Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Story of Ellie.

DSC_7937 by annaclaire07
(precious Ellie... taken YESTERDAY by a sweet woman who is at Chenzhou with Visiting Orphans!!!)

So I bet no one was expecting THAT! :)

I know y'all want the story of how this precious little girl became ours. The way that she became a part of our family is nothing short of miraculous and is completely God. 100% his doing. There is no other way to explain the events that have happened in order for sweet Li Meng to become our precious Ellie. She's our little miracle and what a gift God has given us already by bringing her into our lives. So without further ado....

Ellie's story starts with a date. March 31, 2010. Aside from being my 17th birthday, this was also the day that our dossier was logged in for Grace. Of course, if you have been following my blog for the past year or so, there's a good chance that you know that that dossier was never used. Right after we sent it, thinking we would take two separate trips to adopt Grace and Charlie, we received Gracie's LOA out of the blue. That was completely miraculous, and it still amazes me that we literally were approved to adopt Grace off of Charlie's dossier... a dossier holding a homestudy requesting that we adopt a 4 year old boy. That's all.

So here we are with this log in date for a daughter. A dossier just sitting in China. It was often brought up of what we were going to do with this dossier. We couldn't just let it sit there! I remember someone in our travel group said, "not using that dossier would be equivalent to having an abortion!" And so for a short time, we thought maybe there would be an 8th child in our family. However, it wasn't long before that thought had changed and we were done. A complete family of 9. I don't think the longing for a child ever really went away in Mom's heart, although the rest of us were perfectly at peace with our family.

In February, Mom had this sense that we weren't done. We actually started the process of renewing our homestudy, which was just about to expire. She asked our agency coordinator to look on the Feb. shared list, feeling like her daughter may be on it. However, it was not to be. Mom and Dad talked some more and decided it was really not the time to adopt. Mom let Diana know and started to try to feel some sort of peace that our family was complete.

So from mid February until May 26, we were sure our family was complete.

God was probably laughing. Because what was about to happen is something that we never expected. Typical of Him. :)

May 27, 2011. A day that had been anticipated for a long time. My high school graduation day.

That morning, Mom woke up to an email from Diana.

"I think I have found your baby girl!"

Wait, WHAT?

She was one year old. Precious and adorable. Mom showed Dad, who agreed that she was precious, but answered with a "no, now is not the time for us to adopt again." A while later, Mom sent a very hard email to Diana, basically saying that it was the perfect referral, but that now was not the time. Because that's the truth. The file of a 12 month old baby girl with a special need we are very comfortable with. What Mom had dreamed of. But it's also true that with three of us in college in the fall, it's truly not the best time.

After Mom sent this email, an email that as you can imagine had her crying, she actually READ the referral information. The baby's name jumped out. Chen Li Meng. CHEN. We know that surname. It's the same as AnnaClaire's. Mom read further and sure enough, she is from Chenzhou. While this might not seem like a big deal, it was to us. You see, it's been a pretty known fact in our family that if we could ever adopt another baby from Chenzhou, we wouldn't even think twice about it. I'm not sure why that is, maybe just the connection and emotion behind that being where we first adopted from, but for one reason or another, that has always been something we've dreamed of doing... adopting another baby girl form Chenzhou. Mom told Dad, and then sent Diana an email telling her we were going to talk and pray about it more, and ending the email by asking when the file unlocked. We were told that we had until Sunday night.

Meanwhile, it is my graduation day. There are 15 people in our house. Mom and Dad are trying to keep this to themselves. Yes, that's right. I didn't even know. Mom didn't want to take away from "my" day. I think she was probably scared of my reaction, too. It might surprise you to know that I am the one who was totally against adopting again. I had my reasons, but in the end, that was just how I felt.

The day went on. Mom was an emotional wreck. She was exhausted and wanted time to herself and to really think and pray, but was entertaining a houseful instead.

I was woken up too early (considering the time I got home that morning from all of our graduation stuff) by Mom who said, "let me show you something, but don't say anything until I'm finished." It didn't take long for me to figure out that she was showing me a baby... and not someone else's baby.

I thought she was adorable. Mom told me to actually read the referral, and of course it didn't take long for me to read that she was from Chenzhou. Or to notice that her mug shot looked IDENTICAL to AnnaClaire's. Mom was crying and I was just taking it in. I kinda sat there for a second before asking what they were going to do. Mom told me they had declined it at first but had until Sunday to officially decide. At this point, I was crying too and told her my thoughts... "Mom, you KNOW I'm not for another adoption. You KNOW I think we have enough kids in our family. But there is NO WAY you can decline this referral. God couldn't make it any clearer that she belongs in our family. Saying no would be like slapping Him in the face." I think that is exactly how Mom felt, but I think she was glad to hear it from me.

Because here's the the thing. Her age... her special need... Chenzhou... and we never even asked. We had said we were done and not to look anymore. And here we have this beautiful child staring back at us with these little things we had prayed for for so long. God literally dropped her in our laps. There's no other way to describe it.

Dad was downstairs with the 15 people that were over at this point. I asked him to come up, because I know that me saying that I was okay with it was an answer to prayer in one way or another. And I wanted to tell him exactly what I had told Mom.

And the rest is history. That night, they wrote our LOI and started on all that needs to be done in order to update our homestudy.

Our LOI was sent on May 29 and PA came on June 7 while Mom and I were up at Au*burn for my orientation. And we are completely clueless on timing because of the fact that we are logged in and through review, but we have to update everything. Sometime this year though, Miss Ellie LiMeng will be coming home from Chenzhou CWI. Our first adoption from there, our last adoption from there. We've come full circle and are so excited.

And we're praising God. Because only He could do what He has done.

"Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart."
Psalm 37:4


Lori at JOY Unspeakable said...

Oh, I just love this story!

And Ellie is absolutely gorgeous!


Rita and John said...

What an amazing story. God's hand is so clear in the referral of your new sister. I hope you'll be on your way to bring her home soon!

Julie said...

Oh my, I love this story. SO GOD! WOW!

Stephanie said...

Simply amazing. Just like God.

Kimberly said...

Wow... But GOD!!! She was brought to your family by His hand, truly. Rejoicing with you!!! She is just beautiful.

Anonymous said...

God is so good and this is one of the most adorable babies I have ever seen!!!!

Staci said...

Absolutely beautiful story!!! Another beautiful masterpiece just beginning as Ellie starts to make her journey home :) God knows what we need, and He will lead us to it, and drop it in our laps if we need that too :) So amazed and so excited for all of your family!! Congratulations again and again and have I mentioned how excited and thrilled I am for you guys?? Cause I am!! :)

Mrs. Winn said...

God's evident hand is just amazing! Sweet Ellie is stunning. She'll fit right in!

Janet and Kevin said...

I love this story just as I love your family! So happy for you that our God is working in another adoption journey for you all.

janet and gang

Anonymous said...

The new header is so cute!

You are just the best family!

Melanie said...

Love this story Emily!!! She was meant to be in your family=) Can't wait to see what happens next!=)

Anonymous said...

Amen! And Amen again!

Wolfes Home said...

Thanks for sharing this amazing God story. I have no words, it's just incredible! Congratulations to your whole family.

Jeanette said...

I love your family and I love watching God move and work in ways that can only be described as miraculous. What a testimony, what a legacy your family is to so many. Your mom is a true example of a Proverbs 31 woman and you are too Emily. I can't wait to watch this miracle unfold but I am also so very excited for you and the new chapter in your life as you head off to college. I have no doubt that you are going to make your mark on Auburn in your own way. God has big plans for YOU and it is such an honor to know someone as amazing as you!

Jen Barbee said...

I KNEW IT HAD TO BE COMING ! Congratulations. We love Chenzhou girls !!!!!

Tina Michelle said...

aww, sweet story. Congrats! I look forward to learning more about your newest addition.

Anonymous said...

Always listen to your mother . . .

Jodee said...

What a sweet story! Congratulations!

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

What an amazing story!!

Miss Ellie is absolutely adorable and I could not be more happy for your family!

There is definitely something very special about Chenzhou girls:)

Congratulations to you and your family. I will be anxious to follow your last journey.


(proud mommy of a chenzhou girl)

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing these details Emily!

Anonymous said...


Thank you for sharing these details Emily!

Jean said...

Yay God!! Thank you for sharing your story with us! She is adorable and will be a perfect fit in your family!!
BTW I love the name Ellie!!

Kristi said...

This story is amazing! I love that your family was open to the call!