Way back in 2007 when we were working on our adoption paperwork, Lowell's sister and bro-in-law were doing the same thing over in Thailand (where they've lived since 2001). We were all so excited God had been leading both of our families to adopt and that our kids would have a Thai adopted cousin to share their experiences with. In 2008 when we were matched and preparing to travel, they got word that their file/adoption was 95% complete and they couldn't wait to bring home whatever little princess they were matched with - soon! They and their 2 boys (and the grandparents and aunts, uncles and cousins!), however, kept waiting and praying and waiting and praying... for over another year before they were FINALLY matched with an adorable little girl just before this last Thanksgiving. They thought they just might be able to bring her home before Christmas!!! They were so excited! (In case you're wondering, they are adopting directly through the Thai social system, so it's very different than our process was.)
Well, Christmas came and went. So did New Year's. And with every week, the anticipation and anguish and excitement and agony grew. Because they live less than an hour away from Bangkok, they were actually able to go visit their little princess at the orphanage where she has been so lovingly cared for. It was so good for them to get to go see her several times... but so SO hard to keep saying goodbye! After waiting for SO long, the wait just kept going and at times it felt like it would go on forever.
Friday morning a week ago we woke up to a message on our machine from Lowell's sister saying they were going to get to bring her home that day. HOME.
(Isn't she CUTE?????!!!!!)
I was SO HAPPY. Literally dancing with joy! After so long, to finally know she was going home... it was just too much joy and relief to bear quietly. : ) And it was the perfect way to start off my weekend. Just a few hours later I was on my way up the foothills to our church's 4th annual women's retreat where this year I was leading worship. I just couldn't wait to get up there and praise God for His faithfulness!!! I also couldn't wait to see how He was going to meet with us and speak to each of us there. Our theme was "Heart to Heart" and our theme verse was "Love never fails." One of the songs we were singing was "Here Is Love". These are the lyrics to the first stanza:
Here is love, vast as the ocean
Lovingkindness as the flood
When the Prince of Life, our ransom
Shed for us His precious blood
It's a beautiful old hymn that I was looking forward to teaching the ladies at the end of our session Friday night. As our speaker was talking, I was thinking back on the day and my joy about my niece finally going home with her family when it hit me. I love that little girl so much... and I have since I knew she was "ours." If she's on the other side of the ocean, then the love I have for her is "as vast as the ocean" even though I've never touched her and she's never heard my voice... And the love I have for her is NOTHING in comparison to the love that God has for each one of us.
God was also SO faithful to meet us last weekend. His Presence with us was at times breath-taking. He did stuff in our hearts that needed to be done. He wove our hearts together. He filled us with ridiculous joy. : ) And He reminded me of how much He loved me.
God told me this once... and if you listen, I believe He'll say it to you, too...
I love you wider than the ocean.
Deeper than the grandest canyon.
Higher than the stars that shine up in the sky.
And I love you as long as eternity!
There is no place in the depths where He can lose us. No place in the cosmos where He would not love us. No stretch of eternity when He has not loved us or will not love us. When He has not or will not love me.
Thank You Father, for Your love for me that is as vast as the ocean... I don't know what else to say. (Except that I love you back.)