Build a Bridge of Love to China and Help Bring Ileigh Home to her Forever Family


Please imagine with me for a few moments,  because I want to share a story that happened over 17 years ago in Northern China.  You are a train driver in China. You’ve just made a stop, and all of the passengers have unloaded.  As you’re about to exit the train for a break, you hear a baby softly crying.   You turn around, but no one is in sight,  and the cries are growing louder.  You slowly move down the aisle, as your eyes quickly scan left and right, left and right,  looking for the baby.  There, on the last row, is a baby, bundled up and all alone!   You check to see if there is a note tucked inside the “bundle”, but find none. Your heart sinks, as you see the baby boy is so young because his umbilical cord has not fully healed.  You immediately pick him up and hurry out the door, calling out frantically “baby boy found, baby boy found!”  But the crowd just glances back and continues to move in the direction they were going, because after all, this happens every single day in China.  A child is born in China, whether wanted or unwanted, and the parents choose whether or not to keep the child or abandon them.

“Baby boy, umbilical cord attached, found on hard seat train…taken to police in Dalian….. brought to orphanage… parents not found.”.    That was part of the file we received when we first met our son,  Guo Tai, four months before we went to China to adopt him.   I only put the pieces of this story  together in my mind, as I tried to imagine such a short description of an abandonment.  How could “China” describe in just a few sentences, what a baby experienced with such a great loss?!     As all of you who know our family and our son, Tim, the story didn’t end on that train seat!  Praise God!  Because God, in his Sovereignty started to work, first in my heart  and then Duane’s heart…..5 years later.  And 17 years later, after the “stranger” picked up that beautiful baby boy off that cold hard train seat, crying in a moment of utter despair, feeling the  abandonment of the only  mother he knew,  God is allowing that boy to tell others his story.  This summer, in Poland, Tim was able to share how God brought him into His Forever Family, as you see in the photo below. He also shared his story in New Orleans on a mission trip.

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Now I want to share another story, because another child is waiting to come home to her Forever Family.   Over two years ago, when I was in Jason’s Deli in Gainesville, my friend, Tammie, who I had known most of my life,  happened to be there with her children. I hadn’t seen her in a while, so I sat down and had lunch with her and her 3 girls.  Over lunch, she shared with me amazing stories of how  God had been nudging her, rather strongly, that she would one day have an Asian daughter.  She said to me,   “it sounds crazy, but God has clearly spoken things to me about Ella’s adoption (she had adopted her through foster care), and now this adoption.” And I replied “No, it doesn’t. He talks to you because you are listening.”  I could only say that, because God spoke things to me with Tim’s adoption, and in other areas of my life. That day we became sort of kindred spirits, because we both could understand what it means when God tells you His plan is for you to add a child through adoption.   Now, please meet Tammie’s new daughter, Ileigh.  Isn’t she beautiful?!

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Ileigh has been waiting 6 years for her Forever Family to come and get her and bring her home!  Everything has been approved, and all that is needed to bring her home is the financial resources, $20,000.00     That’s why I share her story with you.  Tim has shared with Tammie what it’s like to live without a family for 7 years in China, waiting on us to come get him.   And now that Tim knows about the financial need, he did something about it, he donated his own money to bring Ileigh home.  He wanted me to share this with you….because he knows first hand, what it is like to wait on a family, 7 years, and he wants to do what he can to bring her home to the Wright Family.  So, I ask you to pray for Ileigh to come home soon, and I also ask you to consider what you can give to make that happen.  In Tim’s story I shared how that I imagined the train driver yelling “baby boy found, baby boy found”!, and the crowd glancing back to see a helpless baby, alone, and then moving forward to go about their routine.   Ileigh’s forever family has been found!  But, they need all of us to help bring her home.   Please do more than glance here at beautiful Ileigh, and move on.   Please pray and please give, if God asks you to give.  I am praying that her family can travel on November 17, in time for her to be home for Christmas. That will not happen without the funds needed.  I want to share with Tim that God is bringing her home for Christmas!  Here is the link of her Adoption Page, and the information to give, is there.  Thank you for praying and considering.

Ileigh’s Story and Support Page is at Adopt Together, Wright Family.  Click on the link below to help make a way to bring Ileigh home!

https://adopttogether.org/families/?fundraiser=4babygirls

 

 

 

 

 

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Sharing My Bread at the Dollar General


Yesterday I wrote here about sharing our ” bread”, our resources, with those who are poor or experiencing a crisis. The idea was based on King Solomon’s advice in Ecclesiastes 11:1-2. I encouraged the reader to share with those they meet during their daily activities here in their communities,  or even far from home.

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This morning before I left for work, I paused and prayed for a few minutes. It was a short, sincere prayer. I prayed that God would use me today for whatever His plans were for me. I would like to tell you that is a regular prayer of mine, but it isn’t.  Before my hand hit the doorknob to leave, I felt a strong sense come over me that I was going to cross paths with a homeless person and God may use me in that capacity. To be clear, I did not hear a voice, just a very strong thought.  I had not shared any “bread” with such a person in almost a year. It was this time last year, when I shared some citrus fruit  at the local grocery store on Main Street. The one that stopped giving out free coffee to its’ customers because the homeless people decided to get in on the deal too, and well, you know, that just doesn’t look good for their business. It may lose the reputation of “where shopping is a  pleasure”, because someone may ask them for spare change as they enter or exit.

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So, on my forty minute drive in to work,  I pondered about where I might see a homeless person. I decided to go to the same store down on Main Street, because I had to get my lunch, and I might  see one there, because there were a few who sat outside the store, on the sidewalk. But as I entered and exited, I did not see such person, so I went on to work.  I’d like to tell you that I went searching for the homeless during lunch,  but not once did such  person enter my mind for the rest of the day.

As I left work, the thought came to go visit the local Dollar General to purchase Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box items.  After making the purchase, I went out the door and saw a man with a back pack standing near the building by his bicycle. He said to me “do you have any spare change?” I replied back, “sorry I do not have any”. So he said to me, “ok, God bless you”.  I walked about 20 feet to my car and it hit me like a ton of bricks, the thought came so clearly:  “turn around, there is the homeless person, that you thought about earlier this morning after you prayed to me”.  I headed back into the store and found a store gift card. I went back out and said to the guy, “I have something better than change, I’m giving you a gift card. But first, I have to tell you a story.”

I started to tell him about what I had prayed before I left home this morning, and about going to the store on Main Street, and not finding anyone in need. By the time I finished I had chill bumps on my arms and I was crying!  Those who know me, would agree that I am not Emotional Emma as I rarely cry in public. He gave me a hug and told me that when he was in the military he made a decision to be a God follower. He had been in Desert Storm during the war. When he came back to get settled in, he couldn’t find a church he felt comfortable in because they were either like a “social club”, or they had “classes of people he didn’t fit into”.  He then told me he prayed but wasn’t reading his Bible regularly but that he knew he was supposed to love God and love others.  I suggested a local church for him to visit, and he said others had also recommended him go to this church.   I shared with him that I had never experienced anything like this before where I asked God to use me, he directed my thoughts to folks like him, and then I met him the same day. He seemed very touched by the experience as well. Again, I’d like to tell you that I asked if I could pray for him before I left, but I didn’t.

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I’m sharing this here because I prayed a simple, sincere prayer today, and I had my plans of finding the person on Main Street. When I didn’t, I no longer thought God had a plan to place that person in my path, I had completely forgotten about the prayer!  And when He did plant the person  in my path, I almost missed a blessing and would have jumped in my Honda and left, had I not had the thought to turn around and go back.

I’m now waiting eagerly for the next opportunity, which may be a totally different way to serve up bread.  This God-sized  experience has stirred me today. We have a Sovereign God who has the time to break into my life and allow me to be His hands today to minister to a military veteran, who put his life on the line for our country. I promise you I will not miss my bread.  The man simply asked for spare change, and I’m the one who walked  away changed.  Feel free to leave a comment of how you have shared your bread. 14CBpray-with-homeless-sox-man-sm

I’m Sharing My Bread This Christmas


As the Christmas Season is fast approaching,  I’m adding a new item on my Gift List: Bread. The idea came to me as I was reading the words of the richest and wisest man of his time, King Solomon.  “Cast your bread upon the waters, for you will find it after many days. Give a portion to seven, or even to eight, for you know not what disaster may happen on the earth.” Ecclesiastes 11:1-2

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After I read the verse, a childhood memory came flashing back . It’s one of my favorite places, my grandmother’s house on Skinner’s Lake. My grandmother had loaves of day old bread she purchased at the bread store for “her fish”.  She would say to me, “go feed the fish’.  I went to her refrigerator, reached my hand in the bread bag and pulled out a couple of slices. I headed out the door, and down her long dock.  Next, I started breaking the slices into smaller pieces, and tossed them into the water. Within seconds, the bread would start to move, then disappear as the hungry fish devoured the bread!  This small act of feeding the fish brought  joy and excitement to me.

Looking back to Solomon’s advice, his intention was not for us to ” go feed the fish.”  This verse can be interpreted several ways, with one being sharing our possessions with the poor.  Solomon also wrote in Proverbs 19:17, “Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will repay him for his deed.    We all like to give and receive at Christmas.  When we share our “bread” or possessions with  the poor, we are giving it to the Lord, and He gives the best gifts back in return!  We will “find our bread after many days”, as Ecclesiastes 11:1 states. We will have kindness shown back to us through other ways.

The “Bread of Life”,  who came to earth the first Christmas, instructs His followers with the following command:

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This Christmas, as I celebrate the birth of My Savior,  I want to be more intentional with giving my bread to the poor. Really, it’s not my bread. It is God’s bread.  Every blessing I have comes from His hand alone. Today, there are many people, near and far, who are drowning in the troubled waters on life’s sea. We see their faces in our neighborhoods, marketplaces, schools, work, church, and even across the ocean.  We have the “bread”  in our hand to toss out to them. The question is, are we going to hold on tightly to the bread God has blessed us with,  and ignore Christ’s instruction to us, or are we going to have an open, gracious handful of bread to share?   I encourage you to add Bread to your Christmas List this year, and share with someone who cannot give you anything in return. And while you are doing it, introduce them to the Bread of Life.whocanilove