Today while I was frantically digging for a gift I'd bought for a friend, I found a journal of mine. I thought it was empty but flipped it open and found one entry. I started to read and was moved. I want to make sure it is "saved" for Ellie, so I'm putting it here.
July 21, 2005
One day you will wonder about yourself -- about your "beginning". I did when I was little. One day you will want to know "your story." I'm not a diligent woman, so I'll likely start your story and lay this book somewhere unfinished [touche', eh?]. But.... I hope what I can capture here will be enough.
Your dad and I and Joshua -- especially Joshua -- wanted another baby in our family. We knew that without you we were still incomplete. We began to think about and read about adoption. We began to pray to see if this was what God wanted for our lives.
When we heard about our youth minister's adoption process through Bethany Christian, we decided to call them for an appointment. We really like the lady we met with -- Tammy Delle -- and decided then, in August 2004 to start the process to get you!
We didn't know where you would come from or if you would be a boy or a girl. We didn't know when you would come to our family to be our forever child, but God knew. And because we believe in God, we knew you would come.
We had doctor's appointments, background checks, reference letters and so much paperwork to fill out before we could begin to wait for your "tummy mommy" to find us. We prayed for you and your tummy mommy all the time.
We made a picture book of all the things we like to do and of all the family and friends who were waiting for you. We hoped your tummy mommy would see them and know how much we wanted you and how much we all would love you and have so much fun with you.
And, so now, we are waiting for you. I don't know if you are in your tummy mommy's tummy yet or if you are still in heaven waiting for God to tell you it's time to get ready to come to our family or if you are already born.
But we are getting ready for you. We went a few days ago, Josh and I, to TJ Maxx and Josh picked out some blankets, washcloths and bibs for you. We talk about you almost every day and people we know and love ask about you.
You are going to be so loved. We are lucky to have so many friends and family who are so excited about you. I can't wait until they get to meet you. Well, more than that, I can't wait until we get to meet you!
I talked with my friend Betsy today about what we might name you. We don't know yet if you will be a boy or a girl, and we don't care. We've talked about Charles something if you are a boy so that you could be named after your dad and grandfather. Joshua wants to name you Drake after the TV show he likes -- Drake and Josh! I once said I'd name you Caleb -- after the two great men/leaders in the Bible: Joshua and Caleb, who fought in the battle of Jericho.
If you are a girl, I like the name Jillian. I also like Elizabeth because that was my given middle name. It's also your Nana's middle name. I think Lizzie or Eliza would be a sweet name. Your nana and great grandmother are named Mary, and of course, my name is Maria, so I though of "Mari" something. Other girl names I like so far are Sophia, Julia and McKenzie.
So, we don't know yet. There's a chance your tummy mommy might have a name that's important to her as well. We'll know when it's time what your name will be -- and it will suit you well.
So, for now, little one, we close -- waiting. Waiting for God to write more of the story of you and how you came to be a part of our family -- forever!
August 2004 - October 2009 -- Five very, very long years, and yet the one line that stands out to me the most in this entire journal post: And because we believe in God, we knew you would come. Life certainly took us on a road trip that we never signed up for to get to Ellie, but God knew. God knew it would be five long years and would involve waiting domestically, having a failed domestic placement, waiting on the slow boat to China, trying to switch to both Taiwan and Vietnam, only to have those options close to us and then ending up in Kyrgyzstan where our dark eyed beauty would be born. And through it all -- the darkest hours of waiting and wondering -- that line was always true "and because we believe in God, we knew you would come." God always makes good on His promises -- even when the road to them sometimes seems like it's going the wrong way. This was beautiful to me, some five and a half years later, after having Ellie home.