Her New Story Begins
Our family grew by one yesterday.
We accepted our first, of two, referrals. The Hagerty crest has been imprinted in another country, on another little heart.
And as I create my mental baby book, replaying the details of this past week’s events over and over again in my mind, the small insignificants are what make her story significant. He’s left His mark. Everywhere.
We first heard word of her just days after I emailed my coordinator to say “although we’re leaning towards four and under, please let us know if any child outside of this age range comes across your desk.”
Like a woman found pregnant just months after she delivered her last child, I readily field the skeptical responses. Aren’t they more likely to have … permanent damage? Doesn’t it take a long time to restore one who has spent that many years out from under your roof? Older children, older orphans, raise eyebrows. Including my own. I have no judgment for these responses, because they once were fears I slept with, and too much analyzing and not enough leaning into Him leaves me entertaining them again.
Humanity is fear’s breeding ground. We accept fear as our daily drink and pattern our lives around it. And something the Father has highlighted to me these past few weeks and months is this fear. In me. Rather than doing what I’ve always done and avoid all circumstances that might offer opportunity to play with fear’s fire, He has said a simple: walk through it. Hot coals, an obstacle in my path, are His corridor for this time in our lives.
The anything-but-flippant email to our coordinator upping our age range was our RSVP.
And she came back with this: “I have a five year old girl for you to consider.”
She prepared us for waiting weeks to receive the official referral, but I knew it would be less. In every way, this second adoption has been accelerated — for what reason I’m not yet sure.
One week later, my brisk-Colorado morning prayers echoed in the loft of our friend’s mountain home. Like a boomerang, they came from Him and I breathed them back. Today, Lord. Will you let it be today?
His yes came just hours later.
I scurried through the self check-out line with detergent and ketchup in-hand, staples that hadn’t earlier made my list. As I reached for my receipt, my phone revealed the sacred number that every adoptive parent memorizes when waiting for a referral — but because we were so early in the process, I didn’t yet recognize it.
“Sara, I have some news for you,” she said.
I stumbled into the car full of friend and children passing the time by singing, and swallowed deep. This is it.
My water broke and the waiting I have worn like an old, comfy bathrobe over my family-building years was exchanged for contractions. It’s time to fight for her homecoming.
Our last trip to this friend’s mountain-home brought with it the news that our first adoption would be at a standstill. Three years later, He came with the restoration that says “I will wash over every-single-broken place.“
We sat on the referral for days, unheard-of in most adoption circles, but my insecure heart needed the surety that this field-of-fear — adopting outside the birth-order and older than we’d anticipated, on top of some extraneous details of her story — was His to win. My already-reminded heart needed more reminding.
And the Remind-er patiently reminded me.
With the mountains at our back and Kansas tumble-weed blowing across the great plains, we made our final decision. This five-year old would be our five-year old. Eden would be, as she calls it, a virtual “twinnie.”
I picked up the phone to call our coordinator and as the receptionist wired me through to her line, out of the big-sky blue, barren of all but windmills, rose a hand-painted cry on a small billboard: “Adoption, Not Abortion.” One farmer’s declaration was God’s signpost for me.
Another detail, just in time, reminding us that He has written life onto our DNA and that, when we asked Him a year or so ago what we were about as a family, one of His responses was Life. At any age. Anytime.
I’m not sure which will be the bigger salvage here: her life or my fear-threatened heart.
So now we wait for our second referral. And when that comes, we pack our bags and go global.
In the meantime, please pray for our daughter on the other side of the world. And the name we’ve given her?
Please pray for Hope, that’d He’d whisper to her heart that we are coming.
Sara and her husband, Nate, have been married for nine years and brought home their two children from Ethiopia last year. They recently started the adoption process for two more from Uganda. They have a heart for prayer and to see people touched by the love of Jesus. What started as a blog chronicling the ups and downs of adoption has become a passion for Sara. You can read more of her musings on orphans, walking with God through pain and perplexity . . . and spinach juice at Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet.