It is roughly 6pm on Saturday March 14, 2009 and I am less than a day and a half from becoming a father.
I am sitting in a hotel room in Beijing, China. Somewhere to the Northeast of here, in another province I guestimate to be 500 miles away there is a baby girl in a state-run orphanage who has had a major change to her life this week and is about to have an even bigger one.
Two and a half years ago Amy and I began a journey of days that has now become a journey of hours and miles. Yesterday was the first birthday of Lu Chun Ai, whose parents abandoned her for multiple reasons ranging from the fact she is a girl to her badly mis-shapen feet. She was placed in an orphanage with man other children left to the care of the Chinese government.
An angel came in to her life and removed her from that orphanage and placed her in a small foster home where she would be loved on by multiple nannies every day and where arrangements were made to heal her sweet feet and her tiny fingers.
I knew nothing of this precious child before late November. Two days before Thanksgiving I learned that she existed. One day before Thanksgiving I saw her face and was able to read about her life. Five days later I decided with Amy that we wanted this little girl to have parents again and that we wanted the job.
A whirlwind of anticipation has ensued. there were lots of initials for events in the adoption process that came on certain days and each one brought us a step closer and closer to holding this baby.
Two days before Christmas we received a pre-approval (PA) from China. About three weeks later we got our Letter of Acceptance (LOA) from China which means they agreed that we would become Lu Chun Ai's parents. Next came the Travel Approval (TA) which was the final hurdle to clear and the point at which we could start making travel arrangements.
The reality of the past 30 months and the energy of the past 15 weeks is really hitting home. I am about to achieve one of the biggest things any man can do in his life, become a daddy. I will be responsible (as part of a two-person team) for the care and guidance of another human being. I will have my heart melt when I hear a tiny voice say "Daddy." I will have my heart break when she tests me with her actions and words. I will rejoice over the milestones of her life. I will cherish the Cinderella moments that Steven Curtis Chapman sings about with his daughters.
The past two days have been a vacation. My lifechange is looming. Like any other lifechange it is entirely voluntary, but it is powerful how huge an event this is. For me it ranks only with two others in my life, giving my heart to Jesus and sharing my heart and life in marriage with Amy.
There is so much about what I am about to do that I know nothing about. For these things I ask for your prayers and guidance and support. I will make mistakes. I will need help, sometimes knowingly, sometimes not. Ultimately I know the correct outcome will happen. God's hand will guarantee it, but it is still a scary prospect, but it is one I have chosen to create for my life and to face in every minute of every day.
Lu Chun Ai, prepare to experience lifechange like none you have known. Prepare to feel love in a way you have never known. Prepare to become LynnMarie ChunAi Christopher Atlanta, GA.