It must have been over 5 years ago when You started asking me to leave my job. I didn't understand it at the time. I was too entrenched. It was 4 years ago, shortly after Grandma died and before we sold her farm, that you asked us to sell our home. I argued and cried and gave it up and took it back again. It was 4 years ago, when the little boy we thought would be our son was reunited with his family. We rejoiced and we cried. Our hearts started opening to the possibility of a different country. It was then we started praying about where our child was. It was then you beckoned us to listen against advice, which You know I'm not so great at doing, and consider adopting two children at one time. I remember telling Jim, "I think we're supposed to adopt two." He smiled and said, "I knew that." I reacted, my normal tendancy, and reeled, "Why didn't you tell me?!" We could have saved a lot of time. He told me I needed to hear it for myself. Funny how he knows me. Funny how he knows how I trust You and your voice. You had us fly to Guatemala on July 11, 2009, the birthdate given to our son. Could it be that as we flew over country and water that across the ocean, a baby boy, our baby boy was being born? I remember when we landed in Guatemala and the sheer joy of it all. I remember stepping onto the grounds of Casa Bernabe and saying, "I'm home". I had all of these feelings of, "I was born for this" and "I know how these abused children feel." If not for our children at home, we could have stayed. We most likely would have stayed. Fast forward, October 2010. Jim shows up at work and I remember thinking this is either really good or really bad. It was really good. You allowed us to see the faces of our two newest children. I'll never forget staring at them on the computer screen. I remember leaving Cole and Julia to fly to Africa. None of us are particularly good at goodbyes. I cried. They cried. Don't know if Jim cried. I remember sitting in the van in Ethiopia-Cindy marveling at the fact she was in Africa. All I could think was, "I'm where my children are. They're here." And the waiting in the room as we waited for the nannies to bring them seemed like a lifetime, in reality, minutes. But you're not much one for microwave moments, are You. And how when I saw Gabriel, I knew. Do you remember how I kept repeating, It's him. It's him. It's him.? He's the one you showed me the picture of in November 2007, not even conceived in his mama's womb, not even conceived in his mama's heart. I don't understand it, but I'm thankful for it. I remember our last day in Addis, Cindy, baby girl, and me, all on our way to the doctor at the orphanage, trying hard to understand language and how to give medications and going to a little, hole-in-the-wall pharmacy and wanting to kiss the boy behind the counter because he spoke perfect english and told this mama how to administer medicine to one sick little baby on a plane in the middle of the Atlantic. Oh my, how I remember sprinting across the Dubai airport and the man being so kind to promise me my husband wouldn't miss the plane and he would help us. Thank you for sending him to us. And I remember landing at JFK and wanting to kiss the ground. And the sheer joy of Julia and Cole at the sight of their brother and sister. The weeks following were hard weeks. These days are hard days. But the remembering reminds me that You are good and you are Faithful and You are Sovereign and how how you love. I give you these hard days, these hard mothering two year old days. The days when the only thing I know to do is to lie on the ground and cry out and sometimes, just cry, when I forget who you are. And I remember that you've brought me home, to mother my children, even in my weak and not-so-nice moments, here is where you want me.
Thank you for loving me. For pulling me out of the pit. For saving my life. For making me free to love you and rest in you and breathe in you. I ask that you keep me abiding. Keep me laid low. I love you. For your great name. I pray for the honor of telling all the world of who you are, proclaiming your goodness and your greatness and your peace and your rest and power and your justice and mercy and redemption. For your glory- My deepest joy. A~