Thursday, December 24, 2015

part 2 - on being storytellers & gaining solomon

okay, okay. i know when enough is enough.
i've waited too long myself, long enough that i could almost forget the promise i made -
the one to tell our story - the one where God redeems the broken pieces.

it's not that i don't WANT to tell it.
but it's hard. the words aren't really there yet, and the big heart holes still seem so big,
gaping open here with the cold winter air.

so, we had opened up our lives to bring home a daughter,
and then that one fateful afternoon it all came crashing down.
we can't say much about why - but it started and ended with a family feud in ug*nda that none of us here could mend, no matter how we tried - and oh, how we tried.


while journeying to this sweet girl, 
hundreds of papers collected and notarized,
thousands of dollars miraculously raised -
i continued working as the ugand*n adoption coordinator with our agency.

one tiny boy had been on my list of waiting referrals for months -
a tiny boy who should have been so easy to place.
But four families had "accepted" his referral, 
only to have to turn him down, for various reasons.

so even though our deal with God included the clause:
only a little girl...
we saw him working in ways we hadn't expected...
ways that ended with us saying the hard yes to bring a third son into our family.

it wasn't an easy yes, though we see God's glory in the story now -
it wasn't always so.
it looked more like dreams dashed, baby girl clothes boxed up and moved to the basement,
pink sheets and brown dolls packed up out of sight.

we debated about waiting for a girl,
but though our hearts hurt for a daughter, we couldn't say no to this waiting boy.
through newly made scars, we felt glimmers of hope,
here and there in dark nights - we began to fall in love again.


so while we updated paperwork to reflect our decision to pursue solomon,
we made plans for our sweet girl as well,
and when it was time to travel for court at the end of september,
david and i packed suitcases for us, for solomon, and for a little girl
who wasn't ours, but who had stolen our hearts. 

baby girl was resettled with her 16 year old pregnant sister.
the situation isn't great - and we don't know if it is a permanent resettlement,
or if this sweet girl will end up back at the baby home she had stayed at before -
but every day we say our prayers that they would feel love and thrive in Christ's great protection.

david and i had the distinct privilege of spending time with these girls together,
and while i was in country for 9 weeks i met the family members -
the feuding relatives.
i sat on the floor of the grandmother's hut, knowing it was her final decision to say, "no"
to me being baby girl's mama. i looked at her, and i didn't feel the anger i thought i would,
but instead i looked into her eyes, and saw an old woman who made a choice she felt was right.

and somehow my heart healed a little, even while tears fell hot and mixed with that red dirt -
this country of ug*nda - it ruins me in the very best way -
to be brave and say the hard yeses, even when it hurts.

the sister's new baby is due by the end of december,
and at that point we aren't sure if she will still be able to care for her little sister or not.
we've set up a way to "sponsor" them, and will continue for as long as we are able.

we don't know all the ways God works.
our hearts still ache, especially here at Chrismastime.
we gained legal guardianship of solomon on september 25th, 
and i spent a hard two months away from david and the boys to finish his process.

it was only by the overwhelming grace of Christ that we have three sons,
home with us, making our family feel so complete in 2015.
we don't know what the future holds, but when we look at solomon,
his place with us is clear - he fits perfectly - our little wise man. 


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