Yesterday as we ventured out to the islands in the Puget Sound with my Dad, we didn’t have too many plans except to visit a new place. We arrived in Kingston, WA and went for a coffee in the quaint local cafe. I struck up a conversation with the barista and asked where the best places were to visit on the island. She recommended Hood Canal, Port Gamble and not much else! So after a short walk around the town with coffee in hand, we headed for Hood Canal via Port Gamble.
As we pulled into Port Gamble, it appeared to be a quiet village that used to be a major mover in the logging industry. Now though, they rely mostly on tourism traveling through the area to generate revenue. We walked down the village road via a line of old houses, each with their own story and came across the village museum. We wandered the gardens reading the various boards explaining what used to take place when the logging industry was thriving on the island. I noticed a tree over to one corner of the garden with its own plaque. We headed over to it and found that it was a Camperdown Elm. Yeah – it didn’t mean much to me either. It was a striking tree though, so we took some photos of it, read the plaque about how it was the State Champion Camperdown Elm and moved on.
Today, I saw on Jane’s Facebook that she had posted the following to her timeline…
I suddenly realised this tree had much more meaning behind it than just being the crazy tree I had seen the day before. I find trees to be incredibly meaningful. On my training to climb Mt. Rainier, I often come across young trees that have grown around older trees using them for support. It amazes me! I love how God can speak so clearly through his creation.
So what about this Camperdown Elm? As I googled for more information on what this tree was, and how it originated, I was left stunned.
1. The Camperdown Elm is not able to reproduce from seed. Sound familiar? We are in this incredible process of adoption for the very same reason.
2. By grafting, this tree is able to grow. Unless we have a miraculous healing at some point down the road, grafting is the way God has chosen for our family to grow.
3. It is a complex, almost messy-looking tree. This process seems to be crazy, our family might even look like a crazy mix when God has His way, but wow – just look at it!
4. It is an incredibly strong tree. Mark my words, our family is going to be one strong family – just like the Camperdown Elm with its intertwined and supported branches. The process God has had us on the past few years has already strengthened us more than we could imagine.
5. It looks different from most trees, but it is beautiful. Right now, we don’t know what our family will look like, ethnically, or anything for that matter – but our family will be beautiful!
6. The Camperdown Elm provides shade and protection. Being that it is a weeping willow, it provides immense shade from the sun, protection from the wind and safety to all those under its branches.
7. Get ready for this one… The Camperdown Elm is indigenous to the British Isles and North America only. Need I say any more?
8. The final amazing element won’t be revealed yet. It’s tied to the name we have for either our baby boy or girl. But for now let’s just say it left us both stunned!
It didn’t take long for Jane and I to decide this tree — this obscure tree in the corner of a village museum, in a place we just happened to be passing through on our island trip yesterday — is key to our adoption. We are excited to say that we have decided on this tree to be a key symbol for our adoption process. You’ll be seeing it popping up everywhere! And when you see it, now you’ll know why. The Camperdown Elm is just another huge confirmation from God that He has got this.