I guess I'll start by saying that EVERY story is different....EVERY person's REASON to adopt varies....BUT for us... it's important to remember that WE NEVER ONCE IN OUR LIVES DREAMED OF ADOPTION!!! We never discussed it, talked about it, or ever THOUGHT it would be a part of our life!!! With that said....I was completely happy and content with 4 babies at the time!! I wasn't overly worried that we COULDN'T have any more pregnancies due to 4 c-sections...it just all seemed to be "fine" with me!! This is WHERE God stepped in....BECAUSE our plans aren't always HIS PLANS!!!
*I know with out a shadow of doubt that ANY person with a 5 yr. old, a 3 , a 2 and a 10 month old WOULD have found 100's of reasons to NOT adopt when faced with the "possibility"...IF GOD WASN'T INVOLVED!!! NO husband in their "right" mind...who had NEVER discussed the possibility of adoption ...WOULD HAVE EVER SAID YES....IF GOD WASN'T INVOLVED!!! You see....across the world, sat a pregnant teenage girl PRAYING with her family about her unborn child. And, I know NOW that the exact same time she finds out she's pregnant and her FAMILY GOES to PRAYER over it.... I go to sit at my computer, just like i did at some point every day...and there....in my INBOX was an email from a friend...It simply said, "Pass this to your sister...I think she'll enjoy it." It was one of those
moments where I wish someone could have tapped me on the shoulder and said, "RIGHT AT THIS VERY MOMENT....YOUR ENTIRE WORLD IS GETTING READY TO CHANGE!!! EVERYTHING YOU LOVED AND VALUED BEFORE WILL NOW BE SO DIFFERENT...ENJOY THE CRAZY RIDE"
*AND, I made the fateful choice to OPEN the email instead of passing it straight on to my sister Kelly. And, at that moment...a family in Ethiopia is praying over the baby in the young mom's womb...knowing they would NOT be able to keep the baby!! And, at that very moment...MY HEART BREAKS..I watch the VERY first Gotcha Day video I'd ever seen...I watch a family adopt from Ethiopia ( a country I knew nothing about)...and my HEART BREAKS INTO A MILLION PIECES!! I sit crying WONDERING how i'd gone my whole life with out knowing or caring about the fatherless children of our world!!! And, at that very moment....God answered the prayers of this family in Ethiopia....And, as baby girl continued to grow inside another young woman's womb.....WE BEGIN THE PROCESS TO ADOPT!!
* About the time this young mom gives birth to her daughter Martha....we are WELL into our wait on the waitlist!! As this family decides IT's time to take the baby to an orphanage....teenage mom decides she just can't do it yet....and we reach #1 on the wait list.... and are referred ANOTHER baby!! As we sit and fall in love with Baby "k" just knowing she was going to be OUR daughter.... A teenage mother is pouring love and trust and courage into her infant baby girl at home!! As we fall more and more in love with Baby K over the next month....Teenage mom spends valuable time with her daughter...seeing her smile and giving her the gift of LOVE like only a mother can do!! As we get the DREADED call that our Baby K is gone...(her birth mother came back for her).... A teenage mom has decided it is TIME....TIME to let her baby go!! TIME to take her baby to a state run orphanage FAR from her village....having ONLY prayer that she'll find her way to a family that can care for her!! And, as we sit CRYING at home...asking God "why" is our Baby "k" gone....Lucy Lane Martha is handed over to strangers at an orphanage. For 3 weeks we sit and cry and wonder and plead with our agency and ask them over and over again WHY it is taking so long to get a new referral....ALL ALONG...our Lucy Lane is making her way to Addis Ababa where she will reside at Hannah's Hope Orphanage.....As I hand the pain over to God..and tell HIM that HE is in control....NOT ME....I just can't TRY and control things any longer....Our Lucy Lane arrives to the arms of strangers once again at HH...where she is put through various tests to PROVE she is healthy for referral....WHEN i think I can't CRY one more tear.....MY PHONE RINGS!!! And, on the other end is our case worker....with a baby girl she needed to tell us about...and her name is "Martha"....a name chosen from the bible!!
* I will always be GRATEFUL and HUMBLED by this young mom...for making an incredibly hard choice for her daughter's sake. (I will save all details to WHY she was given up for adoption for LL to share some day if she wants) AND, I'm forever grateful that God broke my heart that particular afternoon. I will always VALUE that time that LLM got to spend with her birth mother....If my wait hadn't been as long as it was...OR if we hadn't experienced the loss of referral....and IF we'd been given LLM right from birth...then I don't think she'd be the SAME person she is today!! God intended for her to be secure, strong, funny and full of love....and she came to me with those qualities...which I know she learned from the valuable time she was able to spend with her birth mom.
* So, NOW i'm grateful for the wait...i'm grateful for the pain..and for all the little bumps I didn't even mention...cause THEY all got me to HER...which I know was ALL GOD'S PLAN!!
*And, as I landed on Ethiopian soil....
ready for my daughter to be placed in my arms...there was ONLY one other thing I wanted ever so badly...and that was to thank the woman that gave birth to her....I couldn't wait for my birth parent meeting...I had dreamed of the day we would meet...the day I could hug her and let her know JUST HOW MUCH I loved her daughter....but that day never came....For several reasons...she didn't get to come to the meeting...and instead I was handed pictures of this beautiful YOUNG Ethiopian girl kissing and loving on her baby daughter. You see... JUST TWO WEEKS EARLIER...she had come to say good bye to her...and they captured it on film.
*I've NOW sat and stared at those pictures for 16 months....still dreaming and praying for this young girl that I never got to meet....AND, OUT of the clear blue....my hubby ups and "gifts" me with a return trip to Ethiopia....to full fill a dream I'd held onto for 16 months....BUT, before I could commit.....I HAD TO SOME WAY, SOME HOW ASK HER PERMISSION TO COME...... (to be continued...)