Across the sea...

For: Tim & Kristinjoy Taylor
Organizer: Kristinjoy
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The Story

Hi friends and family!

Adoption has always captivated me. I remember a sermon years ago about our adoption into God's family, where I sat with streams of tears pouring down my face for the entirety of the service! Such unbearable beauty. I swoon over a God who is Father to the fatherless; a God who brings the lonely into families. In the past year, my heart began to overflow it's borders once again and we began the 'real' conversations about starting our family. God began to draw Tim's heart too, and we spent time asking the LORD how, when, where, who?! Through a series of prayers and events, we felt that China was the direction He was pointing. It simply seeded in our hearts and started to grow. We are open to the family God has prepared for us, whatever that looks like! 

So this is our beginning. The beginning of the journey. It's big and daunting and impossible without God. With that said, we are excited to see Him do the impossible as we move forward in faith! We don't know who our little one is yet, but we know that Jesus does. We also know that whatever special needs she has, Jesus is her Great Healer, and we look forward to seeing Him at work in her little life. We would so appreciate your prayers and support as you feel led by the Holy Spirit, and we look forward to this God-sized journey ahead!

Love,

Tim & Kristinjoy [and Beau]

Psalm 68
"Sing to God, sing in praise of his name,
extol him who rides on the clouds;
rejoice before him—his name is the Lord.
A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows,
is God in his holy dwelling. 
God sets the lonely in families...
Sing to God, you kingdoms of the earth,
sing praise to the Lord...
"

Fundraiser Updates

Posted on May 3, 2017

Posted on May 3, 2017

I can't believe the day is here! We leave tomorrow morning for CHINA! I don't have time for an eloquent post, but I do have time to swoon over the fact that God has provided COMPLETELY, as of today, for every cost for the adoption!!!! Thank you to everyone who has given such generous support and crazy love! God is good! To keep up with us along the way, follow the blogwhile we travel to get our girl. Love to you all! 
~Kristinjoy

Posted on March 6, 2017

Posted on March 6, 2017

THE CALL


Tim and I hurried into Central Park with our heart's racing. Trying to find a quiet place to take this call, we walked deeper into the park, away from taxi horns, buses, and foot traffic. Tim's fit-bit was practically smoking with the rapid rise of his heart-rate. Finding a large gray rock rising out of the winter ground, we climbed on top and cradled the phone between us, shielding it against the frigid wind. The bare tree tops revealed the NY skyline in the distance, as people meandered the paths below us. Huddled together on the wide rock, we looked at each other as Kaitlyn's voice came through on speakerphone. “Hey guys, it's Kaitlyn from your adoption agency. Soooo I have some pretty crazy news for you!”

How could this be? Here? Now? My heart was banging on the clasp of my wool jacket. Breathe. Just breathe. Every New York sound disappeared into a winter silence as she spoke with a calm but excited tone. “We have a little girl we want you to take a look at. She's 16 months old, and she is absolutely precious. It looks as though she has a pretty minor heart condition.”

I clasped my cold hands over my mouth, as Tim just looked at the phone. We weren't saying anything. We barely could. Tim broke through the bewildered pause with a stumbling trail of, “Wow, ya, yes, okay, we would love to take a look at her file.” Kaitlyn, I'm sure sensing our disbelief, excitedly said, “Guys, candidly, we never see files like this. This little girl is so rare. She is such a little gem.” I grabbed my heart in delight. Kaitlyn said she could send the file to us in about 10 minutes, so we ended the call with eyes wide, and paced the rock together in a flurry of unspoken feelings and thoughts. There are no words worthy to speak in moments like this. We had waited for nearly 3 years for this call, and it was no longer an idea or a hope or even a question looming in the distance.

It was here.

We were living in the moment we had been waiting for all this time, and standing in that place feels a lot like what I imagine floating in outer space must feel like. There is just the sound of your own breath against the silence, looking at something too big to understand. How can you take it in? How can you do anything but stand in awe and silence in the face of such significance? All you can really do is just keep breathing.

With the temperatures plummeting outside, we found our way to the Frick Museum just at the edge of Central Park. Shedding our coats at the desk, we entered the quiet halls decorated with Rembrandts and Monets, indifferent to their beauty or mastery at this moment. We happened upon the garden court in the center of the museum, and found a seat. A single ivory fountain flowed gently in the center of the sky-lit garden. Quiet foot-steps and the trickle of water were the only sounds in this sanctuary. It must have been the quietest place in all of New York City. Peace lilies filled the garden court, as we sat with a wash of excitement and peace flowing down over us here in this beauty-haven.

“Qian Zi Yan” popped up in the subject line of Tim's email. Bent over the phone together, oblivious to the world around us, Tim opened the file. A tan face with big, light-filled eyes looked back at us. My hands covered my mouth again, and we floated in outer-space for minutes. Dressed in a bold combination of stripes, polka-dots, and ruffle socks, I thought, “Surely this is my daughter.” I bubbled up like that fountain with every pass back through her handful of photos. Delight, it was sheer delight giggling out of me as I looked at her hopeful and inquisitive pose in each picture. Artwork surrounded the halls of this space, portraits and masterpieces, but it was her face that had captured us. It was her light-filled eyes that we could not look away from.

---------

It's hard to comprehend that in that moment Zi Yan became a daughter; I became a Mom; Tim became a Dad. At least in our hearts. We still have a mountain of paperwork and a few thousand miles that separate us from that reality just yet, but I am still reeling at how the significance of such a moment lacks definition. It surpasses language. Sometimes it just doesn't even compute. It is a thing of spirit and heart, and I think it must be held silently for a time. Like when the angel Gabriel told Mary of what God was going to do in her, she had to just go away and quietly mull it all over. That is a lot what this feels like. I could labor to find words and say more, but I leave you with just this moment among the many more unfolding ones in our family. I pray you hold it close in the silence for a moment too, and feel the glory of it like we do.

Zi Yan was left to be found on a road the day of her birth, and after an unsuccessful search for her birth parents she was taken to a welfare institution in her city. At three weeks old, probably due to a detection of her heart condition, she was transferred to a Show Hope orphan care center where she received medical care, and was cared for well by staff most likely trained in attachment and nurture of children from hard places. We believe she has spent the better part of her life at this center, which is incredible. At Show Hope, she was named Pearl by the staff...probably because everyone who sees her talks about what a precious little gem she is. When we found this out, I found myself clasping my heart, yet again. We were sitting at the dinner table when the woman from Show Hope shared her new name with us...the dinner table where I keep a small jar filled with sand and a pearl inside. A tag hangs from the cork of the jar that says, “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” We decided to name her Maia Pearl Taylor.

And to this, I sigh a surrendered Hallelujah to the God whose ways, though long and painful, are perfect. He has allowed our hearts to break in these waiting years, that He might fill them with the kind of wonder and beauty that only come from Heavenly places and Heavenly wisdom. He let the pain and the questions multiply, that the joy and the answers might multiply too. He has patiently let time travel on, and in the expanding days, he has gathered more brothers and sisters in prayer and love and anticipation of this little life that is dear to His heart. I kneel before this God, and worship.

We hope to travel in May to China, and finally bring this little Pearl home forever.


~In awe and gratitude, Kristinjoy


Posted on December 31, 2016

Posted on December 31, 2016

Three Christmases have now passed since we began the paperwork for international adoption. Three. You might remember my post from last year where I cried in the middle of Target as I bought the second Christmas gift she would not be home to open. I wrapped the third gift this year. The holidays are hard. Good, but hard. In reality, any calendar event that marks the passing of time just reminds us of how long this wait has become, and our legs shake a little more as the miles drag on in this adoption marathon.

I get nervous that people think we have run off with the adoption donations and bought a boat or a farm, us laughing into the sunset of our great fundraising heist! :/ I ache when people approach us anticipating good news, and I'm never the bearer of any. I sigh every time we read how many children were matched each month, and that number never includes our family.

This waiting is starting to feel like a lump in my throat. It's slightly painful, but mostly just uncomfortable, and leaves me with an on-the-verge-of-crying response at random times. You know the kind. The times when you try to hold it together and your throat burns with that lump sitting hard and hot trying to weigh down your tears. This is what almost three years of waiting feels like to me.

The equally hard part of waiting is that I know that this is the holy ground on which God chooses to tread in our lives. He seems to work out His plans in painfully slow rhythms and what appears to be near-misses in the end, and it feels so risky and so uncertain. So I wait with this lump in my throat and keep wrapping Christmas gifts. In this radio silence, the temptation is to take the reigns myself, to start changing course and making calls and making it happen, because trusting in God's timing is kind of easy up until things start getting uncomfortable and feeling uncertain. Waiting on God is okay up until His timeline starts to drastically interfere with what I think is appropriate. As I wrestle with this wait, it continues to challenge and confront me as each year passes. I juggle the opposition within about this God whose ways are higher and sometimes unsearchable. I am learning, ever so slowly, to embrace the reality that though everything in me wants to bypass the waiting, or curb its frustrations by finding a faster route, there just might be a purpose here in these long days and even longer years. Though I wish it weren't true, I do have the suspicion that leaving this barren place before it's time, might actually be a worse and more painful thing in the end.

Last month, Tim discovered a caterpillar hanging from a branch propped against our back porch. A storm was forecasted to come through that evening, the outer bands bringing stiff wind, so I brought the gnarly branch and little creature inside the porch for safe haven. Instead of getting ready for a flight we had to catch that afternoon, I sat in a rocking chair, transfixed by the brave little thing anchored to the branch. It wiggled and wrestled and shed it's outer layer, along with it's legs into a small heap dropping to the floor. It discarded it's only way of escape. No more legs. Just a view of the world, upside-down. There was no turning back for the caterpillar that day. I witnessed the little worm start it's cocoon in the next minutes, hardening slowly over the next hour or so into a brown tomb of waiting. Prayers went up from me for her safe passage to butterflyhood. Maybe they were also prayers for me. This cocoon held more than a caterpillar inside. It was holding my fragile hope for all this long and unexpected waiting. The truth was, I thought that maybe when the butterfly emerged, something new might emerge in me too. Some new found strength or hope or way of being. Something alive with wings. So I kept vigil over her day and night.

One afternoon, through the warped glass of our old french doors, my eyes must have been playing tricks. I opened the doors, and walked closer. My heart sank. I quickly looked around the porch, poking boxes and moving chairs. I searched the screens, the ceiling, the walls. My husband joined the search party, shaking brooms and shoes and work-out equipment. Hanging from the limb was only an empty, half cocoon. There were lizards passing glances between each other that seemed like they knew what had happened, but were sworn to secrecy. There was no cathartic moment watching the new creature emerge and take it's first delicate and daring flight. There was only a vacant, torn cocoon and barefoot me standing there feeling a little lost.

Days later, as I was working on the computer, Tim walked in our office holding something curious in his hands. Sadness was written across his face. In one of our boxes on the back porch, Tim had discovered the newborn butterfly laying stiff and lifeless. He handed it to me with a heavy heart, and I cried. I traced one orange wing decorated with shining silver spots, and turned over the little beauty to discover a smaller, wrinkled left wing. She was so lovely, yet not quite ready for life outside the cocoon, and so she dropped, weak and flightless to the boxes below.

As I sit here in my own uncomfortable waiting, I will remember the flightless orange creature with a small and wrinkled wing, and ask the LORD to give me strength and endurance to stay here, to wait here, as long as He deems necessary. May I lay still before my Maker, and know that His ways are not only right, but perfect. I pray for the grace to believe that He is making everything beautiful in it's time. And though His plans be long and often painful to this finite little chrysalis, I trust that soul-making is His creative domain, His area of expertise, and I dare not leave before the time that is set for me.

Thank you for your prayers for our family, and for your endurance with us on this longer-than-expected road. Your faith, hope, and love is such an encouragement to us when we grow weary in the waiting. Hold fast to this Psalm with us as we walk into a new year, and further into His plans that are higher and holier than ours. ~Kristinjoy

Psalm 25

“In you, Lord my God,
I put my trust.

I trust in you;
do not let me be put to shame,
nor let my enemies triumph over me.
No one who hopes in you
will ever be put to shame,
but shame will come on those
who are treacherous without cause.

Show me your ways, Lord,
teach me your paths.

Guide me in your truth and teach me,
for you are God my Savior,
and my hope is in you all day long...”

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