|Izabella Referral Picture Pre-surgery (China-14 months old)|
|Izabella July 2010 (Home 8 months)|
I think there are a lot of things that formed this precious child's love of life, resiliency, joy, inner strength, compassion and all the beautiful things that we're still learning about her. Her birth parents clearly were a huge part of her-not just by giving birth, but by lovingly giving their precious daughter, life the only way they could, by sacrificing a life with her, to save her life--a love that is truly un-matched by any other in her life. The caretakers and her homeland China, that held her and loved her, provided her the surgery she so desperately needed and held her hand and brushed her hair with their caring fingers as she recovered and her heart healed and pumped new life into her little body. Finally--her forever family, that has only begun to be a part of this amazing life. Her birth-parents had the privilege of holding her for 10 months, China's caring hands held her for 18 months, and we have had her in our arms for the smallest amount of time, 8 months. BUT--God has had her the palm of His hand for her entire life--and I think He is the biggest influence of all. I do not believe He planned her life to be this way--but I do believe He was with her every step of the way! Thank-God she was not "alone"!
These thoughts are prompted by Izabella's very succinct and recurring prayer, "God. Thank you Home." I always say after her prayer, "Yes indeed. Thank-you God Izabella is Home." I can only imagine what He whispered to her in her darkest hours. No matter what they were, I am grateful, so very grateful.
Today, Izabella is still very independent and loves to play alone--even in a crowded playground. Others come to her--as she just does her thing. She's so content and at peace with it that way. She loves to interact with people, but she doesn't have to be constantly entertained. She is just plain happy and content with life--in it's simpliest way. I look at her and think how amazing it is she's not constantly whining--"Mommy! Read to me. Mommy, Take me for a Walk! Mommy take me Swimming! Mommy, play with me!" She just does her thing and goes with the flow and is very happy doing it. When it is time to do something or go somewhere she's engaged 100% and loves it just the same. Even in times when I am stressed and overwelmed with life--she is still running on "happy", doing ok and right there to sooth my stress and calm my fears with a sweet kiss, or touch of her hand. No hiding anything from this sweet sensitive girl. Surely, God is whispering still--and she's listening very carefully.
I'll end this post with an article I linked through to on one of my new favorite blogs "Life of a Pilgrim". She is an american, living and working with children in China, which in itself to me is a point of view I am very interested in seeing. But she is very articulate, an amazing writer and her insights and observations are so fascinating, informational, inspiring and revealing. I found her through Stephanie's [Sunday Snapshot] links--thank you Stephanie. She just posted a couple articles on her latest post (both short and easy to read). This article by NPR on (the Body of China) is one that was eye-opening to me about the strength of Christianity in China. The more I learn about Izabella's birth country the more I understand her. It's an amazing journey of discovery indeed.
When I was watching this video--I couldn't help but ponder Izabella's lifelong relationship with God--and it occured to me she not only in the palm of God's hand--but very likely was surrounded and comforted by prayer warriors as well.
I wanted to share this enlightening article here as well--for you--and for Izabella down the road--as she learns about China and her God that she already knows in her heart--but is still learning about in her head.