For any of you who were at our wedding and remember that Jonathan and I danced to Savage Garden's I Knew I Loved You, you probably made the connection then. It's no secret that Jonathan and I were very much fond of each other before we ever met face to face. However, that feeling was not something new to me. I have experienced this unusual occurrence six different times thus far in my life.
Although I cannot remember well what I felt when my family adopted my sister, Lacy, when I was four years old, I am told that I spoke of her often during the waiting process. As much as a four year old can love someone she had never met, I assure you I loved her like that. My mom likes to tell about the time that I told her we needed to "pray for our baby." That was certainly my first encounter with loving someone I'd never met.
(Lacy's referral photo)
I do remember distinctly the love I felt for Holly before I ever met her. Before she knew I existed, I yearned for her and loved her beyond understanding. I was immediately drawn to her, the moment I saw her picture on the flyer from our adoption agency. During the time we waited to bring her home, I wrote letters to her. I specifically remember crying as I wrote, as I longed to meet her more than I could explain. I plan to give Holly those letters when she is old enough to read and comprehend the emotion held in them. I was 13 years old at that time. Watching my parents and Ryan walk towards me with Holly in the Atlanta airport is something I'll never forget. After months of waiting to meet her, it truly felt like a dream to see her precious face.
(The first picture of Holly I saw on the flyer from the agency)
Similarly, I cherished Maggie Rose before she ever came home. The decision to adopt Maggie came almost exactly a year from the time my parents came home with Holly. I didn't, however, have any trouble loving Maggie in spite of the fact that Holly was still brand new. I longed for Maggie and I remember her home coming well, again in the Atlanta airport.
(Maggie's referral photo)
When Jonathan and I were introduced, within weeks I knew I loved him. Some people thought I was crazy and a few were so bold as to tell me so. But, loving someone without meeting them was something I knew well. After we had the approval of our parents to pursue a "relationship", if you will (more like get married), I remember feeling that I was really close to him, although we were thousands of miles apart. As with my sisters, we never spoke on the phone before we met. And like with Holly, I wrote him letters. Long letters. Only, this time, unlike Holly, he wrote back. Oh, how I loved him. And still do. More now than I did then, although I wouldn't have believed it if you'd try to tell me it was possible. So, there was no more fitting song for our first dance than I Knew I Loved You.
(The first time Jonathan and I met - in the Houston airport)
Tonight as I rubbed my rapidly growing belly, I thought of how much I love this child growing inside of me. This is not a new development, but it is an increasingly strong emotion. I am certain that in the next 15 weeks until he is due, I will grow to love him more deeply than I could ever imagine.
Right before we found out we were expecting, my parents began discussing another adoption. I can't say I was terribly shocked, yet on the other hand it wasn't something I was expecting. And this time, it's a boy! I look forward with great anticipation to meeting my brother, Caleb, in another airport I'm sure. He will be welcomed into our family with open arms. I love him and he doesn't know I exist.
(Sadly, I cannot post a picture of Caleb. But, he's cute, I promise!)
As Jonathan and I dream of our future and the many plans the Lord has for us which we do not yet know, we constantly speak of our desire to adopt. I am having a hard time waiting to see what God has in store for us, but I am certain that it will involve love. A lot of love. And I pray that it includes multiple more chances to love someone sight unseen.
"I knew I loved you before I met you, I think I dreamed you into life;
I knew I loved you before I met you, I have been waiting all my life."