November 29, 2010

Show Hope: part 2

(yes, I took photos of myself in the bathroom of the concert venue. no, there wasn't anyone else in there. yes, I was nervous someone would walk in at any minute. yes, I'm glad I have the photos to remind myself of that amazing evening.)

One of the best parts about volunteering for Show Hope is meeting the other fantastic people that share in the wonder of this organization. Families who love Jesus and enjoy SCC's music and get behind the miracle of adoption. Sponsors who love to help wherever they can. Families who have received grants from SH to bring home their dear ones from around the globe.

During the evening we have down time while the concert is going on and the lobby is empty to chat and get to know each other. Usually this type of thing would be paralyzing to me. I hate small talk. I'm terrible at it. But this night, I was a blessing. Hearing stories of hope and adoption. Oh, my...

That night I was volunteering, there was a family there that was made up of mom, dad, teenage daughter and 8 year old daughter adopted from China. ( of my very favorite things about SCC concerts is seeing the many families with little Asian girls now placed as dearly loved daughters/sisters in their mix. It makes my eyes well up with tears every...single...time.) During one of our down times, I was able to chat with dad. I asked him how he became connected to Show Hope, and I got to hear his family's story.

Mom in the family began praying about adoption. Dad wasn't on board yet. But she kept praying and talking to him about it. They went to an open meeting with an adoption agency. When they were driving home from the meeting, dad looked at mom and said that if they were to adopt, he knew it had to be from China. Mom had complete agreement. And that began their paper chase and 3 years of waiting for their daughter in China. They received a grant from Show Hope to help pay for the adoption.

Dad says that waiting those three years was so, so hard. But the moment that their little A was placed in their arms, it all disappeared. It melted away, he said. Dad also said that they just had a 3 year reunion with their travel group (many families meet other families who are adopting at the same time in China) and I will never forget that he said he was blown away at how different these girls were 3 years later. When these girls were placed in their arms, they were scared and hopeless and sad. Deep sadness. Now, they are changed children. They laugh. They have hope. They run and play and have a secure place in their families. It was noticeable on their very faces. They looked different.

It was a great chat. And little A was just so sweet. I got to talk to her for a while. I could see the love she had for her family and the love they had for her. Deep abiding, forever love. Hope-filled love. She was a happy 8 year old girl just like any other kid at that concert.

Dad asked me how I got involved with Show Hope and I told him my story. I have always wanted to adopt, but it isn't possible in my life right now. Instead, I sponsor Show Hope so other families can adopt and bring little ones home forever. I love it! It brings my heart eternal, abundant joy. He said, "that's great! Thanks. We were able to adopt because of a grant."

At the end of the evening, we were packing up the table and sponsor packets and saying our goodbyes. We thanked Julia for allowing us to help, and she ran off to catch the tour bus. As I was about to turn to go, dad turned to me and grabbed my hand in a strong, firm shake and looked deep in my eyes and said (I'm going to paraphrase because I can't remember the exact words), "thank you for what you gave. I have my family, my little girl, now because of you. Thank you."

Can I just tell you....I got out of that place as fast as I could because I burst into tears and sobbed the 1 hour trip back home. I cried when I told my small group the story last week. I'm crying now. There are few times in life, friends, where we get to see the impact that our small lives and the things we do in them have in this world. $35 little dollar a month. It's nothing, really, to me. It's eating out a few times a month. It's a trip to Target. But combined with other sponsors, it is a little girl's welcome into a loving family. It is HOPE. It is life. It is the possibility of an orphan hearing Jesus' love whispered to them in love. These dear, sweet children abandoned and told they are worthless are loved and part of a family forever and told they are valued and precious. Sweet treasures of heaven here on earth.

I thanked God (and continue to) over and over and over for that moment. I didn't have to have it. I would have still supported SH. But now, each month, I will think of the face of that little girl, a happy, dear, sweet treasure now home, forever and loved. The Lord was so gracious to let me peek behind the veil of the eternal, to see what really matters in life and to receive a "thank you" on earth. I will never, ever forget that moment. I will forever be grateful for it.

You can find out more about being a sponsor for Show Hope here.

You can make a one time donation here.

You can see what Jesus says about orphans here.

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