Meeting Lisa Harper
|Me, Lisa Harper and Mum|
I wanted to include this story in my post about Sistas but I found that there was too much information that would take away from the insights I had gained over the weekend.
Going after your dreams is not always easy. And with chasing this one I learned a lot about myself, God's calling and perseverance through the journey.
When I found out that Lisa was speaking at Sistas I contacted Sistas to see if it would be possible to meet with her. They seemed positive about this and said they would see what they could do. I didn't hear from them for awhile so emailed them again a few months later to see if progress had been made, to which they responded that it was difficult to organise and that I should email Lisa myself to see if I could book in a meeting. Lisa is an international speaker so therefore emailing her personally is impossible to do. I tried to contact her through her 'Book Lisa' button on her website but had no reply (as was expected.) So I went to conference not knowing if a meeting was possible but hoping none the less.
After the first night finished (Thursday) my mum and I went down near the front of the stage to see if we could see Lisa but she had already left. We saw a lady wearing an important looking microphone so I approached her to ask if it would be possible to meet with Lisa over the weekend. I then went on to explain my story, how Lisa had impacted it and what steps I had already taken to organise a meeting. She took down my name and number and said she would talk to the people who were looking after Lisa over the weekend and see what they could do.I felt positive after this meeting and felt like it was just about waiting for things to happen.
Eventually Lisa turned around and hugged me saying, "Hi, I'm Lisa." To which I replied, "I know. I'm Amy." I had a chance to quickly share my story of adopting as a single person and tell her that she had a big part to play in it. She was very excited and told me that "Us single woman adopting need to stick together." Mum asked if we could have 5 minutes of her time and she told us that the next day would probably work. She was then whisked away by her people. I was elated to have meet her and to have the opportunity to talk to her again the next day.
The next day (the last day of conference) I was looking forward to catching up with Lisa but didn't know how it would work. I kept my phone on me just in case that message had got to her people and they called me. But my phone didn't ring. As the day went on I would walk near the front of the stage and out to the Marketplace hoping to pass Lisa on the way. She spoke once more that day and I passed that same way but she was surrounded by people and the team looking after her were very keen to whisk her away again. I passed on to one of her 'security people' a present that I had made for Missy (her daughter) and a note explaining more of how her story impacted mine. I was disappointed not to give it to her myself but I also didn't want to risk her not getting it at all.
|The Incredible Jacinta who paved the way|
That night Sistas finished and once again I made my way up the front hoping that this last time I would get to see her. I got to the front and saw she had gone but, Jacinta, the lady that I had seen on the first night (the one with the microphone) was there. She asked me if I had had a chance to meet Lisa. I told her I had briefly talked to her after her speaking one night but I hadn't actually had a conversation. She was gutted that this hadn't happened and asked if anyone had contacted me. I told her they hadn't to which she was even more upset about. She explained to me that she had passed on my details and story to several people and had told them that if anyone got a chance to spend time with Lisa it should be me. I was very touched by her passion for my story and wanting to help make my dream come true. She encouraged me to head along to Life Church the next day as Lisa was speaking there. She told me she would try to reserve some seats near where Lisa was sitting.
I went back to the hotel disappointed but also confused. I wasn't sure why I so desperately still needed to see Lisa. She had the present, I had got to talk to her albeit briefly. Why did I need to pursue this? But that night God kept saying 'Persevere, persevere." I felt odd about it all but knew I needed to follow what He was calling me too. So Mum and I made plans to skip our sleep in and our Britomart shopping and made plans to head to church instead.
I woke up the next morning still feeling unsure about the whole thing. I suggested to Mum that we just forget it and go shopping to which she responded, "No! We're going to church." So we packed our bags and got ready for church. As I was booking an Uber I received a text message from Jacinta saying, "Just wanted to let you know that I've managed to get you a meet and greet organised for you with Lisa Harper today after the 9am service." I was absolutely speechless. After coming across so many roadblocks I found someone who was willing to move a mountains to help me.
I was super excited when we got to church although still felt weird about the whole experience. As I was sitting listening to notices at the beginning of church I said to God, "I just feel like an ant." I felt so little and useless and insignificant in that moments. God's reply to my heart was, "You're not an ant. You're a lion. Hold your head up high knowing you are brave."
At the end of the service Mum and I went out the back to meet Lisa. I got to give her another big hug and we talked more about our adoption journeys. Lisa talked about some of the moments that were really difficult, particularly after being matched but not being able to help the child. She asked how long I had been on the journey, how far through I was and asked that I tag her in a facebook post when I am matched so she can keep in touch with my journey.
I had bought her book 'Who's Your Daddy' which is about a time when a boy in Missy's class asked her who her daddy was. The book explains that God is a Daddy to everyone and how much he loves us and cares for us. In the front of the book it says: To... From.... On this special day. I asked Lisa to sign this for me and explained that at the moment we call my little girl 'Bunny'. Lisa signed To: Bunny From: Lisa and Missy. I can't wait to share this book with Bunny one day and tell her the story of another little girl who was adopted like her and who knows the love of her heavenly daddy.
The journey to make this dream come true was interesting and came with the challenges of trying to keep hope, doubting it would happen and feeling awkward. I learned that no matter what, I have to trust what God calls me too. Other's may question and doubt but they're not in my lane. They're not walking my story. I have to trust Him who has called me. I can't see the full picture, but He can. I'm still not sure why I had to persevere to the end but I'm glad I did.
It was one of those once in a lifetime, dreams come true.