Where do you start with a story like this? I want to say it started two and half weeks ago, but we know that God had this in mind for much, much longer. He just chose to reveal it one Saturday. Two and a half weeks ago, to be exact.
Some friends of ours adopted a little girl several years ago. About a year ago they found out that she had a half brother and he was in foster care. They felt led to do something for this little guy they didn’t even know. That’s their story… so I will skip to where their story became intertwined with ours. They were able to get him out of foster care and have custody. Basically, they were providing a sort of private foster care. They loved him, tried to communicate with the birthmother about his future, and prayed hard for him and what God had in mind for his future. It wasn’t always easy because it just never is when you are advocating for and loving a child. They felt unsure about where he was suppose to be, but God made it clear over a period of months that he wasn’t theirs and wasn’t meant to have their last name. You can imagine the confusion this caused for a long time, as they didn’t see an obvious door opening for him.
Meanwhile, we were praying. We knew God had a child for us. We worked tirelessly- and I do mean tirelessly- on homestudy documents and dossier documents. They told us a dossier can take anywhere from 2-4 months depending on the person. I thought “oh, this WILL be done in two”. (It took over four.)
Interviews, medicals, and notaries.
Home visits, insurance letters, reference letters, and immigration approval.
Employment letters and bank letters.
Weeping and gnashing of teeth. (Okay, that might be a little dramatic. It wasn’t quite that bad.) (Yes it was).
Then we got a large grant and a large donation. We were overwhelmed and excited. God was in this, yall. But we never could have imagined what He was about to reveal….
It was 2 ½ weeks ago that I found myself sitting across from my friend as things came into focus for both of us. Despite lunch dates and talks and sharing our hearts there were some very important things that had been left unsaid. Like the day she got up the nerve to call and ask me if we would be interested in adopting this child, only to receive an email from me asking for a reference letter for our Ethiopian adoption. She talked of how her heart fell in that moment and she decided not to ask. I shook my head in disbelief. “We thought you were called to Ethiopia” she explained.
I told her how I had just recently realized that they were considering other options for him- as uneasy as they felt about them. They prayed and wrestled. How could I have not realized? “Why wouldn't you consider us”? And tears fell as she shared “yall were always our first choice”. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. “We thought we made it clear we were an option. We just never got the impression you were considering it” I explained. And there at that table God revealed what He had been planning all along. We cried and laughed together over ice cream at as good friends sometimes do. I don’t know how we managed to miss so much until that night, except that God’s timing is never our timing. And his timing was 2 ½ weeks ago.
Then, I blinked.
That night there was a family emergency and she needed to go out of town the next day to be with them. So she asked me to keep him for a few days. But after a few days, it was clear that he was right where he needed to be. So since that day he has been here. The dust hasn't even settled and it still feels like a dream. Yet somehow, it oddly feels like he has just always been here. We have seen God’s grace just rain down on this child as he transitioned better than any of us had hoped. We have felt God’s grace as we went through the motions of paperwork with such a peace that it can’t be described. This was God’s will, and we knew it. We all do.
A year from now I could have written this story with more eloquence I am sure. I still can’t wrap my mind around it yet. I am tired, and I am blessed beyond measure. If you think that Jesus is a religion or a set of rules- hear me: there is no adventure and no love more thrilling and enduring. God writes the best stories. If you are living out a sad part, don't give up. It just means your story isn't over yet.
And this is a high point for sure. But this story isn't over yet either......
|"For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So I have also dedicated him to the Lord; as long as he lives he is dedicated to the Lord"|
- 1 Samuel 1:27-28