|Today, one year ago, Eli walked into a sterile room scared to death. As he cried, not knowing what was happening, I cried too, sensing his fear as well as feeling the joy that our long awaited journey to him was ending and a new one was beginning. I wanted to scoop him up in my arms and let him know that he was going to be ok and he was safe and had been loved ever since the first day that I had laid eyes on his photo. |
Today is our "Gotcha Day". I know some people totally dislike that word but I look at it as a special simple phrase signifying a great happening.
I found a treasure one day back in November of 2004 when his picture popped up on my computer screen.
He stole my heart. But according to China policies we were too large of a family to be eligible to adopt him. We were waiting for Vietnam to open up. Duane and I prayed for him and 2 weeks later, he had found a family. I secretly still kept his picture and would pop it up to look at and pray for him. We continued to wait on Vietnam. Three months later, an email from our agency arrived stating Dang Ji Min was back up on the list and the other family had decided they could not take him due to his medical condition. We prayed again for him to find a family. A few weeks later, our agency sent out another email stating that China had changed a policy allowing special needs kids to be adopted by large families, if they met certain criteria. Of course, I was elated and ran to tell Duane. He quickly bursts my bubble by telling me that we had no money and cannot afford an adoption right now. So I dug deeper for my treasure and prayed.
A couple of weeks later, we received an email again from our agency saying that Dang Ji Min's fees have been drastically reduced in order for them to find a family for him. This is his last chance at a family before China removes him from the "adoptable list" for good.
I shouted a gleeful Yes! and ran to find Duane. He didn't say much, which means he is thinking about it. I dug deeper for my treasure. I prayed.
Now it was almost Mother's Day 2005 by this time and we were sitting in our sunroom and my husband casually asked me, "So, What do you want for Mother's Day?" I replied, "Oh nothing, I have everything." THEN A LIGHT BULB COMES ON!, I got this awesome thought and idea! I started making this excited noise like oh,oh,oh! and he was looking at me weird. "I know what I WANT!" What? He asked, looking intrigued. "A LITTLE BOY FROM CHINA!!!!!!!" He knows exactly what that means! As I stood there, looking at him, waiting for an answer, I noticed that HE DID NOT ROLL HIS EYES! (This was a good sign) Then he said, ok, check into it!!!!!!
I dug for my treasure a little deeper. I contacted the agency and started the paperwork process the next day!
We ran into obstacle after obstacle with paperwork on the US side and once even thought the US would not approve us to adopt. We ran into many other obstacles with the adoption as well, making us very weary. We had to dig in and get creative to raise the funds needed. But through each obstacle and storm we dug deeper for our treasure. We watched God perform miracles as we prayed, sometimes cried and clawed our way through the dirt. I knew that treasure was ours.
Finally, a day late leaving on Dec. 31, 2006, we set out on the last leg of our journey as we boarded a plane to Ancient China to claim our treasure.
After a few days in Beijing we headed to Taiyuan and on January 4, 2007, we loaded into our taxi and took the short drive to a large government building that loomed up into the cold smog. We took the old elevator up to the second floor, and as we entered that bleak, gray room with large dirty windows, my heart leaped within me as I laid eyes on my treasure!
It was all I could do to shout to the world, I've gotcha! I've gotcha! Your mine!!!
That day my treasure found a new life and his named was changed from Dang Ji Min, meaning, "Lucky property of the communist people" to Eli Chapman Zhao Kai Carter, meaning, "The Lord is my God and Morning Song of Triumph".
How God has already proved his name to be true!
"The Kingdom of Heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field." Matt.13:44