Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Many people have asked, “Why are you adopting from China?”.  The only honest answer is that God put that dream in my heart more than 10 years ago.  We were living in Las Vegas at the time.  I don’t know where the dream came from.  We didn’t know anyone who had adopted from China.  It was even before we knew Steven Curtis Chapman had adopted.  Somehow.  Someway.  A small, burning coal was placed deep in my heart that this was something I needed to do.

I’m reminded of the passage in Acts 2:16-18 (New International Version)
No, this is what was spoken by the prophet Joel: 

" 'In the last days, God says, 

   I will pour out my Spirit on all people. 

     Your sons and daughters will prophesy, 

      your young men will see visions, 
      your old men will dream dreams.
A dream like this is an outpouring of the Spirit which guides God’s people to accomplish His purpose in the world.  It’s not a wish.  It’s not a fantasy.  It is always impossible on your own.  It always points people to give glory to God.

I was at a Worship Conference five years ago and had a profound experience in worship; a powerful impression that I had a daughter in China.  Not just any daughter.  Not just a random person some governmental agency would pull from a file.  But one specific girl ~ as if McKenna, my own flesh and blood ~ my daughter, were stuck in China and she were waiting on me to find a way to get her home.  It truly was a confirmation of this dream and a strong motivator to keep moving forward.

As a middle-aged man of 46, I’ve lived long enough to experience that there are a few moments in life that seem more real than others.  All of life is real, but every once in awhile, at certain times, you sense a gravity of time; a fully present moment.   They are marked by fuller understanding of consequences of your choices.  You feel the heaviness of the risk that is at stake.  You taste the powerful potential that lies in wait if you take the next step.

I have experienced time like that when I was eight-years-old and knew I needed to surrender my life to Christ.  I knew it on my wedding day as I watched the love of my life beautifully walk down that aisle.  I experienced it driving Tracy home from the hospital with my first-born locked safely in the back seat ~ my knuckles nervously gripping the wheel like I was taking my driving test all over again. 

I felt it again last Monday.  We had just gotten back to the hotel in Nanning with Jingshu.  There was incredible euphoria that she was finally with us and the amazing relief that she wasn’t overwhelmed with fear; but seemed playful and curious.  The initial hours had passed.  I was laying on the bed and had that feeling again.

This was one of the most real moments of my life.  Nothing could be bigger stakes than this.  Taking this little precious life.  Changing its course forever.  Changing our life forever. 

A few days later we were driving to Liuzhou City to visit Jingshu’s hometown.  With her in the van, changing the clothes on her doll for the hundredth time this hour, I looked at her.  Looked out the window with Alison Krauss in my headphones.  And cried.

Do you know what it’s like to touch your dream?  To hold it in your hands?  To hear it call your new name?  Those chances don’t come along every day. 

Some dreams come and we celebrate their completion.  A certain job or accomplishment.  A level of influence or appreciation.  And when it comes, we’re glad.

But then there are dreams, that when they come, are just beginning.  This one calls me Ba Ba.  This dream has to sleep with a foot or a hand touching me no matter which way she flips and sleeps across the bed.  This one, despite being fearless and strong, plays her sympathy card and “needs” me to kiss her every minor bump. 

This dream is finally… real.


Jean said...

Wow- What a beautiful post! I know exactly what you mean- the Lord has spoken to me and moved my heart in such a way- that we too have journeyed to China for our daughters!

We have loved meeting your beautiful family in China!!

Praising HIM!!
Jean and Family

Stephanie said...


Anonymous said...

We're so anxious to meet your dream girl!

Kristin (and all the Arnolds)