Saturday, March 14, 2009

Lifechange

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.

23 comments:

The Straight's said...

So excited for you guys. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and yes you are about to experience one of the best things in life for sure :)

Amy: Be sure to blog as well so that LynnMarie and yourself can look back and see both of you guys thoughts and feelings before meeting her. Can't wait until Gotcha!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post. Your daughter will teach you more than you can imagine. My son was born with the same condition, and he amazes me every day. God Bless your journey, and I pray for an easy transition. Congratulations!

Natalia said...

What a beautiful post! I'm so happy for you both. If it makes you feel any better, all parents make mistakes! It's how you handle the mistakes that is important. :)

Briana's Mom said...

This was an absolutely beautiful post. I can't wait to see LynnMarie in your arms!

Cupcakes and Hairbows said...

Cinderella Moments -- perfect. Wishing you the best and fast smiles from that precious little girl!

redmaryjanes said...

Sending love and prayers.

Ashley Tucker said...

i could not be happier for you all!

TimandKim said...

This is such a wonderful post. I hope you print this and save it for your daughter. So she will know how you were feeling the day before she was placed in your arms. May God bless your special day and bring wonderful bonding between the three of you!

Truly Blessed! said...

Wow, Michael, what a heartfelt and moving post.

You're going to be a great Daddy. LynnMarie is a lucky little gal to be joining you and Amy in hours!

ChupieandJ'smama said...

OMG you guys!!!! I am so excited for you. How amazing and thank you for letting us share all of this with you. God Bless the remainder of your joureny in China and your journey to bring LynnMarie home.

Marla said...

Awwwww, that totally made me cry. It's definitely a lifechange, a wonderful, scary, exhausting, joyful and absolutely amazing one. One more day! I can't wait to see your newly formed family together. God bless y'all!

sara said...

Beautiful. I cannot wait to see God bring you & Amy together with this sweet baby, pre destined for only You!!!!! A miracle is truly about to happen :)

Carrie said...

Bless you- You know many guys would not share their heart like that not even to their wives! I will and have been praying for you guys! take care1

Heather said...

That was awesome and brought tears to my eyes! You're gonna be an amazing Daddy, Michael Christopher! We thinking about you all and lifting you up with prayer! Praying for smooth transitions and a safe & comfortable (and fast so we can see you all together!!) trip HOME.

Tree Rat Girl said...

I'm so happy for you guys. The few days before you get your baby can be totally overwhelming but you guys are doing great and I can't wait to see you with LynnMarie :)

Joan (Nana) said...

Tks for sharing your thoughts and feelings. I am praying for your journey. God bless you.

Suprina said...

Michael & Amy you guys will be AWESOME parents! You will have tons of Cinderella moments.

I cried too at this post. I have been flowing both this blog, your blog and Amy's blog for just about 2 years now.

I am so excited for you guys and to see what all God has in store for your family.

I also looked at the pictures of your trip so far! How wonderfully exciting!

God Bless ALL of you!

Linda said...

Beautiful post!! Since there are no perfect parents, only parents perfect for their child, you can't do anything wrong with all the love you have. Waiting to see your girl in your arms. Haugs nd prayers to you and Amy. Linda

Fliss and Mike Adventures said...

I am so excited for you...
Yeah... you are going to make mistakes but they will be mistakes that you learn from. You will get back up, dust yourself off and try it another way... you will be a great dad...
Can't wait to see you and Amy with her... congrats again...

Dan and Liz said...

Amy and Michael
Yeh the day is here- She will be in your arms in just a few moments- What a precious miracle- the birth of your family- God is smiling on you all -
Thank you Amy for taking the time to help me feel a little more welcome at CHOA even though you are on the other side of the world -preparing to hold your baby. Zach is home now and doing very well. He is recouping and they did the Raskins as you said (smart girl) along with an LP MRI, MRV, MRA - Wow - he will be fine - headache gone- Thank you JESUS. and thank you Dr. Silverboard. I love that man- I almost kissed him- I think he was taken a little back.
I am waiting for those first pics- and am so grateful for seeing your sweet family in a land that all our girls have called home. Many blessings your to you sweet friends.
Liz Michelle Dan and Zach
oh Nurse Shannon says hello

Sally- That Girl! said...

Bryson is out of the hospital and now I can keep track of your journey as it happens!!!!I am so excited for you and seeing your pictures brings back such awesome memories for me as well as remembering the emails we exchanged during the initial part of your life changing experience that you are on now!

Can't wait for more!!!

Julie said...

Mike - I loved this post (it made me cry!) So nice to hear the thoughts from a "daddy-to-be" on this momentous occasion. Many blessings to you and Amy and your new daughter. :)

Jonni said...

Michael, what a beautiful post. You and Amy are going to be the parents to your sweet little LynnMarie.

Hugs,
Jonni