William and I got married about seven years ago. When we got engaged neither of us wanted to have kids. (This will be comical later on. Just wait for it.) We learned in pre-marital counseling having kids is biblical. Hmmm... So we decided to adopt. Getting pregnant kinda freaked me out (still does for the record) and there were "too many" kids out there already. Seriously - that was our thinking.
Our son was born in 2008 (surprise!) and shortly after we began the process of adopting from Ethiopia. We were told "the process" would take about twelve months. About six months in we found out we were pregnant again. (Surprise!) And yes, we know how that happens.
<Enter nine month adoption break.>
When our daughter was four weeks old we started the adoption process again. If you aren't familiar with international adoption, every single one of the bazillion forms you submit has an expiration date. Take a break? Re-do bazillion forms.
We updated all bazillion forms and the day before we planned to mail them, William was diagnosed with stage three melanoma.
<Enter surgeries and cancer treatment and another nine month adoption break.>
In March 2011 William was given a clean bill of health. We let out a long sigh of relief... Ahhhh.
Remember what I said earlier about the bazillion forms? Yeah, they expired again.
We updated everything again and mailed it off. Two and a half years into our adoption journey our bazillion forms finally landed in Ethiopia!
A few months later, Ethiopia deemed us unfit to parent. You can read about that here.
I wandered around the house in my pajamas all weekend. Thankfully, William remained steadfast and we pressed on. This time pursuing adoption from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Less than a month later we were matched with an adorable five-ish year old little boy. We planned to name him Malachi but never got that chance. He went home to live with his uncle and there is now one less orphan in the world. For that, we are thankful.
We went back on the list to wait for another little boy. (Circa February 2012.)
While we waited, God brought two little boys from five blocks away to live us. One of them is named Malachi. God is funny like that isn't He? Malachi and his brother came to us through an amazing program designed to keep kids out of the foster care system - Safe Families for Children. (Please check it out. It is wonderful!)
We learned early on in our placement with the boys that they might not be leaving anytime soon. In fact, it became apparent they would likely be going into foster care. Since we were not certified foster parents, that would have meant them being pulled from our house and moved into another.
Becoming foster parents was not on our radar. It's not something we ever would have considered. But God knew that. He re-wrote our adoption story to include the American orphan. I thought orphans in the US were far better off than orphans in places like Africa and India. I WAS WRONG. God knew we needed to see it for ourselves, in our own living room. So we became foster parents.
Then, we were matched with a four-ish year old little boy in the DRC. We were told his name was John but found out a couple months later his name is actually Moise, or Moses, not John. Did I mention our bio sons name is Moses? (If you're keeping score that's two Malachi's and two Moses'.)
Last October Malachi and his brother were placed in the custody of the state and we officially became their foster parents! The system may be broken, but God is sovereign.
About this time our two year old daughter Meadow started praying every night for her baby sister. I promptly explained she did not have a baby sister. There are boys as far as we can see - no sister in sight.
But she persisted.
Every night for almost a week she wanted to pray for her baby sister. Nothing we said could convince her otherwise. (Yes, we tried to talk our kid out of praying for something. We made Jesus proud.) William and I grew a little more freaked out each night and he made the next available appointment for the big snip surgery. For real.
This went on and off for most of the next month.
Then in November we learned Moise would not be our Moise. We learned his mother is alive and well and had no idea he was being adopted or intention to place him up for adoption. We praise God every day for His hand over Moise and that he was re-united with his birth family before something tragic happened. And by tragic I mean coming to live with us when his family wants to care for him.
After we lost our referral for Moise, we decided to take a break from international adoption. We were tired. Three years and nine months is a L.O.N.G. time to be on the emotional roller coaster that is adoption and frankly, I wanted off. We prayed two sweet boys home and had two sweet boys in our home. Seems good enough, right?
Shortly after deciding we needed a break a few folks contacted me suggesting certain agencies or waiting child lists. I kindly blew them off.
All but one.
One email from a stranger included information about a waiting baby girl, and I almost hit delete, but then I saw her name. Glory.
Do you see that name up there? Dead center?
Glory is the name we had chosen for our next little girl.
I responded with my schpeel. We have been in the process for almost four years, lost two referrals in 2012, we are tired, blah, blah, blah.
But. I. couldn't. get. Glory. out. of. my. mind.
I decided to do what is anti my personality. To not pursue her. Instead, I prayed. Specifically I prayed if Glory is ours, the nice stranger woman would email ME. Not the other way around.
I thought surely she would be gone. Who has healthy waiting baby girls? Surely someone would step forward for her, right?
Nine days later, the nice stranger woman sent me a message. Glory was still waiting.
I went to William, explained my prayer and that it had been answered. We decided to pray some more.
Pursuing Glory would mean starting over financially. From the beginning. The very beginning. Like $20,000 ago.
In order to get to the point of pursuing Glory, we would need $11,000. So we prayed for God to give us a financial sign.
A few days later I sat down to add up our grants and savings. To our surprise it totaled $10,885. Pretty close to $11,000 right?
Then, as we were getting ready for bed I emptied my pockets to find two checks from friends who had come over that day to purchase some of our fundraising items.
The total including those checks?
So here we are. In God's story. Waiting for Glory while He shows us His. Never having dreamed we would be here. Knowing we would never have chosen here on our own but so thankful for where God has us.
I don't know your story, but I pray you find peace in knowing that He is not a part of your story but you are a part of His.