When a family stepped forward to not only adopt but also HOST Lin, the winter superhero we had thought we would be hosting in just two short months, our family rejoiced.
With Lin’s beautiful forever family submitting the initial paperwork to bring him home, that made 132 million orphans in the world … minus one.
But it left our family with a void. There is nothing we wanted to do this Christmas more than love on and host a superhero who needed a VOICE. Without Lin as our winter superhero, we didn’t know who we should become advocates for.
We had tried to host the two oldest girls on the hosting list.
One girl already had a host family.
We had tried to host an older girl and a 3-year-old boy.
There were issues with the sweet girl’s file, and she became unavailable for hosting.
We had tried to host the 3-year-old boy, who we had nicknamed “Lin” after part of his Chinese name.
My sweet childhood friend stepped forward to both host AND ADOPT HIM!
Super-Spouse, the man I admire and respect so much, requested that OUR BOYS, not we, look through the files of the children still available for hosting and pray about who needed an advocate most. Because frankly, after watching God perform miracle after miracle throughout Superman’s adoption and DJ’s hosting experience, both Super-Spouse and I have somewhat of a reckless (if that’s possible) trust in God to provide WHATEVER it is we need to support a superhero-in-waiting. Diagnoses and delays on paper don't scare us. And with Super-Spouse’s training as a physician assistant, no medical needs on the list concerned us very much. So he wanted our boys to be the ones to pray and choose and decide. As host brothers. As fellow children. As valuable members of the orphan advocate team.
After looking over and praying about the remaining children on the hosting list, the boys selected four children they thought most needed a voice and who would fit best among the personalities of our home.
One of them was under review by another family.
One of them was the top choice of an incredible woman and now friend who ATTENDS OUR CHURCH (AND WHO, in a crazy move only God could orchestrate, IS NOW HOSTING this superhero this winter! WHICH MEANS WE’LL GET THE PRIVILEGE OF PLAYING WITH HIM ANYWAY!).
Two 7-year-old children, both with Down syndrome, remained on our superheroes' carefully selected and highly debated Top Four.
One was a boy, one was a girl. Both were absolutely precious.
And, because the boys were at school and the husband was unavailable when I received the full information for each, I confess that I watched this little girl’s video in the parking lot of Superman’s occupational therapy appointment, fell in love with her, sent the video to my mama, who also immediately fell in love with her, and emailed back the hosting coordinator that we had decided on the girl.
Yup, me, myself and I. Totally plural.
Clearly, I told them later, Jesus wanted to gift me with estrogen this Christmas. Even my dog is male. This was my unapologetic, I-absolutely-rigged-the-system, this-sweetheart-is-more-precious-than-a-million-dollars-and-I-want-to-take-her-to-the-Nutcracker confession.
And I don't even feel bad about it. :)
So this winter, we are not hosting two 11-year-old girls.
We are not hosting an older girl and a younger boy.
We are not hosting a 3-year-old boy.
We are actually now hosting a 7-year-old girl who we are all totally smitten with who just ROCKS OUT her extra chromosome and SPARKLES in all our eyes. (And yes, my mama is already planning a hand-sewn Christmas dress.)
Meet Joy, our NEW winter superhero, coming to a Cuthrell home near you from December 16-ish through January 15-ish this year!
Warning: This video may cause a SERIOUS desire to adopt. Watch with care. And watch your heart melt before your eyes. <3
JOY -- what we see in her eyes and what we KNOW ALREADY she will be. A perfect advocate name for a perfect girl whose Chinese name also has three letters and starts with a "J."
And what a SEASON for JOY!
JOY TO THE WORLD! <3