(courtesy of www.adoptpakids.org)
How could you not fall
in love with that smile?!
If you don't know who Joni is then you're missing out. She is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. As a teenager, Joni (pronounced "Johnny") became a quadriplegic as the result of an unfortunate diving accident. For a while, she wallowed in anger and self-pity until she met Jesus and gave her heart to the Lord. I would never be able to do justice to her ministry and talents in one tiny blog post but, suffice it to say, I still admire her strongly to this day. So, it should probably come as no surprise that I fell in love with Cheilin, too. Her smile, her poise, her desire to make a difference, it all resonated with me deeply and I would love to make her my daughter. Guitar Hero was struck by her, as well, and we both agreed that, if things were different, she would be ours. She even has the same birthday as Tiny Dancer!
So, what's the problem? There are so many hurdles to overcome that I wouldn't even know where to start. The primary hurdle being this:
That's our VERY STEEP front yard. There is no way into our house without conquering that gradient. Then, once inside the house, it's no more wheelchair friendly than our front yard. Sure, we could do renovations...you know, if we actually owned the house. Did I mention we're renting it? Yeah. Unless someone drops off a purple unicorn in our driveway to make us rich and famous, no caseworker in their right mind would approve us to adopt a young woman who requires the use of a wheelchair. OF COURSE, God can overcome any obstacle and don't think that I haven't asked Him to clear the path to making her ours. Sadly for my all-too-human heart, He hasn't moved that way.
BUT, that doesn't mean that I can't pray for Cheilin, pray that her family will find her very soon. This sweet child desperately wants a mom and dad, a family to call her own who will care for her and love her. She needs to be released from the fear that no one except someone paid to do so will care for her. Cheilin is too precious to leave in a group home, too smart to be denied her potential, too loving to leave with empty arms. Are YOU her mom or dad? She's a young woman now, not a cute little baby so her chances are slim to none for being chosen and cherished as a daughter. This breaks my heart every single time I look at her picture. Her family has missed the first part of her life but they don't have to miss the rest. There's a lot of life left in this little lady and she needs a family to share it with her. Would you pray about being her family? Honestly and humbly ask God if YOU are the ones to pursue her. Share her story so that her family can find her before she ages out. She is a daughter of the King and deserves nothing less than to be treated like one.
"The Lord your God is with you,
the Mighty Warrior who saves.
He will take great delight in you;
in his love he will no longer rebuke you,
but will rejoice over you with singing.”