Miracles in the Mundane

Miracles in the Mundane

We signed up to host M on the very last day possible. Her original host family was unable to host at the last minute, but M’s visa and passport had already been processed, so she needed to find a family immediately. Since we had only heard about New Horizons two weeks before the deadline, we were the last-minute family! We had six weeks to prepare before she arrived. God helped us move the mountain of preparations in front of us one rock at a time.

The first step was to complete the massive online application in one evening, and then have some paperwork notarized and overnighted to the main office. As you can imagine, it is no small work to wade through the bureaucracy of having an orphan travel overseas to stay with your family for a month!

While the children are hosted in the United States, the host families need to seek dental care and eye exams for them.  So after finishing the application for hosting M, I was faced with the task of finding an eye doctor and a dentist who would be willing to provide services to a girl from Eastern Europe. For free.

I’m not great on the telephone, and it is very difficult for me to ask people for things, so a career in phone solicitation is probably not in my future.  But I didn’t have a lot of time, so I knew I was just going to have to buckle down and do it.

phoneI started with my church, and called to see if they knew of a dentist that might provide services. They gave me a referral, but unfortunately, that dentist was only able to help if M was a foster child in the States; their patients are exclusively kids in the foster care system on Medicaid dental coverage. (Wow, what a job that must be!) A friend of mine suggested I call our own dentist, explain the situation, and ask them if they knew of some practices that might be willing to help us. That way I might get some leads and not be faced with a rejection right off the bat. I prayed and dialed the number.

I spoke with the receptionist, and while she kept her cheerful voice all through the conversation, I knew this request was going to languish on her desk and not go anywhere. She promised she would get back to me with a list of names of dentists who might be willing to help, but I hung up without much hope of that ever happening. And it never did.

I knew that even if she did get back to me with some names in a couple of days, I was losing time by doing nothing. M was coming a few weeks before Christmas and would staying through the first part of January. I knew that lots of people try to jam in appointments at the end of the year to be sure to get their dental coverage in, and the holidays would also make scheduling an appointment tricky. My next call was to an office that advertised “reduced fee” dental services, and while they didn’t seem as if they would donate services, they did offer us an additional discount if we paid in cash. Slightly encouraging.

Since we had just moved to a new town four months previously, we had received a coupon from a near-by clinic who offered a free exam and cleaning for new patients.  I called and asked the receptionist if they would be willing to transfer this offer to the orphan our family was hosting over Christmas. (I didn’t want to sound pitiful, but I was being honest, and I hoped explaining the situation would help my cause.) The receptionist said she would transfer me to the office manager. “Aha!” I thought. “This is the key! Skip the receptionist and go straight to the office manager.” The office manager was very gracious, and I explained the situation to her, also letting her know that New Horizons was a non-profit 501(c)3. She scheduled an appointment for M four days after she arrived—hallelujah! I asked her tentatively that if M needed some additional work done, would they be willing to work with us to get that work done? She said she would speak the dentists in the practice and let us know, and they might be able to make arrangements based on how much work might need to be done. I sensed that shift in her voice–the same tone I had heard from the first receptionist—the tone that meant, “Abandon all hope, ye who enter here.” I knew I had to keep calling.

And God lead me to the most amazing dentist. It was truly God ordained. Armed with a small victory and some additional confidence, I called a dental clinic that was very close to our house. I had no connections, I had never even been there, and I had no idea what I was going to say. But I dialed the number, praying God would help me find the right dentist for M.

I asked for the office manager and started to explain our hosting of M, how our family wanted to bless her by sharing Christmas with her, how we needed to find dental care for her. I told her that another clinic had been willing to donate an exam for her, but in the event that she needed more work done, would they be willing to help? “Oh yes, we would be honored to help M,” that dear woman said. “.”

A gift is something given out of love or concern for another. And because of their love and concern for a girl they had never met, this dental clinic filled seven cavities for M. SEVEN cavities, donated completely free of charge for a little girl from Eastern Europe. I think it was the truest expression of Christmas that I have ever experienced because this gift spoke so clearly of Christ’s love.

While M sat in the dentist’s chair, bravely enduring two solid hours of dental work, I held her hand and prayed. And cried. And thanked God for moving in the hearts of people to create miracles in the mundane.