The last time I had seen this child was 3 days after she was born. Although I had received a couple of pictures and a sweet letter from her new family just shortly after her arrival into their home, there had been no updates on
how she was
where she was
who she was
it was left to my imagination to come up with those details. It was easy to pick her out of the crowd exiting the gate. She was the one with the look of sheer terror on her face - the face that had some very common characteristics of our genetic make up. We hugged, cried and then hugged some more. I can't really remember what it was that we said. I am pretty sure it was nothing - because I don't think anyone really knew what to say.
Her 3 days in Three Hills were full of meeting our large family, many friends and other on-lookers that had heard the long kept secret story. I can't imagine what was going through her mind.
We began to tell our stories - hers and mine - and in the process began to connect so many of the fragments of our separate lives into one that tied us together.
like - her grandparents knowing my Dad from the church that I grew up in at New Westminster
like - her family attending the Johnston Heights Free Church, pastored by Dan Nicholson - my youth pastor from Calgary
like - her parents going to a Bible Study led by my dear friends, Ed & Dianna Wallan
The stories helped us start to fully realize that God had a plan in it all. Keeping us tied through common bonds, even though they were so unknown to us at the time.
A few weeks later it was my turn to travel west to meet her family - her parents, brother, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends. All of the people that I had handed her over to love. It kind of felt like I was watching this non-stop movie of someone else's life. So surreal. Amy drove me past all of her places - homes, school, churches.
As we drove past one of the houses I recognized the neighborhood and tried to figure out why it looked so familiar. As we rounded the corner, I realized why.
"Did your house have a tall fence around it that met in the corner with 2 other yards?"
"Did you have a trampoline in the back yard?"
"When you played on the trampoline - did you sometimes throw a ball into one of those other yards?"
"Where there 3 little blonde girls that lived in one of those yards?"
That was Dan's sister's house.
Where we were for Easter vacation one year.
Where a ball kept flying over the fence.
Where I threw it back to a girl on the other side.
That girl was Amy.
so very close...so connected...but not yet
I met Amy's best friend, Tiffany. They had been bff's since they were in grade school - with some special bonds. Born less than one week apart. Both adopted.
Tiffany's mom started to tell me the story of how amazing their connections went even further. The 2 families lived in separate areas of the lower mainland, but both moved to the Surrey area around the same time. The girls became good friends and discovered the close birthdays, so decided that they would have a combined birthday party together.
As the Moms watched the party carry on, they began to tell their stories of how Tiffany and Amy had joined each of their families. Imagine their astonishment as they discovered that both had been adopted, just days apart, with the assistance of a common adoption agency...Burden Bearers... with the same adoption worker...Lorna.
I am pretty sure the room started to turn at that point.
This was my adoption agency - that was my case worker.
I started to look around the room where we were sitting. For the first time I noticed the antiques decorating the room.
a rolling pin
a pie press
a verse or something about "Bread of life"
"Was your husband a baker?"
"Did he have red hair?"
"I didn't choose you"
It was a final decision between a tall BC Hydro worker and a red-head baker. I chose the first one. But here I was, standing in the home that I didn't choose - talking to a mother that I didn't pick - who ended up being given Amy's best friend forever.
It was in that moment that I realized how incredibly significant my life is in the grand scheme of God's plan.
Not an accident.
Not a coincidence.
It was a master plan - The Master's Plan
For I know the plans I have for you
(declares the Lord) ..plans to prosper you and not to harm you...plans to give you a
HOPE and a FUTURE...