Many don't know...because I don't say...that at 10 days old my mom walked into my room and saw a blue baby Janice in the crib. Not breathing and completely blue...Mom says she couldn't remember her address, phone number or anything important when she called 911. Dad raced to the hospital in a snowstorm to meet the ambulance (wouldn't you do that...?) and perhaps it was the Newfoundland winter snowstorm that gave me a gust of air and got me breathing again. I remember my Dad saying it's the only time he remembers staying up all night to pray. Praying if it was better to take me that night...that God would. But if He had a plan for my life...to save my life.
Hearing that story growing up always spoke to me. Choosing my path in life as a teenager, I would often think of that. What did God have for me? What was it...? The doctor said if my mom had not gone in my room that night it would have been labelled a SIDS death. They never found the cause.
My life hasn't always been easy. I was brutally shy. A target for teasing in school. Marriage was tough. Tougher than I was prepared for. I was young. And less than fully mature. :)
A few years ago I remember finding a bio online written by my friend and her husband and he had said something to the effect of "we wanted to live an extraodinary life. God has given us an extraodinary life". I thought they were admirable. But crazy. The people you admire from afar. They had adopted 7 children from Africa.
We had our perfect life planned out. Our perfect life. Perhaps not yours...but ours. And God was gracious enough to let us think we were living it. Five biological children and 2 adopted from Africa. That is what we said when we got engaged. And though we dreamed of adopting infants ... when God called us to Zambia very specifically to adopt then Jacob and Meleki Lumbala...it was wonderful. Surrender..but not much. After coming home and 2 horrible miscarriages that took their toll on my heart more than most would know...Izrael Promise was born. 5 biological children and 2 adopted from Africa. Look at that. Just like we said. 7. The number of completion. So perfect.
Then it happened. The against our plans, against our will, stretch of our faith in so many ways...call to China. What...? Who...? NOW...? Uhhh...no.
It was an all out surrender. A surrender of this is His plan. He only gives good things. He's calling us to something "bigger than me...something Heavenly...." and in the moment it totally completely "felt like chaos...but somethere there (was) peace..." and this journey was born. The journey to rescue Taizi and Zihao.
Ok so it's 9. It's good. We were all in. Surrender...? Absolutely.
It was amazing just how much more I needed to surrender when I saw that positive pregnancy test in China.
There were so many times for miracles in 12.5 years. Would have been amazing. But now...? What...?
And tonight at the end of my birthday that was more than celebrated by this amazing family He has loaned me...I think of that little bio by Brad Groothuis I saw years ago. "We wanted to live an extraordinary life" and I smiled. I thought they were crazy. Admirable...but crazy there was no doubt.
Tonight I feel humbled. Completely humbled to be living this extraordinary life. I'm not sure if there is a birthday that I don't think of my dad telling me about praying all night for his baby girl that they didn't know if was going to make it.
I pray as you read this journey ... you don't think about this ordinary people living this extraordinary lives...instead you are pointed to the God who has called us to it all. The Savior that someday we will lay our crown at His feet in worship. It's all about Him.
Tonight I'm thankful that He heard my dad's feeble cry that night for his newborn baby girl. Thankful for this amazing family he has brought from around the globe. Thankful for the gift of a miracle life inside me. Thank-full.
All of the children lined up with gifts tonight :) Here's Chazano waiting with his :)
Zihao threw his box to me, he is so cute. Then he waited anxiously as I opened it. He was giggling so I knew something was up! ;)
9 gifts was more than what they had so Daddy wrapped a roll of tp for Zihao to give mama. Look at him doubled over laughing! So cute!
Azahria Peace's gift ;)
Zihao hugs :)
Gifts or no gifts...so blessed tonight.
Some gifts were stuffed with diapers as a joke and Zion thought it was pretty funny that his had an old bag in there for me to dig out first :) They loved my grouchy face ;)