Before you read Part 2 you can read Part 1 here.
We’ve had a still quiet question for the Lord since we adopted Mallie 7 yrs ago. “Lord will we ever adopt more children?”
We have opened our home and hearts to several kids since then, but none have stayed and none have become Ottingers. They are our heart children but none became our forever legal munchins.
So we have carried on. We have listened to God’s leading with willing ears. And we have waited. Some times more patiently than others.
There have been several adoptable waiting children over the years that we have felt drawn to and sought the Lord over. The answer has always been no. Not this one. Not this time. Maybe never. Maybe sometime. Be still.
So we continued to wait.
As we prayed and sought the Lord about our family over the years, all we heard God say was “multiply not add”.
We knew without a doubt that we were to have a season of rest for our children, enjoy Dax’s stable health, walk our daughters into their tween years with extra margin to connect, help Camden deal with some new health issues that have arisen as he is growing into a young man, and serve others. We are passionate about supporting, training, and resourcing other families who were adopting and fostering, and advocating for waiting kids. Mark took on a new Campus Pastor role in our church body and we have been working diligently at building bridges from the local church to the Department of Children’s services. Our plates were blessedly full.
In other words, we were to use all our time and energy multiplying and pouring into others not adding and growing our family. When people would ask if we were planning to adopt or foster we would use that exact language ~“We really think we are suppose to multiply not add”. But that did not take away the quiet longing, the hope, and the prayers that one day He might grow us again. That we might feel our hearts leap over a child that we just new was “ours”.
Then October 5th of 2012, God stirred things up a bit. It was like any other day. I was picking Mallie up from her horse ridding lessons and I quickly checked my email on my iphone. Mo forwarded me an email of a Show Hope waiting child newsletter. It was a beautiful baby girl with the liver condition Biliary Atresia. (note – this is not the same condition that required Dax to have a liver transplant) She had just come into their care and received a procedure that would sustain her life, but most likely she would require a liver transplant to have a chance to live. She needed to be adopted into the US and out of China in order to have the chance to get a transplant.
The kicker of the email was the tag line that Mo typed.
He wrote “What about this one?”.
UMMMM…….what??? Wait….wHat???? WHAT???? What does HE MEAN????? ………..WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE??????
A bit of a side note ~ this situation had never nor has ever happened before or since. Mo has NEVER sent me a picture of a waiting child. The sending has always gone the other direction. Me slyly sneaking them into his inbox or text messaging him whenever I felt inclined =). A friend of ours got the newsletter the day before, fell in love with the little pumpkin, thought of our family, and forwarded it to Mo. (INSERT – when it comes to waiting kids – if you feel a nudge to advocate, forward, post, tell someone etc….do it….b/c you just don’t ever know the end of the story!!!)
OK, back to my moment of shock.. It took me about half a second to call him and say, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN???? WHAT ABOUT THIS ONE?????”
There was dead silence on the other end of the line. I think the conversation in his head went something like this….. “Oh no. What have I done? Did I really type that? What W.A.S. I. T.H.I.N.K.I.N.G? I was not thinking!!! What in the world can I say now? Ohhhhhhh…… I know….”
Mark ~ “Hey babe, I meant to say….What about we PRAY for this one and help to FIND her a family?”
Me ~ “Oh very funny and fast on your feet there Mo. You should know better than to do that to my heart. So how about you commit to praying for her everyday then???? And I will start crying over her and advocating, and crying, and obsessing, and crying and obsessing? How about that, Mr. “What About This One?”
And that is exactly what we did.
We begged God on behalf of Yossell starting that moment. Yossell – that is the English name she was given at the orphanage in China. Mo quickly nicknamed her YoYo. She has been YoYo to us since.
If you know any of our past stories, you know how significant names have been in God leading us. So of course, I ‘just’ had to see if ‘just’ maybe He ‘just’ might be leading us to little Yossell. =) What did her name mean???? After all, Yossell is not an everyday American name. I had never heard it.
I googled ~ “Meaning of the name Yossell”
OH MY STARS, LORD!!!!??????????????? And wanna guess what it meant??????
It is the Hebrew word for “God Adds”. YEP.~~~~~G.O.D. A.D.D.S. !!!!
Right smack dab in the middle of “waiting” and “multiplying”~~~~~ “God Adds” landed in our inbox.
I think I cried for a week after reading that.
Over the next few days and months the prayers turned into pleas. The tears fell a little harder. I started networking and advocating. Mo prayed for her every morning without fail. Through those prayers he began to attach to her.
We tucked her away in our hearts and asked God if He might want to add her to the Ottinger Clan.
We called about the possibility of adopting her a few weeks after we saw her picture and Mo reached out to some friends at Show Hope. We were told that she had been so sick when she came into care that her file had not even been started in China, but when it was she would most likely be matched with a family that already had a Dossier (or family profile and home study) in China. That she would be “labeled” by the Chinese government in such a way that she would be matched to those already in the process. (For those who understand the process she would be labeled LID only).
We prayed and cried some more. But felt the Lord telling us “wait”.
To Be Continued……
(((((Until we finish our story and tell you her new full name you can call her YoYo))))