Goodness, our hearts are aching for the many, many families affected by the tornadoes in the southern states. Absolutely devastating. If you live in those areas, please know that my family is praying for you.
It’s been a blessed week. On Wednesday evening I drove up north to see sweet Julia come home. I met up with the Schwenzer family and their friends and we drove to the airport together. After a series of unfortunate events, and the enemy rearing his ugly head once again, we were so very late. By the time we eventually got to the airport it was around 11p.m. Needless to say, we got the weary travellers into the car as quickly as possible so that they could get home. They were exhausted so I didn’t even bother with pictures. But not to worry, they only live about 45 minutes from me, so I’m already planning my next visit.
It was such a surreal feeling holding sweet Julia. I cannot even tell you. The first thing I noticed was just how painfully thin she is. So much more so than when I saw her in the orphanage last April/May. She has literally been fading away in a crib. My heart ached for her. I have no idea how she even survived as long as she did, and how her body did not shut down. She’s a fighter. Cockayne Syndrome (which causes premature aging) is such a debilitating disease–it is a miracle of God that Julia has survived in those conditions for four years with no medication, poor nutrition, and a lack of affection. A miracle for sure!
You can read about the living conditions in the orphanage here if you are new to my blog.
Getting to snuggle Julia in the car on the way home was such a gift. She is SO sweet. I held it together pretty well until I made my journey home after midnight. Then, I completely lost it. I could hardly see through my tears as I made my way down the highway at some crazy hour. I felt so emotional–that Julia had made it home, for the millions just like her who will never be as fortunate, for God’s people who helped play a part in her rescue, and for the tangible love of God that my heart cannot fathom on most days.
There was a point in my life when I wondered if Julia would ever be rescued from that despicable place. I wondered if she would ever know the love of a family and the warm embrace of a mama who loves her. I wondered if Julia was destined to die prematurely in a crib on the other side of the world, forsaken by everyone, including the caretakers assigned to her care. And here she was–lying in my arms. One year ago I loved on a little girl through the bars of a crib (I was not allowed to pick her up). This week I held her tight.
Me and my puny faith.
Oh, how the living God reached down from heaven and rescued this child! Over three hundred of you generously opened your hearts and your wallets to give to her grant fund. In a matter of days, Julia had a grant of $20,000 and she had a family.
As I looked at Julia sleeping in my arms on Wednesday night I felt such an overwhelming thankfulness to God for rescuing her and to the Schwenzers for hearing the call and letting their answer be, “Yes!” Thank you, Schwenzers. I love you guys more than you can know.
Welcome home, Julia. You are such a priceless treasure and are loved by many. You make me want to continue to fight for the cause of the orphan with everything that I have. You inspire me to do more, to try harder, and to try and be a voice for those who don’t have one.
Every life matters!