We began this journey almost 2 years ago.....it all started with a Blessing (that sweet little child who stole my heart in an orphanage in Nigeria) and will most definitely end with an amazing blessing for our family. After completing all of the paperwork just before Thanksgiving 2011, we waited for almost 13 months before getting the joyous call that our adoption agency had matched us with a little girl who had been abandoned at a church. We received a few pictures and then began waiting again. This time for a court date at which the judge will grant us legal guardianship of our sweet Hattie. We received that call a few weeks ago and will be leaving in a few days for Ethiopia. Our court date is on April 5th and we are so excited to be taking this next step!
As I think about all that has transpired and all that is yet to happen throughout this long process known as adoption, I am reminded how this earthly adoption so perfectly mirrors the spiritual adoption that God has so graciously provided for us. There is a song written by Ronnie Freeman called Orphan and the lyrics are
You think so much of me, You take delight in me;
You paid the price for me, then you adopted me.
You took my guilt and shame, Gave me a brand new name;
You call me Your beloved, I call you Abba, Father.
I'm not an orphan anymore, I'm yours
I stand before you now adored, I'm yours,
Your cross has set me free, New life belongs to me
I'm not an orphan anymore...........
Oh how that echoes our heart for Hattie, but more importantly God's heart for his people. John 1:12 says "But to those who receive him and believe in his name, he gives the right to become children of God." Just as we pray the judge will grant us the right to become Hattie's parents, God has given us the right to become His children if we will only accept the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. Not one of us is good enough to earn a right standing before God, but in His graciousness he made a way for us - for all of us. "For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one can boast." ~ Ephesians 2:8-9
Just a couple of weeks ago, we were riding in the car and the song Orphan was playing. My six year old piped up from the back and said "Mommy, did you know that we were all orphans before Jesus?" He gets it...... He knows what an orphan is because he has been walking through the adoption process with us, but we have never had detailed discussion of how we are adopted into God's family. But because He trusts in Jesus with his sweet little heart, he knows that he has an earthly family, but more importantly a heavenly family with a Heavenly Father who loves him even more than we do!
What a privilege it has been to be a part of God's plan to show our precious baby girl that she does not have to be an orphan anymore, not in this life or in eternity!
We would really appreciate your prayers as we are preparing to travel and making the trip to Ethiopia. Some specific requests are as follows:
*Travel safety, no lost luggage or delayed/cancelled flights
*Ability to rest on the 13.5 hour flight
*Health and safety for the kiddos while they spend the week with Mimi and Poppy, and for an extra measure of energy and patience for Mimi & Poppy:)
*Pray that it will be a sweet time of making memories with grandparents, cousins and their aunt and uncle
*Please pray against Satan's attacks...I truly believe that he does not want this little girl adopted into a family that proclaims Christ as Lord. We are already feeling it in many ways.....
*Relief from severe allergy issues for Leslie and that my congestion won't result in horrible pain while flying when my ears cannot handle the pressure (this has happened several times before and I am really anxious about this part of the flight)
*Health for Ryan and for things to go smoothly at work - he is missing a huge implementation of a project he has been working on for a year and a half at work
*Our hearts as we leave three kiddos behind :(
*Opportunities to share the love of Christ with others while we are there
*Pray for Hattie's health and development and her care while at the transition home
*Pray for our time together....for bonding to begin while we are there (she is reported to be rather shy and quite attached to the nanny taking care of her)
*Pray a special blessing for the nannies who are caring for her in our place and for the day coming when they will say goodbye to Hattie and Hattie will have to say goodbye to them
We love you all and appreciate your prayers! We will be able to post pictures of Hattie after our court hearing!!! So stay tuned...