I will say to the north, "Give up," and to the south, "Do not withhold;
bring My sons from afar and My daughters from the end of the earth, everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My glory, whom I formed and made."
I spent the summer of 2002 in China. The Lord ordained my time there not only for working alongside co-laborers, but to also spend time in fervent prayer. My best friend was my email correspondent while over there, and she wrote to me just a few days after arriving in early June to let me know that our youth minister and his wife had officially begun the paperwork to adopt a daughter from China.
We all knew that we wouldn't see this precious girl face to face for at least another year, and that day came in February of 2004. Myself and others greeted them at the airport as Panda Mom and Panda Pop came off the plane in tears and carrying with them their daughter.
Now backtrack to what I was just saying about being over in China during the summer of 2002. PandaGirl was born on October 6, 2002, which means that I was there (not in the same province where her orphanage was located) while she was still in the womb. In between the English training camps, discovering new and unusual food, meeting Chinese students and adults completely infatuated with America, I prayed. Oh, how I prayed. What a time to be in intercession for this child and this family; this child whom God foreknew and ordained to one day be joined with this family.
So this is my simple way of saying 'Happy Birthday' to a little girl who has been diligently prayed for by many since she was in a woman's womb on the other side of the globe from where she is now. PandaGirl isn't special because of anything she has done in her young life, not unique because of any creativity conjured up in her, but because she is a very real, very appropriate representation of the Lord's steadfast love, faithfulness, and undeserved mercy upon those He adopts as sons and daughters. When I think of all the things leading up to her birth, all of the things she has experienced and already been taught thus far about the Lord, my heart swells and I'm moved to praising the Father. He is the Author of our lives, the One who calls His children from afar, and the One who knew us even before conception.
For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there were none of them.