Saturday, September 17, 2011

The BIG Picture

What an emotional day today was!  On top of the fact that we are just touring the sites of Seoul again,and our senses are permeated with the smells, the tastes, the sounds etc....we are not only filled with anticipation to get Hanna, but reminded of our first trip over here to get Narae.  It fell along the exact same time of the week back in March 2002.    Leaving on a  Thursday, arriving in Seoul Friday night, and a day of touring on Saturday.  One of the places we went on the Saturday with Narae was the NSeoul Tower, which I have posted pictures of.  You take the cable car up to the top of the mountain where there are many beautiful overlooks of the city.  There are walking and common areas all around.  Almost ten years ago, we saw a little girl being sketched by an artist, and I believe her sister was with her.  I commented to Mark at that time...."One Day Honey...One Day we will bring our sweet daughter back here with her sisters and get her portrait done."( by sisters at that time I meant Rebekah and Brienna....)  I felt so saddened on that day that we didn't have Narae with us so that we could get a picture, and we didn't have time to take her back when she was a baby.  Whenever I have seen adoptive friends post from the NSeoul tower, I have always thought of that day, and the promise that I had made to myself, with Mark and Narae  back than!

Fast forward almost a decade to today!  Saturday, September 17, 2011.  It is incredible for me to think that a Sovereign God would have heard my promise that long ago, and know in His infinite wisdom that on this day in 2011, I would be back. He already knew the prayer of our next adopted daughter (Adah) that she would implore her parents and God's heart for a sibling, since practically the day she could talk in sentences.  He knew the day a woman would have another heartbreak, and choose a better life for her daughter, and He knew the day our phone would ring on February 10, 2011 that would change our lives forever.
      We walked up the first flight of stairs after getting off the cable car and there in front of us was a sketch artist.  We decided that we would wait until we were done going up to the top of the tower, and doing our LOVE LOCKS as well before looking into getting the girls sketched.    By the time we got back to where the artist was, he was sketching a mother, or perhaps a grandmother with her son or grandson.  I was amazed how a simple charcoal pencil in the hands of an expert could bring such depth to a picture. At one point I was wondering about the sketch he was doing of the older woman, I looked away for a few moments, turned back and all of a sudden there she was from some extra expert movement on the paper, he had captured her like a photographer.  It was a priceless moment to see this bond being captured stroke by stroke on paper.  This woman must have been quite elderly, for when she got up she could barely stand.  She was a tiny little woman all hunched over and I thought of all the hard work that her body represented. was her face and her eyes that captured EVERYTHING.

Well my friends, it was Adah and Narae's turn to be sketched.  I also asked the artist for a special request as I pulled out a picture of our Hanna.  I put up three of my fingers and pointed to his sketch pad.  He looked a little puzzled and I pointed to their faces,Narae, than Adah, than to  the face of Hanna, mythree  fingers and again the sketch pad.  He quickly began nodding his head and I gave him her picture.  Mark and I stood back, and what you see unfolding here completely took my breath away.  So many thoughts running through my mind as this man put his expertise to work.

Mark decided that he was going to wait and see the finished product so I was busy taking in the process and trying hard not to fall apart.

He started with Narae.  He did her hair, her eyebrows and than he started her eyes.  I couldn't breathe and my heart started to pound.   He made them just big enough to be different.  Just like WEIGNER eyes are.  Just like the referral stated that we had of her.  It said her birth parents had LARGE EYES.  Our referral application noted that Mark and I had large eyes....The Weigners are known for their large eyes.  I remember taking custody of Narae in Korea and when we were in the subway a sweet woman came over to me and pointed to Narae's eyes.  Even as a small baby, she commented on how large and beautiful her eyes were.  Here the artist was working on this part of Narae.  A part that had been perfectly picked out by an intimate Heavenly artist long before I even took a breath.

Mark and I were amazed at how well Narae fell into the role of a model.  She was strikingly beautiful sitting there.  She had her gaze fixed and I told her if she was born a few hundred years earliar she would have been the Mona Lisa.

THAN...the next part came.....the artist picked up the picture of Hanna and started to sketch.

That's when my emotions came running over me as I saw him look with such detail into the face of a little girl that is a part of my heart, a part of our family and yet I haven't laid eyes on her yet.

For you see stroke by stroke of this master artist hands were more like God whispering into my heart.  This man had in his mind the big picture before he even started, he knew what he wanted it to look like.  As he did a little movement here, some shading in one point, using the dark to bring out the light, I felt God saying...Karen are you getting this?   I AM THE MASTER ARTIST!  Though you still haven't seen your daughter yet, I have had this picture planned from the beginning of time.  No one else, but the artist and I could see what was unfolding, and I have no idea what the thoughts may have been in his heart as he put the faces of my little girls together on a sketching paper.  There I was looking at him bringing united life to my little girls.  I can't even explain, how he used the simple strokes of a charcoal pencil to put a soul into this picture.  He was placing Hanna (Naeun) Weigner with her sisters one step at a time.  Here we are in Korea, just steps away from physically being complete, and I'm getting to watch it all unfold.  I was thinking of standing near that same spot 10 years ago, waiting for Narae with empty arms.  Looking out over the VAST city, wondering where she was.  I just stood there and thought of How BLESSED I am by a God that has given me so much.  Have there been difficulties?   ABSOLUTELY!  But it's like the artist using the dark to bring out the light.  To make another part brighter somehow.  With each stroke as well, He has the final picture in mind. All of it designed to be a masterpiece.  At first with Hanna, he started with her pony tail, than again he did her eyebrows, her eyes, her sweet cheeks....and than the lips.  Oh those lips you could just eat up!  I felt like I was seeing my life unfold in a way as I watched him work.  How many times on this journey did I just see a part of the picture.   How many times in my life have I seen little bits, and cried out to God to ask Him where He is, why life isn't fair, where is the justice.  How many times God has whispered to my heart through His Word and so manyother ways,using other people He brings into my life to show me  that He sees the big picture.  And I am as the sun is setting over my daughters homeland, with my daughters from Korea, awaiting a miracle child, watching this master artist put my Korean sweethearts together before my eyes....and I was HUMBLED!

Hanna's picture was nearly complete!  I was trying not to sob, and he hadn't even gotten to Adah.  Adah was patiently sitting there, trying to stay awake poor thing as he started to work.  At first I was thinking....hmmm, I just don't think he's catching Adah exactly, and at that time I walked around with the video camera for another perspective.  No sooner had the same thing happened with Adah as I noticed with the elderly woman before.  Within moments, I had looked away, he had put some marking exactly where he knew they needed to go, maybe added some shading...but I came back around and thought....YOU HAVE CAPTURED ADAH and everything perfect about her, including the lil drama spark in my princesses eyes. 

And than see on paper my two girls  with Hanna in the middle as she has belonged there together with them in God's plan.   I would look at Narae and Adah sitting there, watching him put her in between as if she was right there with them.   We've already talked about how we will tell Hanna about this special day.  Tell her about the fact that she was so close to us, but the time just hadn't completely come for her to see the final picture.  God was giving me a glimpse though into His heart.  Into the eyes and souls of these three precious children from a land across the oceans that He has blessed me with.  To look at the picture is to think that Hanna was present.  ( I don't think that lil' roley poley  would even sit long enough for her to get her portrait done if she was with us, which maybe another reason we had it done today.)  The artist could study her.  He could capture in a still photo a snapshot of everything he could see.  Again I feel like he captured her soul.  He saw something in her eyes that made his pencil move a specific way.  The touches of only an master artist. 

Than he started to do what Master artists do.  The fine touches....the little tiny strokes that complete things to his perfection.  Oh, how I think of all the little things I think of in my life that are irritations, when really they are the tiny tweakings of a loving God.  A God that is completing something beautiful but I don't see it in the small scheme of things.   The markings were so tiny and precise at that point, but the impact they made was astonishing. 

There were many people that were stopping by to look at the girls portraits.  It was certainly interesting to watch the peoples reactions.  Some just quickly walked away, others stayed for awhile and they pointed to the picture.  I heard the word adoption by a few English people speaking that were walking by.  There was a  young couple that was waiting there for some time, and we saw later they wanted their portrait done.  I couldn't stand there and not wonder what may be going through their minds.  One couple in particular stopped for a while and the man with her stayed but a moment, but she was transfixed on watching the girls and seeing Hanna's picture. She stood there for a bit, even while he walked away.   For as I was standing there, and as I have been walking around the top of this beautiful mountain overlooking a city with so many people as far as the eye can see.....I know that Narae, Adah and Hanna's birth mothers are nearer to me physically than ever before.  That woman beside me with eyes transfixed, for all I know could have been either of those women whose hearts I'm forever attached to, and I wouldn't even know it.  My prayer as I walk the  ground of  Seoul,  is that if there is a birth mother that has made the decision to give their baby a life they couldn't in Korea, because of the cultural chains surrounding them, I pray they see love in our family.  A LOVE that crosses all borders. A love that brings peace to their heart.   For this city is big, and the culture is strong.  There are many women walking this place that have made the biggest sacrifice.  As I stood next to the woman that was so entranced, I prayed if her heart was broken, that she would find peace.  I thought of the things going through this young couple beside me and I thought of the stories of birth mothers I have been reading in Korea.  Maybe this young couple would find themselves in the situation of many young couples in that book, where a surprise pregnancy often can leave a young woman abandoned and alone.  Maybe on today, this couple was meant to stand next to our girls, because one day, what if they faced that situation, and the decision of life and death before them.   Maybe because of the few moments they were able to witness a miracle, they would choose life for their child, maybe even a friend or family member that walks that difficult road.  My heart can get angry for all that has been happening with the Exit Permits in Korea, and that Karen pride and stubborness wants to find the Ministry to just cry out to them how we love our girls. To be a voice for all the waiting Mums and Dads.....waiting for a simple piece of paperwork, controlled by human hands, that just don't seem to understand.  I want to teel them how we tell them about their history, where they came from!  To show them that ...".Look we have crossed the oceans because this is a part of who they are and we want them to know and love that."    They are Koreans, they are Americans,my goodness, they are practically Canadians, but mostly  they are LOVED EXTRAVAGENTLY!   I know I can't do that though.  I know for me to vocalize my heart, would mean repercussions for so many.  So I look back at the picture unfolding in front of me, and I am reminded again of how the artist uses the darkness against the light.  Once he had finised all his fine details he shaded in the background.  DARKNESS against light. It made everything just POP OUT and grab your attention.    Nothing can stop the power of  God.  Nothing can thwart the picture that He is drawing. He is everything good, and in that goodness He allowed man free will and choice, and that has gone so wrong.  Our hearts have strayed.  Yet when we face the darkness and trust His heart, the light of who He is puts on an incredible display. He doesn't promise bright moments all our lives, but He does promise to make something marvelous out of it all.  We may not get to see it on this side of heaven, but today, He let me see things from His eyes. The way He has always seen them from His perspective.   He let me see how He sees my girls He has blessed me with through adoption.  I think of the days we got crushing news, I think of when I didn't want to get out of bed, the days I wanted to raise my fists and scream.  I often felt like He was telling me..".Karen...a little more time and soon you will see." I need you to do other things first, (such as needing to be in Canada for my Mum's surgery), but I'm only going to show you little parts at a time.( probably because He knows my heart , my will and how much I would whine about not getting her when I wanted.)   For He had given me glimpses of part of the pictures that were complete through Adah and Narae.  Narae I raised my fists at every turn, tryng to change the pencil stroke, until I had to resign to the fact that He is God and I am not.  It was on those hard days with this adoption,that I remembered what He had given me to see in the past, and I focused to look with HIS eyes on what He was doing in the hearts of my family through this, and had to daily trust that His plan would be perfect.  You see we had been praying since Narae was very young that she would know who she was.  She never really wanted to talk about Korea, to talk about adoption to talk about her birth mother loving her so much.  She would always shut down.  YET THIS EXPERIENCE.....The hard times...the DARK STROKES have changed all of that.  She's learned, because she's experienced how much she aches for Hanna, that we loved her just as much.  It was all worth the wait to have Narae helping me pack the other night.  I am a person that would rather be over prepared, and as Narae was looking at all the gifts and giftbags we had gotten for people in Korea, she looked at me with the biggest smile from ear to ear and she said..."Mummy, you did all this for me didn't you!"  Oh how my heart sang as the tears welled up in my eyes and fell onto my cheeks.  God had used the dark strokes, to reflect His light and His love onto our precious Narae's heart!  Throught the tough times of waiting, He has seen
   my girls as this picture....COMPLETE, a family together that just fits....PERFECTLY!  He knew the day we would get the call to come to the other side of the world, and He sees the day we will physically look into each others eyes, and perhaps He may even have another picture in mind......It is not for me to find out, but to trust His heart putting one foot in front of the other, where He leads.  It is all so overwhelming,
And of course, it reminds me of the verse that I have clung to for this journey, the verse that comes to mind when I think of all that God has done....
Ephesians 3:20-21
"Now to Him who is able to do so much more than all we can think or even imagine.  For it is His power that is at work within you.  To the glory and honor of Christ Jesus."

This picture is taken by our locks of love, and Adah is holding up our heart that has that verse on it.  On the other side it says WEIGNER.  Just as God has adopted us as His children so He has chosen to bring together our family.  Mark, Karen, Rebekah, Brienna, Narae,Adah(Hyun) and Hanna (Naeun).

My adoptive Mama friends whose hearts are aching to hold your little ones, and the tears just come so freely along with anger and frustration.    For the days that you feel like you can't breathe, remember this story.  Remember this picture.  Remember a promise I made 10 years ago, remember abotu God hearing the prayers of a little girl, and remember the artist, the story, the plan.  God is putting in all those little fine details for you, before He shows the world His masterpiece.  Keep those eyes on Him and Trust His Heart!

We are almost there, and very soon this picture will be physically complete!  It is a picture of incredible love.  It's also a picture that paints the love of an everlasting God.  Some of you reading this maybe have given up on God, or maybe you don't even believe.  I can't look at this picture, and think that it all just happened by chance.  I choose to believe, and I pray that you too may know regardless of your past, your present, or your future, that there is a God that Loves you, that Hears you that Sees you and Loves You.  He's creating a masterpiece with your life as well.  I would have paid anything for this picture and I realize as I look at the faces of my girls in this picture, even one I have yet to lay physical eyes on, and I am so thankful, and so humbled,  for I am loved extravagently by a King.  The Master Artist....and so are you!  For He has  shown the ultimate love for you and paid the highest price.....
John 3:16
"For God so loved YOU, that He gave His one and ONLY son, that IF YOU  Believe In Him, YOU will have eternal life."
B E L I E V E!!

This following song was one that I have listened to most days in the last six months except the days when it was just too hard.  It's called "Heaven is The face!"  It is written by Steven Curtis Chapman that has three adopted daughters from China.  He lost one of those daughters Maria to a tragic  accident a few years ago.  So many times I have watched videos of  Maria, and I have seen my Adah.  I wonder if Hanna will also remind me of her.  He wrote this song in the midst of  what is life's greatest tragedy. Losing a child.  He wrote it with hope that he knows that he knows that HE KNOWS, He WILL see his little girl again.  I often listened to this song thinking of Hanna, and how it will be heaven to see her precious face.  What a gift that we have to see her on this side of heaven for Steven and His wife Mary Beth will not see Maria again on this earth. They will never see her playing on their swingset with her sisters, being tackled by her older brothers and being pampered on my an older sister.    However they have hope, and they also have used their grief to bring hope to the orphans as well.  Maria's life was not in vain.  I think of the money that was given as a memorial for her that allowed their non profit organization "SHOW HOPE", to give out MILLIONS, yes MILLION of dollars  of grants to adoptive families.  Maybe that next family could be you.  If you feel God tugging at your heart for adoption....listen to that call.   He's just starting those first brushes.....allow him to complete it.  I can't guarantee easy and neither will He.  Adoption isn't for the faint of heart, but if your eyes are kept heavenward, the final product will


We are almost at the end of one journey and the beginning of another!  It is now 1:00 AM Sunday morning September 18, 2011 and 3 days from now...I'll see Heaven in the face of my little girl......



Wendi said...

Karen- you are such a beautiful person!!!!! God is so wonderful!

Anonymous said...


I'm at work and I had to catch up on your blog. WOW!!!! I'm in tears! Look what the Lord has done, He is faithful! I love your heart for the Lord! Big Hugs!!! Kimberly

Anonymous said...

Karen, yes tears!!! So beutifully written, the story of God's plan to bring Hanna to your family. You have amazing strength and courage and love, what an incredible vessel of God's LOVE, GRACE IN YOU. I cannot wait to meet Hanna!!!!!!!

Lydia said...

This was beautiful! I cried immensely, and even my husband got choked up reading this post. That artist captured your daughters so beautifully! It looks as if Hanna has been with you all along. Then again, she has; she's been in your hearts!