our journey to Mary Katherine {hidden providence in opposition}

On Tuesday we went back to the registration office to receive our adoption certificate. Our travel group gathered together and the officials spoke briefly before giving us our adoption certificate, which marks the day our adoption is finalized in China. Of course, in our eyes, the first moment we held Mary Katherine will always be our forever family day.


We returned to the hotel briefly for a quick lunch and then prepared for our travel day to Luoyang with another family. In Henan, they now require that each family travel to their child’s provincial city to apply for their passport. Fortunately we did not have to make this trip when we adopted Lily. Her city, Nanyang, is a 4 hour one way trip which would have been extremely difficult considering how much she was grieving.

Our trip to Luoyang would be 2.5-3 hours each way. As we were about to get off the Luoyang city exit, our guide told us that the passport office called to say they were closing for the day due to no power. We debated staying in a hotel for the night but we were not prepared with extra clothes, diapers, formula, etc. so we turned around and headed back to Guangzhou. A long day for everyone to say the least.

We would soon be reminded of God’s hidden providence in our opposition and set backs.

We woke up early the next morning ready for round two. We prayed over our trip and enjoyed a nice time of fellowship in the van with the other family we have enjoyed getting to know.

As God’s timing would have it, we arrived just as the office was preparing to close and quickly ran in for the passport picture….mission accomplished.

We had requested if there was time to be able to visit the Luoyang orphanage, Maria’s Big House of Hope and see Mary Katherine’s finding place.

Clearly God knew our trip needed to be delayed so that we would have the gift of time to make these visits.

After lunch we made a brief stop to see Mary Katherine’s finding place. I may share more another time, but for now I am very grateful to have a few photos that mark this part of her adoption story.

We traveled from there to the Luoyang city orphanage, which is located across from Mariah’s Big House of Hope.

We were not allowed to take any pictures in the orphanage, which houses over 600 children. It is a new building and much nicer than most; however, there is still a cold, institutional feel as you walk down the halls. The nannies are doing the best they can given their circumstances but the reality is that every face we saw is the face of a child without a forever family. A child in need of hope and love. As we were leaving I looked over at Michael and saw him welling up with tears overwhelmed by the reality of what we saw. This would have been the home for Mary Katherine and given her medical condition she may not have survived. By God's grace He allowed her to be the recipient of such excellent love and care from New Hope and Maria's Big House of Hope. There are no words to express our gratitude for this life giving gift.

The other family traveling with us was able to meet their son's caregivers and see the room where he played during his time there. And as God would have it, with over 600 babies, their other son they will be bringing home in the spring shared the playroom next to his and they were able to see him briefly before we left. Such a gift from the Lord.

We walked across the yard to Maria's Big House of Hope where joy and love abound.


Every person we met shines a bright light of hope and it is evident how much they adore the children in their care. We were able to take a tour and see the rooms where Mary Katherine stayed. She went right to one of the nannies who cared for her most recently but was hesitant and a bit reserved during the remaining part our visit snuggling up close to Michael for security.


To Lily's dismay we did not have time to play with the babies like we did at New Hope. When the girls are older my desire is to return for a trip to serve and give back. New Hope and Maria's exceeded my expectations. They are a beacon of light for children in need of hope. A glimpse of the great love God has for the fatherless. The more we learn about the ministry of Show Hope the more we stand in awe of how God continues to do the impossible and open doors of opportunity for them to care for the orphans of this world.

On our way home we also experienced another unexpected gift as our guide prayed to receive Christ. What a gift to witness God's great love story as another one of His children was adopted into His kingdom.  

Looking back we are grateful for our day of opposition that revealed God's hidden providence. 

To God be the glory.


Anonymous said...


I am so happry for you, Michael, Spencer and Lily! I could not wait to see your blog and what a beautiful child! She is absolutely beautiful! To God be the glory. Hope you all have a safe trip home. Love to all! Pat Phipps

Pat Phipps

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