We have been eagerly anticipating this day since the moment we spotted your tender black-brown eyes.
From the day we read your file.
From the moment God allowed us to be matched with you as part of a forever family.
The "Gotcha Day" we would finally get the privilege of holding you in our arms.
Although we’ve received an update in the seven months since we submitted our Letter of Intent to become your parents, we still know so little about you.
What we do:
We know about your superpower of cerebral palsy.
We know about your shy and timid and tender spirit.
And we know how you received your Chinese name.
The official file we received stated: “Our institute named the child WU LI LONG; WU represents Children’s Welfare Institute of Wuhan City; LI is given to all children who are admitted to our institute in this month; LONG represents our wishes that the child will be successful after he grows up and be a useful man to the society.”
But sweet Wu Li Long, today, on the day we get to discover more than the facts listed in an adoption file — more than a medical diagnosis that kept too many families from you for far too long — more than your age and your stats and your description of three years of life following an infant abandonment in a hospital garden — we want you to know that we believe you are more than just another Wu in the Wuhan Children’s Welfare Institute.
We believe you are more than another Li admitted during a certain month of the year.
And precious child, we don’t care if you are one bit “successful” or “useful” or “prosperous” by the world’s standards.
Because you are already PERFECT in our eyes and in God’s.
You don’t have to perform to earn our love.
You don’t have to do or be or act or produce to keep it.
You don’t have to say the right things or do the right things or make the right choices or behave the right way.
You don’t have to get the right grades or accomplish the right tasks or meet the right standards or reach the right goals.
You are LOVED because you are our child. You are LOVED because God already loved you first.
Not for what you could DO … but because of what He has already done FOR you.
Your only job right now, sweet boy, is to bask and soak and REST in this unconditional love.
This love — you can’t earn it. Nothing can take it away. No good or bad performance can change the way we feel. No amount of “success” could make us prouder than we are today.
Getting the honor and privilege of calling you “SON” is one of the proudest moments of our lives!
And we are willing to wait as long as it takes to SHOW YOU and CONVINCE YOU and MAKE YOU BELIEVE that you, precious boy, are WORTHY of love. That YOU, sweet angel of our dreams, DESERVE IT.
That you are loved with a love so fierce that nothing could shake it. Nothing could break it. Nothing could dampen it. Nothing could kill it.
And we are 5,000 percent committed to pouring this overwhelming love that God has poured upon us out upon YOU for every minute of every day of the rest of your entire life.
You are a gift. Your life is a blessing. And you are FAR MORE than a boy that an institutional worker hoped would become a “useful man to society.”
You, sweet boy, are an adored SON. A treasured superhero. A CHILD OF GOD.
This thing we’re doing today when we hold your tiny hands and peer into your eyes for the very first time — it’s not just a commitment for today. It’s a commitment for LIFE.
It’s a new promise. It’s a new hope. It’s a new COVENANT.
In the Bible, a new covenant brings a new name.
And today, sweet boy, as we get the honor and privilege of making you a new promise — that we will hold you and love you and treasure you and FIGHT for you — no matter how hard the battle, no matter how long the war — we also give you a new name.
A new name to represent a new covenant.
We will no longer call you “Li.” Because you are MORE than a number admitted to an orphanage during a certain month of the year.
Your last name will no longer be “Wu.” Because your admitting orphanage no longer gets the privilege of claiming you as one of theirs.
And your middle name will no longer project the unspoken demand that you learn how to be “useful.”
Sweet boy, your heart placed in the hands of God is the most useful on this planet!
Instead, we will call you by a new first name. Because you, like the World War II hero you are named after, are brave. You are courageous. And we just know that you, like him, will be a warrior leader.
To make the progress in mobility you’ve already made, we know you already ARE one.
Your middle name will remind you of your new great aunt and uncle who were never able to have children … but lavishly loved your mama and her siblings like their own anyway. Who gave generously. Who prayed fiercely. Whose walks with God taught me what it meant to trust Him, even when He didn’t answer my prayers the way I thought He should. To remind you that the fiercest love sometimes comes not just through BIRTH or BLOOD … but through the BOND of two hearts joined by God.
Your second middle name will be the Hebrew word for “praise.” Because that’s what we have done since the second God allowed us to be YOURS.
The little warrior who causes all of us to PRAISE GOD.
We can barely keep ourselves together this morning as we count down the minutes until we can spend the rest of our lives loving and praising God for you.
THANK YOU for changing OUR story. <3