I know your birthday was a few weeks ago now. But these thoughts are still on my heart and I want to share them with you. You do not know it, but fourteen is a very significant age for many children in China. The reason is this: at age fourteen children who are orphans can no longer be adopted. Their future is a little up in the air. Some are allowed to stay on at the orphanage, but others have to find other arrangements. Can you imagine being alone in the world at the age you are right now? Those boys and girls do not have a mom and dad to help them with homework, buy their clothes, make their favorite foods or celebrate their birthdays.
I know that we love and serve a God who sees all things. He is in control of all things. Somehow, in His wisdom, he brought us together and we have become knitted together into this wonderful, mysterious thing called family. You are ours and we are yours for your whole life. What a wonderful and beautiful thing this is. I know you think we're annoying sometimes. We hassle you about respect, and working hard, and being kind. Guess what? We think you're annoying sometimes, too. But we love you so much. God has caused this love to grow in our hearts through, and often because of, our struggles. It was not easy for you to join a family at the age of nine. You really had no idea what a family was supposed to be like. Not only that, but our language was strange to you and so was our food. Added to that, you had two major surgeries within your first six months at home. What courage you have shown! What amazing growth and healing you have experienced.
I hope our hearts will always be soft toward those boys and girls who have not been adopted. I pray that your story will somehow encourage others to adopt older kids who wait and wait for a family. It is hard for me to imagine what your scoliosis would be like now if you had not been adopted and had surgery. You would definitely be having big problems breathing and walking around. Instead, you're on the basketball team and your biggest worry is which color of basketball shoes you want to get! May the coming year be filled with new and wonderful experiences for you. May you grow in your faith and knowledge of God.
We are so thankful for you and the gift you are to our family. We thank the Lord for bringing you into our lives. Happy 14th, Joshua.