I watched my daughter open the door of the little room underneath the stairs. She giggled as she spied a hidden treasure from her brother’s toys and then snatched it, running into the living room waving it in the air, laughing boldly! She discovered a very small American flag hidden amongst his transformers, toy trucks, puzzles, balls, and games. What a treasure she uncovered!
How insightful she was at such a young age! The American flag is our symbol of freedom, liberty and our homeland, America. How did she know how significant it was to us? Did the “mommas” at the orphanage tell her about our flag? They probably did. They most likely prepared her for her life in America. If so, how special she must have felt to see the flag and to parade around with it knowing she was an American now!
We were in Ukraine and Poland just two days ago, applying for her Visa. What a surreal feeling! She became a U.S. citizen the second she touched American soil. Now she was parading around with her family behind her, waving the flag in the air, and embracing her new life!
I could not keep this joy to myself so I called out to my family to join in my daughter’s freedom parade. Now a family of four we felt a sense of relief and fulfillment (after spending three weeks in Ukraine). All the struggles of having a second child had vanished. The labor and delivery were complete. There was peace and love in our spirit now as we celebrated in the glory of God and His little miracle before us!
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Psalm 16:11
There was a sense of knowing we followed God’s plan when we adopted our daughter, and we were prospering in His delight.
For I know the plans I have for your, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Let’s go back over 30 years ago to find where this deep passion to adopt came from. Around the age of seven, I befriended a neighbor who was adopted from Korea. She played in a different area on the playground at school, but I found myself watching over her and protecting her from the bullies that would tease her for looking different. She was different because she was Korean, which is why I was probably very drawn to her.
This little Korean girl pricked my heart and led me to the idea of loving a child that was less fortunate yet fully deserving of a life filled with love, the freedoms that come from our country and our God.
God is omniscient, He knows all things! He knew I could have only one child and therefore, planted the seed at a young age that adoption was positive. Jesus was adopted and we as believers are also adopted through Christ Jesus! The incident with the bullies and my friend created a strength. I was not a Christian at that time, but God had His hand on me and continues today to lead me on the right path. How incredible is our God!
Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart.
Leaning on Him,
Debbie resides in Murrieta, California and is an empty nester to her two beautiful adult children. She and her husband, Andy, moved to the valley in 1990 with their six-month-old son and within eight years adopted their daughter from Odessa, Ukraine. This fulfilled a dream God placed in Debbie’s heart, when she was only eight years old. Her amazing children are now in their twenties and flourishing in God’s magnificent love! Her adoring, soul mate of 25 years passed away from brain cancer, GBM – Glioblastoma Multiforme in May 2013. This changed life drastically, but Debbie does not want to be defined by her widowhood and her loss. She’d rather be defined by her gain in becoming tightly woven with Jesus through this journey and loving others through their circumstances; joyful or sad.
Deb embraces life by enjoying hiking, cycling, traveling, and fellowship. She is attending classes to become a life coach, where she feels God’s leading once again. She loves spending time at the ocean, watching the rhythmic movement of the waves roll in and out. Most of all, she is learning to surf over those waves; big or small like “Gidget” when life’s circumstances coming rolling toward her! Through this season of life, Debbie found a new passion to love on others and to connect with God’s community, ultimately, so that the Kingdom of Heaven can be seen and felt here on earth.
See her posts here: Debbie Tulley