When Love Captures Your Heart and Changes Everything.

[vc_row fullwidth="false" attached="false" padding="0" visibility="" animation=""][vc_column border_color="" visibility="" width="1/1"][vc_column_text disable_pattern="true" align="left" margin_bottom="0"]A wave of thick heat and a mass of Vietnamese people swarmed around us just outside the Saigon airport.  "Uncle No Problem", an affectionate nickname given by Americans who could neither pronounce his name nor do anything without his help,  would pick us up just outside the airport. Any moment now… He's supposed to be meeting us.   We traveled for  freaking 24 hours - surely he is coming.

"You need ride?  I give you taxi ride for twenty dollar."

"No, I don't need ride!"

This exchange happened at least 6 more times in the hour plus that we stood there with our bloated suitcases (years before the invention of the wheeled duffle bag).  We were packed to the gills, ready to meet our baby girl: pack-n-play, baby formula, bottles, baby bjorn, diapers, tiny little clothes, medicine, tons of other crap, etc.   We packed more than we needed; everyone does.

Where in the heck is Uncle No Problem? (I may not have been so "Christian" with my language at that moment).

Our main problem was that we couldn't show that we needed help.  To do so would be like throwing white bread into a duck pond.  More than once, I had this feeling that we shouldn't be there.

I wish I could tell you that we were all spiritual and prayed the whole time.  I may have  spit out a "Help, Lord!" But, for the most part, we were just scared.

Lisa has this thing she does when something "might" be happening.  It's like a warning light on your dashboard.  She says my name in a certain tone.  A tone that is reserved for  moments that aren't quite right.

A shady character approaches:  "Chad."  I'm about to run into the back of another car:  "Chad."

I'm sure I heard my name a few times during that long wait.  Questions were flying as we tried to figure out what to do.

What are we doing here? 

Something - actually, a little Someone,  compelled us to stay.  Somewhere in that congested city, a tiny little person had been picked out just for us.  We were only miles away from  meeting Maia Lin, our baby  girl.

She was waiting.  We were waiting.  We had skin (literally) in this.  We wouldn't  stop until she was in our arms.

Love compelled us.

We fended off a few more taxi drivers and eventually Uncle No Problem arrived with a big grin and broken English.    I was thrilled to see him and wanted to get this mission accomplished.    Let's go get our girl and get out of this country.

Not so fast.

Jesus was up to something, and growing our family was just the start.

By that time in my life, I had several mission trips under my belt.  I had built houses and  churches,  sung crazy vacation bible school songs,  and talked to complete strangers about Jesus… you name it, I had done it.  The only problem?  Compassion, grace and mercy were missing.  Religious effort and duty fueled those missions, not Jesus or His heart for people.

This time the mission was a person.   Maia was the spark that opened my eyes to an orphanage full of children, many of whom  would never be adopted.   She was the catalyst that ignited my heart for a country of people, beautiful people, who needed Jesus just as much as I did.

She's still the firecracker in our house.  15 years ago today, she came bounding into this world as well as  our hearts.  She's my daily reminder of God's grace, mercy and love.

He loves to rescue.  He loves to set the lonely in families.  He also delights to change the hearts of cocky youth pastors.

 

Happy Birthday, Super Bean! - Love, Daddy.[/vc_column_text][mk_icon_box2 icon_type="icon" icon_size="64" icon="mk-li-paper-plane" icon_color="#02b3ff" title="Follow Chad's Blog and never miss a post." title_size="24" title_weight="inherit" title_top_padding="10" title_bottom_padding="10" align="center"]

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