Friday, February 1, 2013

Day 1 - Amaris

The Lord gave me a vision of two shoulder-length, dark haired, tan-skinned girls… one that looked about waist height and perhaps 5 years old, the other about 2 and standing mid-thigh. My husband and I waited 16 years before we would ever meet the first little girl we would name Gabriella. And another 2 years before we would know who the littlest one was. We completed our first adoption with Gabriella in July 2010.

In December 2010, as I prayed, I felt the Lord tell me that we would have a “heart baby” and we would get her through Wasatch. We had already started our paperwork though another agency though, so I couldn’t figure out how all of this would come to be. And, no matter what I did, I couldn’t find an agency called Wasatch on the internet. So, I waited for further direction from the Lord.

Fast forward to February 2012, Jason and I found a little girl named Giselle that we thought we could bring home as our third daughter. I had found her through Rainbow Kids, and, ironically, she was with Wasatch. I ended up getting those much needed contacts for Wasatch. After literally a hundred emails back and forth with Kathy Junk and our neurologist, we felt comfortable to lock Giselle’s file. We knew that she was not promised baby because I had genuinely believed that something absolutely miraculous would happen when I found her. And, nothing of the sort happened with this little girl. She was cute… and, we would have been happy to call her our daughter. I had looked at well over 1,500 perhaps 2,000 photos since the summer of 2009, but very few girls had caught my heart, but, I was intrigued with this little girl. That night, after locking her file, I began to pray and I heard the Lord speak very clearly to my heart, “You can have Giselle, but your blessing is in June.” These words repeated in my heart and mind over and over and over again until I finally said I would stop this adoption and trust Him. The next morning, utterly crushed, I sent an email explaining what had transpired the night before and later followed it up with a phone call. Giselle would never become our daughter.

I shared my story with my closest adopting girlfriends and asked them to pray with me, that I would know what my blessing was in June. I wasn’t 100% sure it was our daughter we have longed for, for so many years, but I KNEW that I KNEW that I KNEW, it was my blessing.

One evening in mid-June, I felt compelled to leave my scrapbooking in the kitchen and meander upstairs. I gave my hubby a little kiss on his cheek as he worked at his computer… but, just as I did, a strange sense came over me to look at my computer. As I did, at that VERY SECOND, I saw pop up. I clicked on it and saw the name “Nanette”. My entire body, literally from the top of my head to the tips of my toes began to feel like a bolt of energy was rushing through my blood… up and down… up and down. The palms of my hands were sweating profusely. I said with great excitement to my husband, “Honey… this is her, this is her!” At this point, I still had ONLY seen the name “Nanette.”

I clicked on the name and to our surprise, our eyes saw one of the most beautiful babies we had seen in the last 2 years searching for our second little princess. She WAS from Wasatch and she WAS a “heart baby.” But, if that wasn’t enough, she was born on my 40th birthday. I always felt that we would know who our daughter was by her name. So, I looked up the name “Nanette”… and again, to our surprise, it meant “Grace and favor”… these were the two words I asked the Lord to give us as we walked through this next adoption journey. Her Chinese sur name also meant “Grace and favor”… the Lord certainly has given us His grace and favor.

We named this little princess Amaris Nanette, which means: “God has promised”, “Grace and favor.” We waited 18 years to hold Amaris in our arms. She was greatly loved in her orphanage and by her ayi that we affectionately refer to as her “China Mama.”

Amaris was abandoned 1 month after birth. When we went to see her finding spot, the Lord blessed us with the opportunity to meet the woman that found her lying in a little box, with a blue tint to her skin, left outside a rural, single-room clinic.

Amaris was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot… known better as TOF or 4 things wrong with the heart. Shortly after her first birthday, her orphanage referred her for surgery and she reportedly has had one of the best surgeries our cardiologist at home has ever seen from China.

We held Amaris in our arms 13 months after her surgery. We arrived home on a Saturday and our cardiologist saw her that Monday… his day off. She had an echo done and I was told to return each year in July for follow-up echos.

The cardiologist said she can do whatever she wants that I just need to follow her lead.

The only time we think of her heart surgery now is when her older sister pushes her in the chest. Generally, I gasp for air and then sit down and give our little one a mini lecture.

We have an exceptionally smart, fun, loving, outgoing, passionate and spunky little girl that currently knows no boundaries or limitations. She learned to ride a two-wheeled bike (with training wheels) by watching her sister.

We are blessed beyond measure and feel that Luke 4:19 (NIV) reminds us of 2011… “to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

The Lord says in Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you.” I really feel that the Lord significantly directed our path to this precious little princess.


Maria said...

I was so excited to read about your DD this morning. Our princess is also a TOF baby! So happy she is healthy and happy!

Maria said...

This was the first thing I checked this morning. Loved hearing Amaris and how healthy and happy she is. Our DD is a TOF baby also!

LaKasha Strickland said...

What an amazing story to start us off! I love all the "God signs".... In my bible study yesterday it said that there is no such thing as coincidences, that's just opportunities when God chooses to be anonymous! I have those same moments now going through our adoption where its so crazy that only God could do it. God bless sweet little Amaris's heart, life and family.

amy's mommy said...

Awww..she is adorable!

Lisa said...

What an amazing story, Patty. Wow, I love how the Holy Spirit spoke to you...but more than listened!!! Beautiful beyond words:) Thanks so much for sharing, and I hope these stories start many new adoption processes!!!

Welcome! said...

This is Kathy from Wasatch--the person that got to play a very tiny role in God's plan for Nannette and the Fouts family. Patty as one amazing woman and mother! Love this family and thanks for sharing!

Jaime said...

What a blessing for Amaris to receive her life saving surgery while still in China. What a testament of the Lord's love for her. She certainly is beautiful.

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