It is with deep sadness that I write this post.
But God was doing something different in our hearts and we could not ignore it. We played with and met most every child there and had an amazing time, but we could not shake the fact that God had led us to two specific children- a brother and sister. Actually we did not find them, they found us.
When we really thought about the logistics of it, it was an absolute CRAZY idea anyway. I mean we had talked about adopting again, but this? 2 children at the same time who were almost exactly the same age as two of our bio kids? And they were much older than we ever thought we would adopt right now. And another boy? We have 3 already! A pre-teen girl? A bit scary for me to think about! Where would they sleep? Do we have room in our car? What about the trauma that they might have had? What other thirty year old plans to have 5 almost teenage children at the same time?! And so the crazy (and worldly) thoughts went on and on.
But 12 year old “N” and 10 year old “M” had stolen our hearts and as much as we tried to tell ourselves that it was impossible and absolutely nuts, the Lord continually brought them back to our minds every moment and we have thought and prayed for them every day since we said goodbye several weeks ago. We began to actually entertain the radical thoughts and ideas that were swirling around in our head. And pretty soon, they really didn’t seem too radical when we considered that we were talking about a calling from God. And when you are called by God, the absolute safest thing to do is to LISTEN and OBEY.
Literally the day after we came home, we started calling around to see if there was any way that an agency might be able to help us find more information about them and the possibility of these children being adopted. A few days later we began a monthly sponsorship of “our little boy” as we found out he was unsponsored. We began to let ourselves dream and pray that somehow they would be able to become a part of our family, if that was God's will. We sat down and talked and prayed with the boys about them. We printed their pictures out, put them up all over the house, and asked close friends and family to join us in prayer for them as well. We were absolutely in love with them and prayed that the Lord would see us fit to be their mommy and daddy.
On a side note: while we were still in Ethiopia we had a chance to talk with the nurse that comes to the orphanage twice a month. When we asked her about these specific children she gave us a few bits of information- one was she told us that the kids had already been there for 4 years and the other was that their father was deceased and the mother was very sick when she brought the children there 4 years ago- so we didn’t even know if she was even still living. When we started on this journey, that was most of the information that we had. We were leaving the job of finding out any more to the agency staff in Ethiopia.
Unfortunately the day never came.
Instead, we found out some things that caused us to step back and look at these children with God’s heart. We came to a point in this journey where it would have been completely selfish of us to move forward. Yes, we LOVE these children with all of our hearts and yes we want them to join our family more than anything in the world. But if that comes at the expense of taking away the opportunity of someday having a relationship with their birthmother (whom we just found out is still living) or in any way being unethical about any part of this process, then we want nothing to do with it! Absolutely we stand up to defend and care for the ORPHANS, but we also must remember to care for the WIDOWS as well.(James 1:27) Who are we to decide what is best for this mother’s children? We want to come alongside her in her pain and sickness, NOT be the reason she feels pressured to make a life-changing decision for her kids. We just did not have peace about any of it when we thought of it like that. We LOVE them enough to want the absolute best for them. And we love them enough to sacrifice our "dreams" for them and to let them live the life God has for them. To give them back so to speak. (Not that they were ever ours)
In a way it is like a tiny glimpse into the Father's heart.
So a few days ago, we made the heartbreaking decision to end this process of pursuing these wonderful amazing children. Although it was one of the hardest things we have ever done, God has brought us such an amazing peace through it all. For the past 6 weeks, we have poured our hearts, lives and resources into the adoption of “N” and “M” and now that the door is shut- we can honestly say that we have no regrets. Yes, we are exhausted. Yes, we are very disappointed and are grieving this loss. Yes, we have lost at the minimum $1,200 and possibly a few thousand more. BUT, we knew that we were called to pursue them and that we had to try. We may never know this side of heaven all the reasons we went through that, but I do know one thing. These children will always be a part of our family and I think we needed to go through this whole thing to solidify that truth. We will continue to be the proud sponsors of “N” for as long as they’ll allow and we will be writing letters back and forth to them once or twice a month. And Randy and I are POSITIVE that there is no way we could ever be back in Ethiopia without going to visit their orphanage. Every child there made such an impact on us and we will visit them as often as we get to go to Africa- which we hope is once a year! :)
As I said before, we always knew that the Lord had more children that were meant to be a part of our family. Maybe this was His way of jumpstarting us to begin the adoption process again- just a little quicker and differently than we expected, I really don’t know. I know it does me no good to try to figure out why God does certain things in our lives. I do know that whatever circumstance no matter how difficult or painful, He will cause it to work together for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)