This was Alli a few months after coming home.Last year at this time, we were minding our own business and had no idea that God was going to intervene in our family once again and change it forever. Last year at this time, the little girl we had been told about the October before, was fading from our memories, other than to pray for her now and then. We had been told the opportunity was not there, and all was over.
And then, On March 1st we got a call. "Do you remember the little girl we talked about last October?"
"Are you still interested?"
"We were never NOT interested. Why?"
"You need to be in NC tomorrow! ASAP. "
I was in shock. We were doing our school work on a non eventful day, and suddenly, our entire lives were turned upside down!
"WOW! TOMORROW?" "Don't we have time to drive?"
"No, you will need to fly."
And thus began our Journey into adoption for our 4th Noelle; Miss Alli. :)
Suddenly we were given details and information that we didn't know all about before. I was packing, looking for airline tickets, talking to excited girlies, planning for meals, and schooling, and transportation.... all at one time.
And before I knew it, I was off on a great adventure ALL ALONE! We couldn't do it any other way.
It was exciting and scary! I was going to a place I had never been, renting a car, driving to a mysterious office and then, by that evening, meeting our daughter for the very first time.
In my mind, I was wondering, "What will she do? How will she react? What makes me think I can parent her? Is this really happening? What if she won't come with me?"
As I rented the car, I was shaking, LITERALLY SHAKING! And then, when I turned on the vehicle, the radio was already on, and already set to a station.
I started to drive and over the radio came on "It is well with my soul" and another song about Peace.... and then a sermonette on Peace and trusting the Lord. And that is when I knew that I knew that I KNEW, we were going to be ok. The Lord was with me. With us. And even though we knew we had a huge road ahead of us, and that it would not be easy, it was the path that the Lord has chosen for us to travel down. There is a security and peace that comes in the midst of a storm, when you know the Lord is holding you. Literally HOLDING you. :)
As we pulled up into the Walmart Parking Lot, we couldn't see the car we were looking for. The attorney called the couple, and they explained that we were at the wrong Walmart. The attorney continued driving another 15 minutes until we got to the right one. And there, we pulled into the garden section of the parking lot.
How strange to pick up a child in a parking lot. :(
I asked them if they would join us for dinner and they said no. I understand, I guess. I wasn't thinking about them really, but about Alli's transition and how it might make things a little less blunt to sit together and then at least have some conversation first. But no.... they started putting her bags into the back of the car, and then, it was done. There was a quick goodbye and we drove away.
I cannot imagine being Alli. I still shudder at how she must have felt. How VULNERABLE children are! I asked the attorney to stop so I could get into the back seat. I climbed into the back and began to talk with Alli, asking her what she liked. I asked her if I could rub her back, she was tense, and she said yes. I reassured her that I would keep her safe. She had no reason to believe me. I reassured her anyway.
Those 2 weeks in the hotel were invaluable! We had a lot of time to talk and get to know each other, without the distractions of normal family life. She knew we were going to face that soon enough, and for HER, it had never been good..... only heartbreaking.
to be continued......