I was 18, a college freshman sitting in my psychology class and oblivious to what was about to happen next. God was about to speak very clearly to my heart—China. Two gentlemen spoke to us about the little girls who were abandoned and left as orphans in China. I sobbed the whole time (not just a light cry, a sob—a bit embarrassing in front of 50 of my peers). After this, I was left with one thought that I was CERTAIN of…one day I would go to China.
5 years later, a college graduate with just one year in the real world under my belt, I left the only country I had ever known, put my first stamp in my passport and moved to China to teach English. My heart was captured. While there, A HUGE love for the Chinese people was fostered and later for people from all nations.
Three years in China and now back in the U.S., I sat across the table for the first time from John Carlson. He was drawing a picture about who God is. I inquired about what he was drawing…the judgment of God. Wow. I shared a piece of my heart: Zephaniah 3:17 and that God rejoices over us. Long story short…John totally changed the painting he was working on and after realizing that we wanted to spend life together, we were married.
Something interesting is that while we were dating, John always asked me to share my stories of living in China. I so appreciated that he wanted to hear and in this, a love for China and the Chinese people have also grown in his heart. Another awesome thing is that since both John and I have had a heart for adoption for many years, even before we met.
We now are the parents to the two most amazing 11 year old twin sons—David and Michael. They are our sweetest blessings. What a privilege to parent them and to walk through life with them. God’s ways are higher than ours. I love that He has a plan!
One morning, this summer in July 2011, I woke up after what felt like a nightmare. I was very anxious and there was an urgency plaguing me. I dreamt that there was a little girl crying somewhere- maybe mine?-that I had to go and find, but that I couldn’t find her.
I kept this dream to myself and brushed it aside, thinking “that was strange” and went on with my day. A week passed and I was depressed and really didn’t know why. John and I sat down in our pj’s on a Saturday morning and I shared the dream that I had earlier in the week and asked him what he thought about it. His reply was that maybe it was time to begin looking to start the process of adopting a little girl! I wholeheartedly agreed, as adoption has been something that we had said we wanted to pursue again some time in the future.
We talked about and explored adopting domestically and/or internationally. After speaking with the Chinese adoption agency, it was clear to John and I that this is the way that we are supposed to walk. So, we’re going to get her!
Here we come, little one!