we met while walking in the mall. They are Americans living and working in Shanghai with two adopted daughters from Nanning. They encouraged us that their youngest was two when she was adopted and that the transition was not always easy. God has definitely watched over us today and we are so grateful for that.
We can feel the prayers of so many family and friends as we go through today. We knew this wouldn't be easy. Our hearts break for her and we wish there was something we could do to let her know we love her so completely. As we hit the pillow tonight, we are thankful for how far God has brought us and looking forward to how He will continue to answer our prayers.
On our way to the Civil Affairs office.
Getting to know each other.
First semi-family picture!
Making it official.
Annika is a big sister!
Daddy with the little girls!
He's a great Dad.