We got the call from Mary at approx. 1:00 p.m. today! The babies are officially ours! We are their Papa and Mama!!! The adoption is final! Everything went smoothly at our court hearing and we are leaving on November 18th to bring them home. Praise the LORD! We will spend Thanksgiving in Ethiopia with our precious new children. How appropriate, this is my absolute favorite holiday. To focus on "GIVING THANKS TO GOD" for everything in my life!!!!
What another blessing that Melissa & Randy had their ultra sound appointment yesterday that revealed we are having a "GRANDSON"! Our very first grandchild will be born in April! What a joy! I don't know how much more I can take without bursting! It is all too wonderful for me!!! Children are a gift, a blessing from the LORD!
"Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward" Psalm 127:3
It is very difficult to express everything going on in my heart and mind right now. I am just reminiscing over the last three years that have been some of the most difficult but, fruitful and joyous years of our lives. I believe this is directly related to this adoption journey and where the story began. Like the book of Job, we started into a season of extremely difficult trials. And isn't is funny that the Lord used the book of Job, chapter 42, to get us to this glorious day of celebration today!
When Jerry went to work to conduct an interview with an employee of a clinic, just like every normal day, it turned out to be an appointment orchestrated by the Lord. It took us into a season of financial crisis, fear and confusion about our future. Jerry didn't know until after he was there that it was an abortion clinic. The Lord prompted him to pray with a man outside in the parking lot. He argued with God saying he didn't have time and he had to get back to the office. As he started to leave, he knew he would be in disobedience to the Lord. So, he reluctantly walked over to the man and asked if he could help him. The man wound up getting his wife and leaving the clinic. PRAISE THE LORD! The clinic employee had seen that Jerry was talking with them and she called his job to complain that he was responsible for making them lose money. He was fired a few days later! For the next two years and three months, we didn't know from day to day where our next dollar was coming from. We had 5 children at home, my parents had just moved in with us full time, two new babies in diapers and on expensive preemie formula and a daughter in college. We were, or at least I was, expecting to lose our home and very fearful of our unknown future. Jerry had never been out of work in his entire life. He just acted out of obedience to the Lord when he was prompted to pray with this man and then bam...no job.
It made absolutely no sense, however, through this entire trial, the only thing that we knew for sure was that God was in control and on His throne. He orchestrated this and was allowing it to happen for a reason. We grew stronger in our faith as we prayed like never before for our daily bread. It was a very difficult time but, it was also such a rich journey as we saw the Lord provide for us day by day. We saw miracles and we saw the saints answer the call to minister to us. We had food and money show up just in the nick of time. We were humbled, chastised and "WE SAW GOD LIKE NEVER BEFORE!" We realized that we had many idols in our lives. We had taken for granted everything we had because we had the notion that we were in control and that Jerry provided for all of our needs. We have come to realize that we are nothing and the Lord God, Jesus Christ is EVERYTHING!
What an awakening we have experienced! We are nothing, we have no control and we can only trust God for all of our provision. He is faithful, He has a plan and He demands us to have no idols before Him. We are to look only to Him for everything. This journey began three years ago with a prompting from the Lord to save an unborn child. And now, today, we have experienced the rescue of three more children. Hallelujah!
So I sit here again, in awe! This is real! It is not a dream!! Some days it all feels so surreal. This year, 2007, has been by far one of the most remarkable and miraculous years of our twenty eight years of marriage. Jerry finally got a steady job in January; on November 1, we are officially the proud parents of eight beautiful children, five under the age of five, and we are going to be grandparents! I am beginning to tremble.
Today, I literally looked up into the beautiful blue sky and said "LORD, are you sure you know what you are doing?" The reality is sinking in that my life is taking another drastic turn! When we adopted the boys four years ago, I felt the same way. Fear, anxious, doubtful that I could do this, and confused. Some of the same questions are running through my mind again. God, why would you choose me to be their mother? I feel so inadequate and unworthy of this very high calling. Why did you wait so long to give us all these children? We struggled with infertility for approx. 9 years of our marriage. Why now, at 48 and 55 years old? We are in the worst financial status due to not having a steady job these past two years. How can we afford this? How can I add three more needy children to my life when I already don't have enough time with everything on my plate? How am I going to fit all of the extra duties in my schedule and spend enough time with each one of them? Will I have the patience? Will I ever get enough rest to stay healthy?
However, there are questions I don't have this time and I have absolutely no doubt about. I will love them with all of my heart! They are my real children, personally delivered by the hand of God. There is no difference between biological & adopted. They were chosen by God to be my responsibility; to train them up in the way they should go. To know God and to know He has a perfect plan for each one of them. Everything in their lives has been orchestrated by His perfect plan. They will be loved by our entire family. They will bring JOY and BLESSINGS beyond our comprehension. It will be difficult, trying, and exhausting. I will be honored and filled with joy every moment of the day because I know this is God's plan for my life. This is His direct assignment for this time and season of my life. I don't know the "WHY", but I do know that "IT IS I THAT HAVE CALLED YOU TO THIS TASK". It is through the faith and knowledge of the living, loving God, the lover of my soul, from which I draw strength, wisdom and peace to walk this road. I know that He has a plan for my life, to prosper and not to harm me, plans to give me hope and a future. Then I will call upon Him and come and pray to him, and He will listen to me. I will seek Him and find Him when I seek Him with all of my Heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13. This is the anchor on which I stand.
The last 3 years, especially the last 10 months, of our lives have brought us and especially me, into such a deeper relationship with the Lord Jesus! He has taken me to a new depth of faith, of love, of security, of peace, of his control on my life, and of resting in Him. He is so much more real and personal to me. If it were not for this season of trials and miracles, we would not have had the faith to step out into this adoption journey. We are too old and have no money! But now, I believe that is exactly why He chose us for this assignment. He has to get all the glory, honor and praise because we are nothing and have nothing to offer without Him.
This adoption journey has literally taken me by total surprise and yet I have felt absolute peace all along the way. I feel like God had picked me up in his hand in February and He has been gently blowing on me with His very breath into this new life, this journey to Ethiopia. I picture the dandelions in the grass that we pick up and blow and then watch the seeds fly off into the burst of air. Flowing and wandering at the mercy of wherever it takes them. God himself gently blew me into this adoption journey and I had absolutely no control at all. I just landed where he put me. The call came into my heart and mind, the faith was there, the doors flew open, the journey began, the miracles and money showed up, the paperwork was approved, the babies were chosen, the government officials declared it, and we are the proud parents of Josiah, Keziah and Keren! It is all so surreal!!
I am truly at a loss for adequate words to describe my state of being right now. The one that keeps rising to the surface is "GRATITUDE". How do I thank God for blessing me with the gift of three more children to love? How do I thank Him for showing himself so personal and real to me, so kind, so merciful, so faithful, so caring, so detailed, organized, intentional and so LOVING? If only it were possible to look into HIS eyes, to bow before His throne and have Him look into my eyes. To be able to touch HIS face and kiss His cheek, to THANK HIM face to face.
Oh, the joy of knowing that day will come! But, until it does, I pray that I will be found faithful to serve HIM for all the days of my life with love, perseverance, joy, patience, peace, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control. To hear those words spoken "Well done my good and faithful servant"
May I encourage each of you to reflect on your lives, and to find "Gratitude" deep within you this Thanksgiving. To experience a real, deep and personal relationship with the giver of your life and the lover of your soul. May you be blessed beyond all measure and see HIM like you have never experienced before.
Jeremiah 33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know"
May the Lord Jesus Christ bless you and call you to Himself!