Laurel helped us with our adoption for Moriah as well as the home study for our two boys who are still waiting for us in China. After we brought Moriah home, she came several times to check on us and see how we were doing. Her observations of Moriah were always so encouraging. Because she was also an adoptive mother, she really understood all that we were going through. She supported us as we found out medical diagnosis after medical diagnosis. She helped us not to stress about the trouble Moriah seemed to have in bonding with Andy. She gave us helpful ideas and supported us all along the way. She was bubbly and cheerful and her presence was comforting and reassuring.
When we began to think about adopting again, I was so excited to call her to get our home study started. She was delighted and surprised. She wisely wrote the home study in such a way that we could adopt one or two children. At the time, I kind of laughed and thought that was not going to happen. She visited with us several times. I remember talking with her about my own childhood and the loss of my mom when I was seven. I cried remembering. And I also cried because I know that our adopted children all face losses of their own. She was a friend that was easy to share with. (Only with a paper and pencil in hand as she took notes for our home study report.)
I called her and told her that we were considering adopting two. She talked through some of the issues with me. Then I e-mailed her and told her that we had changed our minds. She was still supportive and encouraging. Then I called her again and told her that we had changed our minds yet again and wanted to adopt two. She again gave helpful input and things for us to consider.
Our paperwork was tied up for several weeks as we waited for clearances from all of the states in which we have lived. She finally was able to finalize and send everything up to our agency just before she left on her trip to Wyoming. We got the message and e-mailed her to say "thanks" only finding out later that day that she had already died. Really hard to believe.
The Lord promises that He will use all things for our good and His glory. We trust Him. We love Him. We believe in His good purposes and plans. Most of all we believe that He is sovereign over all things. I do not think I will ever understand His ways in this...and I am comforted to remember that I do not have to understand. Only trust. I am thankful for the time we had with Laurel. I am thankful for the encouragement that she offered us again and again. I am thankful that she leaves a legacy of many little children who came home from China partly because of her work. I am thankful for the challenge that I feel to share my faith, to live each day for Christ, to hug my children and husband a little more, and to give thanks. Each day is a gift from God. He did not spare His own son, but freely gave him up for us all. When I think of Christ and his great sacrifice for me....His adoption of me, I stand in awe and can only praise Him. Even when it's hard.
Wednesday we will go to a service to remember Laurel and her three daughters. Andy will share some thoughts. We are praying that the Lord will be glorified. I would also like to ask for prayer for Alex, Laurel's husband. He alone was able to escape from the van as it plunged into the rushing water. It is hard to imagine his agony. Please pray that the Lord would be glorified in His life as he processes through all of this.