By Katie Hurst
It’s been a few years since I picked up my laptop and sat down to write out my thoughts and feelings. It has been a hard few years for us. I’ve been grieving in many ways, grieving a life I had hoped for and learning to accept the one I have. This grief will stay with me and ebb and flow with the tide of life. This is the lesson the years have taught me. Some days are good, some are really hard.
As one of my favorite paintings says, I will “Just Begin.”
As I’ve watched and grieved, God strengthened me through His Holy Spirit. I meditated on Him and not on His people. I spent time in the New Testament. I read and read and read the words in red in my Bible. I soaked in who Jesus is. In this sacred space of quietness, I remembered my love for Him. I remembered that nobody has ever cared for me like Jesus. I sat and found my joy once again in my friend, Jesus.
During my quiet years, God was stirring up a continuation of His work in my heart and life. You may remember my deep love of China. I love adoption, it is true. But, my heart beats in rhythm with China and the culture and the people of China.
This quote by Gladys Aylward sums up my heart well:
“These are my people, God has given them to me. I will live or die with them for Him and for His glory.”
As I was hurting, He was healing. In His incredible grace to me, He chose to use China in that healing. God brought me friends who speak the language of my heart, even if I don’t understand all the words. He surrounded me with Chinese friends and family. The food brought to my home twice a week tastes like home to me and nourishes my soul. My house smells of China these days.
“No one has ever cared for me like Jesus.”
As I yielded to Him and His will, He has shown mercy on my weakness. He has breathed life into my childhood dreams of connecting to China on a large scale. These days I wake up to at least 3-4 messages written in Chinese characters that require me to use Google Translate.
That WeChat ding sounds like the crinkle of a Dove chocolate wrapper to my heart.
I’m also taking Chinese language classes. DREAMY.
Over Christmas, God just opened the floodgates on our family. Truly, I have never experienced anything like this in my entire life. It was as if He was specifically reminding me that He is extravagant in His love for us. Extravagant is the only term to use here.
Our incredible local Chinese community spoils us on Christmas and this year we had a front seat view of what it must have been like to be there when God miraculously fed an entire crowd with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. We had the best Christmas I could have imagined! Hundreds and hundreds of Chinese people all over the world were involved in this miracle.
The absolute best thing that came from this was new friendships and connections. Many wanted to continue to give and out of that miracle came the birth of this new nonprofit for adoptive families.
Our Father’s Diadem is a new example of friendship and connection between Chinese and American families. We are working together to repair the trauma caused in adoption as children and families work towards healing.
This nonprofit is a collective effort and combines all of God’s planted dreams in my heart. To see the friendships being built between East and West and to see adoptive families supported is still something incredible to witness. The walls between these cultures are crumbling down here at Our Father’s Diadem! Hallelujah! To God be the glory.
To accomplish this goal, we have two main focus areas at this point.
First, our support to families is in the timeframe after an adoption has already taken place. While leading a support group over the years for adoptive moms, I have seen first-hand how little is in place for supporting them. The irony is that this is the very time when families need so much more support. Children bring their backgrounds, their cultures, their trauma into a family. The family absorbs that trauma. Usually, the outcome results in Secondary Trauma on the other members of the family. We will explore what that is in a different post.
That leads to our second focus area, Chinese organizations and churches will be the base of support to these families.
The Chinese culture is incredibly gifted with surrounding others in supportive ways. It is deeply embedded in their culture to work together for the good of the group. From our small experience since we have started this nonprofit, we are seeing God use that to wrap around adoptive families. When word reaches one team member of a family in need, the family is quickly surrounded with food, house care, and respite.
We are working to create an entire church program to train teams in churches to continue this care for a family as long as necessary. While the church takes things off of the family responsibility list, the family is then freed with that time and energy to work towards healing and connecting as a family unit.
While we will work with any church wanting to assist and support adoptive families, our outreach focuses on Chinese churches. We are growing a Nationwide friendship between East and West and it is truly beautiful to watch. If you were here with me today, I would grab your shoulders and shake you in love.
“Do you see what God is doing??”
“Do you understand the magnitude of friendship between these cultures?”
Let’s learn together. Let us learn from each other. Let’s share the best of each culture and make the world a far better place for the next generation. Together, let’s work to create a new system of support for adoptive families.
This is definitely not something we can do alone. We have to all work together on this new journey. Right now, we need monthly sponsors, donors. We completely believe that no amount is too small. Again, it is the collective whole that makes this work!
Will you commit to $5, $20, $40 a month to help us keep working towards helping adoptive families connect and grow toward healing?
Get ready to jump together into a whole new world!
JUST KIDDING. I don’t jump…..
I’ll nap. You jump.