Sunday, October 7, 2007

"Live" in this moment...

Steven Curtis Chapman - October 6, 2007
photo courtesy of my dear friend, Sara B.

Okay, I was a rule-abider and didn't take my camera to the concert. And I was a minority. People were snapping photos right and left. From my sixth row seat, I could have gotten some awesome photos, doggone it! Oh, well...I let it go and thoroughly enjoyed every moment of the night! My friend, Sara, took this photo with her cell phone, and I thought it turned out pretty good for a cell phone picture...a lot better than my phone did. Next time, though, I'm bringin' my camera!

There really isn't any way to adequately describe how much I love Steven Curtis Chapman's music and his concerts. His music just gets better and better, and, as I was discussing with a friend, I think it's because he honors God with his life and everything he does. God just keeps giving him more great ideas. This new album is really, really good! The concert? Well...his stories made me laugh, his videos made me cry and his songs were literally music to my soul...much needed! He showed a testimony from a family who received an adoption grant from Shaohannah's Hope (the foundation he and his wife started), and they talked about how their daughter is a gift that they get to open over and over each day. Yeah, that made me cry. Caroline really is a gift. People always say how lucky she is...the truth is WE are just as blessed, if not more, just to be her family. This was the first of his concerts I've attended since we returned from China in February, and I was able to enjoy the concert from a different perspective. I was so thankful to know that my little girl was not sitting in an orphanage waiting for us, but HOME, tucked safe and sound in her own little crib.

I went to my first SCC concert on October 11, 2002, almost exactly five years ago. When I entered that building, I had no idea that my life would be forever changed. I had no idea that God was waiting to meet me inside, waiting to send me on a mission, waiting for me to hear His voice. SCC had just finished telling the story of how he and his wife had adopted their daughter, Shaohannah, from China. Shortly after adopting her, he had written a song called, "When Love Takes You In". As he was singing that song, the video began to play. As soon as I saw Shaohannah's face, I knew. I literally felt God's presence as He whispered in my ear, "This is for you." It was as real as anything I have ever experienced. In fact, I remember looking around to see if anyone else had heard! But the most tangible evidence was in my heart and mind. There wasn't a day over the course of the next four years that I didn't think about my daughter, my baby girl, waiting for me in China...months and years before she was even born.

The short version is that we finally met our sweet Caroline in a crowded conference room at the Civil Affairs Office in Guangzhou, China, on February 5, 2007. It was a moment so long in the making that it was surreal. After such a long wait, it all happened so quickly that I barely had time to savor the moment. Which is why I am SO grateful for a photo that was sent to me recently by my friend, Kristi, who just so happened to become a mommy in that very same room on that very same day, about thirty seconds later!

This photo is precious to me. In the two thousand photos we took in China, we managed to miss the moment Caroline was handed to me. Kristi's family captured it! THANK YOU SO MUCH!

I zoomed in so you can see the look Caroline and I first exchanged...priceless. You can also see Jon videotaping, Mickey to my left, Mindy's head in the forefront of the photo above, and Abby just to my right. I had no idea they were all right there! What a MOMENT for us all!

I'm sure I'll revisit this concert experience and share more of my thoughts at a later date, but for now, I will leave my readers with this point to ponder...while we were at the concert, they had a number up on the curtain. It started out at 0 and by the end of the night, at my last check, it was 497. This number represents the number of children who became orphans during the time we were at the concert. Nearly 500 every 18 seconds...going to bed without a family or a place to belong. But every one of those children has a family chosen by God. I pray these families will hear the call and be obedient...and be blessed beyond measure.


Kristi said...

We did have an advantage of having four additional family members, each with a camera or video recorder to help out in capturing your moment. Besides, my family was ready because your family (#19) was just before us (#20)!

Awesome parting thoughts! I couldn't have stated better how God blesses us beyond measure when we listen to that crazy call!!!

Love to you all,

Glenna said...

A beautiful entry in your blog! Thanks for sharing about the concert and thanks so much for the very first pictures of Caroline! I love you....Aunt Glenna