Wednesday, October 19, 2011

An Ecuadorian/American Princess God Nod

Ever since I shared the God Nods, in memory of Chrissie’s 6th birthday, God has poured in the affirmations that He said what He said, He shared what He shared, and He will continue to link me with Chrissie via His God Nods.

My heart has been twinkling ever since I shared about the God Nods.  So many people have emailed me to share stories of how God used Chrissie to connect them with orphans, adoption, prayer, etc.  I cannot even begin to express my gratitude for all of these testimonies.  {I will try to share several of these stories over the next few weeks.  First one is posted below.}

One of the common things with losing a child is that the parents/family of the child in heaven WANTS to have people remember their child.  We want to talk about Chrissie, we want people to share stories and pictures of Chrissie, we want her life to be remembered.  All too often, people falsely believe that if they just avoid mentioning Chrissie, that will void us of the pain.  It’s the exact opposite, really.  The more people talk about Chrissie, the less pain we have.  I guess it’s a way of keeping her memory alive, knowing people still remember her, people still care about her, and people remember that sweet spirit and joyful personality that touched our hearts so deeply.

If you know someone who has lost a child, I encourage you to contact them and share with them a memory you have of their child and/or to let them know you’re praying for them.  Mention their child by name.  Mention something you loved about their child.  Mention how their child has affected your heart.  Mention the child.  Period.  It is a balm to hurting hearts to hear others talk about their child in heaven.  It really is. 

I am honored to share with you a testimony that was emailed to me on Chrissie’s 6th birthday.  Kaleigh, the author of the following testimony, is the oldest daughter in her family.  God used Chrissie to inspire Kaleigh to take a mission trip to Ecuador, where He introduced Kaleigh to two girls who are now in the process of being adopted by Kaleigh’s family.  My heart is singing with JOY, knowing God used Chrissie in this testimony, and I’m so very grateful that Kaleigh is allowing me to share the story with all of you.

The following testimony is written by Kaleigh:

Sometimes God gives you a story that you just can’t stop telling. Sometimes He does something so special that you want to shout about it from the roof tops and whisper it to yourself in the dark just so you can marvel over it.

I think Chrissie had a story like that.

Chrissie also is a huge part of other people’s stories like that.

Our family is a family of adoption. God gave us the great privilege of each being adopted into HIS family, and when my sister was adopted (the answer to so many of my prayers, having only brothers at the time) we all became passionate about the ministry of adoption!

Through the years though I forgot what an incredible privilege adoption was.

Late in 2009, I somehow stumbled on The Patterson’s blog. Their family was so beautiful, and I was interested in reading more about their lives. As I read, the Lord did something in my heart. He used Chrissie to put a fire back in my heart for orphans. Each picture with her huge dimpled smile and big deep eyes and each funny or sweet story taught me something I can’t explain. Chrissie’s battle and Bossing her heart, and finally her Gotcha Day in Heaven was used mightily, yet quietly by God to give me a passion.

If not for Chrissie, her story and the renewed passion for orphans SHE gave me, I don’t think I ever would have traveled to an orphanage in Ecuador, South America (the same orphanage my sister was adopted from 8 years previous), to love on His children. If not for Chrissie I KNOW I never would have listened to God’s spirit telling me I was there to find the sibling God had for my family.

I did not seek any child out. God just very, very clearly put one particular 5 year old little girl on my path. This little girl caught my attention the very first day with her sass, spunk and ATTITUDE. She had a way of getting you to do whatever she wanted. Smile
In my first email home to my family about her (before God even confirmed that she was “the one”) this is what I told Mom. “I met the Ecuadorian version of Chrissie today.”

Would you believe that God put all that together and at the time I didn’t even realize that Chrissie had been the one to change my heart and make me GO to Ecuador in the first place?!?!

On top of that, the very same day I met my Ecuadorian sister, I also saw this beautiful rainbow. I kinda think it was significant. Whatcha think??
(Note from Lorraine:  The rainbow is very faint in this photo, but I’m amazed that Kaleigh has a photo of it.  She didn’t realize the significance of this rainbow at the time, but God allowed her to capture a glimpse of what would later be revealed as a God Nod!)
Over the next few days I fell head over heels in love and I came home ready to launch my campaign for her adoption.

God continued to teach me volumes through Chrissie and through my Ecuadorian “Chrissie”.

After a few months my parents KNEW God was calling them to adopt her. Even then there were SO many things in the way. We had to believe and wait and trust for over 8 months with no hope that we could ever adopt her.

And just when we thought it was over, that the answer to our cries for miracles was no, God showed up.

On August 13th 2011 we found out we COULD adopt her. It was the best day-late birthday present I’d EVER gotten!

Her name means God is My Judge. Her story is heartbreaking in places, redemptive in some and miraculous in all. I cannot wait for the day when I can write a book that tells it all and proclaims her song of victory and joy.

Through other special “God stops” (Hey Samantha Smile) that happened during our months of waiting, my entire family knew that another girl, “L”, was to be a part of our family too. She is a precious angel who has actually cried many times over her wish for a family.
There is oh so much more to the story, mine, hers and our family’s. Chrissie’s part is just one incredible chapter. But it is a chapter I feel so incredibly privileged to be a part of.

My parents cannot wait to bring their two new daughters home. Through our “Ecuadorian Chrissie”, they have felt God calling them to a stronger love for the orphan and a passion to bring hope and healing to as many as they can. One of their dreams is to turn our home and property into a little piece of heaven on earth and use it to minister to the orphans God calls us to.

For now though, we are taking that first step and working towards bringing D. and L. home!

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