On Orphan Sunday, at our church, I was given the opportunity to
share how God brought us to Hagan and Griggs.
It is a long, hard story to share, but it is our God story -
so be kind. :)
HIS mercies are new every morning!
On our first trip to Ethiopia to meet Donovan and Elijah, April 2011.
Bryan and I agreed -
this would be our last adoption!
"Our house will be so crowded"
"The entire family already doesn't fit around the dinner table"
"We're just too old for this!"
We got off the plan - ready to start this new chapter.
We were able to meet our boys that day.
It was an Easter Sunday I will never forget.
With deep breaths we sat in the car outside the compound -
waiting for the doors to open,
knowing our lives would be changed -
but we had no idea what God had planned for us inside those walls.
We met our beautiful boys!
They were so cute!
Dressed in their ceremonial Ethiopian outfits!
We spent the day playing, laughing, and holding our beautiful boys
and their 50+ friends.
Our boys were in an agency run transition home.
Meaning the majority of the kids there were already matched
As we played with the kiddos -
there was one boy who stood out to us more that any other.
For privacy sake,
we'll call him Forest.
Forest was a 11 year old boy,
with the most gentle, soulful eyes I'd ever seen.
He had a kind soul and a gentle spirit.
Forest had come to the orphanage around a year earlier,
around the time Donovan and Elijah
came to the transition home.
We learned that Forest did not have a forever family waiting
How many little children had he seen leave with their forever families?
What is going on in his precious heart?
He must wait everyday, wondering if the next family to come will be his.
We had to do something for this sweet, incredible boy!
He would age out soon -
and be expected to make a living on the streets of Addis Ababa.
My heart ached for Forest.
He hadn't done anything to deserve this life.
He had been born into poverty -
and had lost everything and everyone he knew -
and still no sign of hope.
We cried and prayed for Forest for months.
We couldn't wait to return to Ethiopia to bring our boys home -
but I knew how horrible it would be to walk out of that compound,
one last time,
We came home and talked, prayed, ached, and cried for Forest.
We even moved forward to begin paperwork to bring him home.
But God kept closing doors.
Every time we thought a door was opening...
(I'm a stubborn learner so God has to slam doors on me :)
After months of praying and advocating for Forest -
his family was found!
We were so happy for Forest!
But, my heart was broken.
My selfish "me me" heart wanted him to come home with us.
God had been working on me through this entire
7 month process.
Am I praying for HIM to lead me or am I doing things my way?
I mean, hey! God call us to care for the orphan,
Isn't that what I'm trying to do?
January 1st of this year, I began a "read the Bible in 90 days" program.
And through my daily reading God was re-enforcing to me that I cannot just sit -
there is more to do!
I am on this earth to serve HIM!
But it seemed whatever I tried to be involved in -
doors were not even budging open.
No matter how hard I pushed!
So, I decided - I could advocate for the orphan on my blog.
After praying for the specific children HE wanted me to share -
we saw a little face of a boy in China.
He was on the Waiting Child Special Focus List -
(meaning he had been sitting for a long time - unnoticed!)
I spoke to our agency about this boy they named "Gus".
His file was to be returned to China in 2 weeks and there it would sit again...
We had to find his family quickly!
We began advocating for hime, friends began advocating for him...
We began asking God - "Is he ours?"
And let me tell you that is a scary question!
Adopting a 11 year old sounded much easier to this 45 year old momma!
But a 17 month old baby -
with a special need that I know nothing about.
You've got to be kidding me!
But God, began opening doors.
HE opened them widely for us -
so there was no doubt!
And here we are months away from traveling to China
for "Gus" (whom we have named Griggs)
and his now foster brother Hagan.
The precious boys God had for us all along.
HE brought Forest into our lives to soften us!
To break us!
We thought we were done,
and society tells us -
"yes, you have done enough."
Thanking and praising God that HIS plans are not my plans!