A Mom’s Perspective:

Perhaps… we first realized what it would take to adopt our daughter from China when our adoption packet arrived outlining all the details and costs, etc. It seemed very challenging. However, we knew God loved her more than we could and he would get her to us. We would have to work hard. Let's face it nothing good comes without a challenge or a fight, right?

Perhaps... it was boarding the plane wondering, “are we really equipped to do this?” I knew God believed we could, for he made everything happen for us up to that moment. So why was I feeling such emptiness in the core of my heart? Finally, after two long years the “perhapses” ended as we were moments away from meeting our new daughter. 

 

The moment was here. I can hardly explain the peace I felt as we waited for our little one to be brought in. It was at this point that I felt such a deep comforting and connection with the cross and what Jesus did for me. The moment was here. I can hardly explain the peace I felt as we waited for our little one to be brought in. It was at this point that I felt such a deep comforting and connection with the cross and what Jesus did for me. I was responsible for putting him on the cross and yet here I am about to be given one of his precious children. 

She was to be taken out of an orphanage and brought into a life where she will know her real daddy, and where she will find all her answers to “WHY”, where she will never be alone again, and where she will never doubt that someone cares. She won’t have to be afraid of being different. She really is wonderful made. God had and has a plan for her and me and I deserve none of it. All that I was feeling for Mariah I realized I was feeling for my self toward Jesus. 

As they carried her towards me I gazed upon this precious baby for the very first time. I can recall us both of us staring at one another. I cannot describe the gratitude I felt as I looked into her eyes and she just snuggled into me like she had known me all of her ten months of life. There were six other couples in that room receiving their children at the same time. I could not hear anything but the sound of her breathing and feel the gentleness of her little body. The world had stopped for me. Yes, oh yes, we were connected; and I felt complete. 

Through Jesus I am connected, I am no longer abandoned and I am no longer alone. I am complete through him. As long as I just keep going and don’t give up. Yes, I am complete, only because of what Jesus has done for me; and yet I’m not finished. 

A Dad’s Perspetive:

I will never forget the moment we first met Mariah. We held her little body in our arms and she stared up at us with her big black eyes not knowing who we were, but entrusting herself to us. From that very moment until now, Mariah’s adoption in to our family has been as natural as if she has always been with us. Thank you God. 

Pure joy mixed with much relief is an accurate description of how I remember feeling the day we brought Mariah home from China. For two long years Linda, De’Anna and I, not to mention our family and friends waited for Mariah to be home with us. 

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in China. It was great seeing Mariah’s place of birth, the culture, and the people. It was all very exciting. But from the day Mariah was put into our care I just wanted to bring her home. The way I felt was: “she’s where she belongs now; she's with her family so let’s go home.” 

The trip from China was long and we were all feeling pretty tired prior to landing in Hartford. But after landing, the tiredness was overcome with a sensation of joy and gratefulness. For two years we waited for this moment; how incredibly awesome to finally be able to share Mariah with the rest of our family!

The process started August 1999. That’s when we first called HOPE to share our desire to adopt. After that day there was much preparation, paperwork, planning and most of all prayers toward bringing Mariah home. I consider the many hours Linda planned and organized fundraising activities to help supplement our travel expenses. She had one goal in mind and her heart was fully engaged to it. I’m so grateful to have such a devoted wife and our girls are fortunate to have such a loving mom. 

I like to think about De’Anna's patience as she waited two years for a baby sister. Everyday she would pray for her and thank God for her. Only in the final days did she say more often; “when will we get Mariah”? It was also super having my mom with us in China; she is such a proud grandma and a great encouragement to us all. And I can’t help mentioning all of our loving friends who gave us such support all along the way. It was so encouraging how everyone pulled together for our family. 

I’m so excited to be a dad. I’m so grateful that we were able to adopt Mariah. But what’s most exciting is the opportunity Mariah now has to know Jesus and her true father in heaven. 

I consider the tremendous amount of sacrifice and love it took to bring Mariah home. Now she has hope and a future. It stirs my heart to gratefulness as I appreciate what Jesus did for us as he went to the cross for our adoption. I’m humbled as I consider his devotion and commitment to each one of us as he laid down his life for us. He never turned from the course marked out for him and although tempted, never gave into sin. All so we could be adopted into his family. What great lengths he went through to bring us home. Wow! What hope, what encouragement to consider his love to know what our future holds. I’m so grateful for his love. 

I have to always remember what Jesus did to adopt me as his son so I can be strengthened in my love. I have to remember his commitment to me because I can often fail in my love for my family, my friends and God. Often my love and gratefulness grow weak and I falter in my relationships. But Jesus never falters in his devotion or his love for us. Stop and consider Jesus; see him on the cross, did he falter in his love for you? We have so much to be grateful for. Thank you Jesus for loving us and adopting us. 

Linda and I are so thankful for Mariah. We are happy to have been able to share some of the story with you. Our Prayer is that your gratitude has increased for Jesus and his unyielding love for you.

Thank you, 
Mike & Linda Bibalo  


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