As I was saying ... God was radically transforming our hearts. So many things went through my mind during those days in the hospital. I recalled some comments extended family had made. I don't know what is hardest at times .... the things people say, or the things they don't say. Silence can be just as difficult. I remember stepping outside of the hospital for a quick break and walking the streets of Houston to go grab some lunch. Feeling especially alone that day, I looked up beyond the city buildings into the gorgeous blue sky. I'll never forget how the Lord encouraged my heart .... that beyond pleasing anyone on this earth, I need to care more about HIM and what HE wants for my life. I'm so glad that the Lord is faithful to help us look UP to HIM. In the end, He is the one we'll stand before.
I remember thinking that in that very city was the brave woman who chose to give my daughter LIFE!!! It was now time for me to be brave and not fear rejection from others, but to focus on Christ and what He had done for me so long ago.
Adoption isn't just about going to pick up some baby and bring them home and live happily-ever-after. Adoption is so much bigger and deeper. For a child to have the need to be adopted it means they have faced great loss. Yes, even if a child was born into the worse circumstances .... leaving that situation is still loss. As adoptive parents we MUST not lose sight of that. Covering up the past, being in denial of the past ... being unwilling to give a voice to the past ... that will not help our children. Walking ALONGSIDE is what is needed. You cannot "fix" the loss. You CAN however, walk WITH them. And as you walk with them ... help direct them UP to HIM ... the only one who can heal that kind of pain and loss. The one who brings true comfort.
Our feisty 'lil Texan is now six years old. I asked her the morning of her birthday ... "Hey sweetie ... do you feel bigger?" (she is hardly bigger than her little sister two years younger). She said to me ... "Yeah!! ... well ... I feel BIGGER than MALEAH!". Oh my. I had to wonder how many incidents would occur this week as she tries to prove it. :)
Not everyone is called to adopt, yet we are all called to care for orphans. And as you do ... prepare to have your heart transformed.
We are blessed to work with so many families, as we serve with the ABBA Fund, that have had transformed hearts. It's a privilege to walk with them and help them to look UP to HIM ... the One who makes all things possible. I think of my sweet friend, Erica, who is preparing to travel to see their precious little girl. I think of the dear Walser Fam who will soon be flying HOME with their sweet wee-one. My heart is filled with JOY each time I think of the amazing Schnabel fam ... we met two of their kids while traveling to Ethiopia and while there saw another sib group of three that we prayed and prayed for ... you guessed it ... now all in the same precious family. These families know what it means to lay aside the earthly and focus on the eternal.
Are you afraid of the sacrifices? It's ok to say yes. It's ok to be honest and say that following God comes with a cost. The three young boys in this pic have lived it out. There were times I wanted to quit ... the journey got so difficult. They would remind me the need was greater than what we were currently facing. These boys now tower over me. Each with a deep passion for the needs of others.