Party of Five
How do I say it? We thought God wanted us to adopt two kids right now, but apparently, he wants us to adopt three. Good thing we do too! A few weeks ago, in going through our court papers, we saw the name of a third sibling of Carolyn and Freddy. We immediately emailed our agency, trying not to get our hopes up, thinking that maybe it was a child that was still living with her mother. Much to our surprise and excitement, about a week later we learned that this child was the older sister of Carolyn and Freddy. She’s in the orphanage and available for adoption too. We immediately said to each other – we have to bring her home too! We were so relieved to find out about her and to know that she wasn’t being adopted by anyone else. She is 9 years old.
We believe so strongly that God brought her into our life and revealed her to us at the perfect time. Truthfully, if we had heard about a sibling group of 3, ages 9, 7 and 3 last year, we would have said no. It pains me to say that, but it’s amazing how God works, preparing our hearts for the right time when he slowly reveals his plan. It really didn’t take us any time at all to feel peace and security in knowing that it was the right decision. It was scary; walking by faith usually is. The processing of this information and what it means is working to break down our idols, especially for me. In most respects, this third child doesn’t really change anything. She’s just one additional blessing in this crazy journey. However, her presence has shown me how different my life is really going to be from what we ever imagined. With the two, I was still holding on to this dream of being able to create a perfect family. Believing that we would just blend in with everyone else. That we wouldn’t be different. (I actually complained that adopting these two wasn’t "radical" enough and that we needed a true "mission." Ha!) Sometimes I am ridiculous. God has been revealing my heart. He keeps asking me to give it up. Stop pretending that I can blend in. That I am in the "in" crowd. That our life can be "normal." I am set apart by Jesus for greater works than being normal. Thank you Jesus for grace and mercy. I am a project.
There has been so much beauty in this process, and God keeps revealing himself to us. One funny anecdote – DH has been memorizing Scripture this year and is memorizing a passage from each book of the Bible. When we were on vacation in Feb., he decided to start a passage in Isaiah and asked me what the best excerpt from Isaiah would be. I said Isaiah 58. He read it out loud, but it wasn’t what I was thinking of (I had actually meant Isaiah 53). He then started to work on 53, but kept being drawn back to 58. He decided that my mistake was not really a mistake but that 58 was what he was supposed to memorize. This is the passage:
5Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the LORD? 6Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? 7Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh? 8Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy reward. 9Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; 10And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noon day: 11And the LORD shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make fat thy bones: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not. 12And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places: thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
It really was perfect since we’ve been doing our "7" fast, but it was so much more than that. While he’s memorizing, we often talk about the verses and meditate on them. Right when we got the news about this third child, we were discussing how we could "bring the poor that are cast out to thy house." We were literally talking about whether we should start inviting homeless people to live with us. When we got the news, we were floored. Here God was preparing our hearts to bring someone in, someone cast out, and it was this perfect child. This child who is already related to the other two who we love so much. Then, in case we doubted God, a dear friend sent me this same verse as encouragement in the decision. You can’t make this stuff up. There’s only a million verses of encouragement in the Bible that she could choose from – clearly the Holy Spirit was doing the choosing. This is just one example that has given me so much comfort, knowing that the Creator of the universe, the King of Kings, is writing our story – and not only ours, but the story of these three children who he will not leave as orphans (John 14:18).
What does this third child (our surprise baby as we call her) mean for our process? It’s hard to say. We have had our home study updated, and it’s currently being reviewed by DCFS. As soon as it’s approved (Lord willing), we will be able to send her case into the court in DRC. We are trusting that God will continue to move mountains to get her home. I say to God every day – this was Your plan so You make it happen. I have fears and anxieties that creep in about whether we will have to make two trips or whether we will be in DRC for months instead of weeks (of course DH would love that), but more and more, God shows me that I must be careful for nothing, but in everything, with prayer and supplication make my requests known to him (Phil. 4:6). It is becoming so clear that He is in control and my anxiety, fear and stress do absolutely nothing except cause me to sin and doubt (easier said than done of course).
In the meantime, things are moving swimmingly with Carolyn and Freddy. We have all their court docs, we just got their passports, and the visa applications were sent out yesterday to USCIS. The visas are the last piece of the puzzle. Once we get those, we can travel! Praise God. We should hear from USCIS in 4-6 weeks on the initial approval, and then we *should* receive the visas about 6-8 weeks after that. So, we may be traveling as soon as August!! Of course, nothing has gone as it "should" so my hopes are not up that high. I do, however, have hope in Christ that he will complete this work (Phil. 1:6), and this hope does not make me ashamed (Rom. 5:5).