Over the last 3 years and 10 months of officially being in the paperchasing & waiting process of our adoption, I have read several (okay...many) blogs of families adopting from China. It didn't take long to catch on that ladybugs had some sort of significance in the adoption community.
Other than being one of the least scream-inducing bugs, ladybugs are actually cute (in my humble opinion), but what made them so consistently appreciated by adopting families? It turns out that in Chinese adoptions ladybugs have come to be associated with "good luck."
According to several websites I looked at, in the late 1990's adoptions from China began increasing. It seems that this coincided with a slow down in referrals coming out of China. One day a number of parents from different parts of the country started reporting that they were having ladybug infestations and sightings. Not long after that referrals began coming out of China in rapid fashion. In addition, one fall the ladybug population grew unusually large in Guangzhou, China. Guangzhou is a necessary stop for all parents adopting from China as this is where much of the final paperwork must be completed. This seems to have cemented the association between ladybugs and "good luck" or "happiness" in the adoption process. I
Interestingly, Lily's Chinese name, Li Ji Han, means "lucky or auspicious" and "to contain or to hold." Since the Chinese place names in the reverse order of Westerners (first name listed is their surname & the last name listed is their first), as I see it her Chinese name means "to hold or contain luck."
Now, I do not believe in luck...good or bad. I do not believe in chance, fate, coincidence. Scripture doesn't bear that out. But a large number of Chinese (and Americans, for that matter), who do not know the One True God, do. That is what they hold on to and desire good luck.
What I do believe in is God's sovereignty and divine and perfect control. That is why this blog is called Adopted & Appointed. "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you..." (Jeremiah 1:5). "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139:16) "He determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live." (Acts 17:26) "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the LORD." (Proverbs 16:33) "From the east I summon a bird of prey; from a far-off land, a man to fulfill my purpose. What I have said, that will I bring about; what I have planned, that will I do." (Isaiah 46:11) Even ladybugs are under His control.
Last summer, God sent me, not a ladybug, but a sparrow. Our son had just left for a 6 week mission trip in Peru. He had never been away from home for so long, never flown by himself, never been to a foreign country, never traveled without us...and he was going to do all of those things...for 6 weeks. Needless to say, this momma's heart was doing some serious praying!
A few days after he left, I was sitting in my dining room reading my Bible and praying for our son when I heard a tapping at my window. At first, I ignored it, but since it persisted I got up and went over to the window. I was amazed by what I saw. A little, brown sparrow was tapping on my window! Immediately, the words of Matthew 10:29-31 flooded my mind:
Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.
What sweet reassurance from the Lord that was! He knew my heart and so tenderly and concretely reminded me of His truth and His care for my son. I remember praying, "Thank you, Lord! I hear You, I understand what You're saying. I will remember the sparrow." Imagine my surprise when the next morning the very same thing happened again! And the next morning...and the next! That sparrow came tapping at my window morning after morning to remind me of my Father's care for my son. Let me tell you, that sparrow visited me every morning for 3 weeks! It has not returned since.
So are ladybugs a sign of good luck? I don't think so, but I can totally see the Lord sending them as an encouragement to the weary hearts of adopting families, just as He sent me a sparrow.
As for my "Lilybug," it was not by fate or good fortune that she was chosen to be in our family. She was created by a sovereign God who, knowing the choices her biological mother would make, appointed her to be adopted into our family. And through her adoption story (and I pray her whole life) to bring Him glory.