It was one of those nights- I don't know why. I never do. I guess something triggered the movie that played over and over in my mind - well at least every time I shut my eyes. It was a movie of one of the happiest times in my life and one of the saddest as well. All day I've battled on if I should post this on here or not. I decided it is part of who I am and always will be. I don't write it for pity or sympathy... really I write it because it helps my heart. It is part of who I am and one of the chapter's in life that has shaped me. Enough of all that and back to the movie that played over and over last night....
It took me to a far away place, although not really that far away. A lusciously green land whose country side is filled with beautiful scenery. Although parts of this country are something you would see in a travel magazine if you look closely you see evidence of a war that ravaged this land. Poverty is all around. Partly due to political battles that engulfed the people for way too long. Natural disasters have also left much devastation to this place- a place I fell quickly in love with on my first mission trip. It was the first time I looked into a person's eyes and saw true desperation. I am not speaking of a spiritual desperation- although it was there as you looked deeper. I am talking about true desperation on having your basic physical needs meet. I am talking about literally having nothing to eat- not just something you "like" to eat. After that first trip my heart was broken and Mike and I returned many times.
It didn't matter if we were in the barrio's (villages), the schools or at the orphanages- most all we encountered had (has) that look. Each time my heart was broken as I returned to my comfy American lifestyle. If you've ever seen or been to a place with extreme poverty you can relate.
At the same time in life Mike and I continued to walk the path of infertility. We desperately wanted a child and had been open to the idea of adoption for a while. Many people wanting to help in our desire to become parents would share with us a child (or children) that needed a home. Each time we would walk through the door as long as it was open. This time was not any different. I sat down with Mike after Wednesday night church at a local restaurant, and said well you are already sitting down and began. A friend in ministry had a lady in his church who was not going to keep the twins she was soon to deliver and he wanted to know if we were interested. As long as I live I will never forget my precious husband's response. He said sure we will always have a open door for any children the Lord may bring to us. Tell "RJ" yes to give her our name. And then the words that would really set us on a life changing course..... But we have two girls waiting on us and they are ours. I believe we are suppose to go get them (meaning begin adoption procedures).
You see when we first began serving on short term trips to this country it was closed to Americans adopting but had recently become more open. We had met two sisters on one of our trips and had seen them again just the month before. I will actually never forget standing over "JG"'s crib and crying out for God to rescue her. I vividly remember Mike coming to tell me the team was already walking out of the village. I couldn't move. My heart was riveted to this precious child who although was several years old could not sit up. We were told she had special needs - although they were not really sure what. She had to be propped up in her crib. The little girl whose orphanage caregivers told me they had never seen her smile until that day. It was when I was holding her close and singing "Jesus Loves "JG" into her ears. Her eyes darted towards me and smiled. A little girl that was left alone with her 1 1/2 old sister for they believe at least a week. Their mom had left them and the uncle brought them to the orphanage. There was no way their family could feed anymore children. It didn't immediately enter my mind -at first- they we should adopt them. It wasn't possible when we first meet them.
So last night the next several trips (over two years) played in my mind. The times we spent with them at the orphanage, mission house, zoo, McDonald's, playing, trying on clothes we had brought them, hearing their laugh when they receive the Build-a-bear and puppy with our voices tell them we loved them, feeding them, watching them grow and learn and hearing them call us ma ma and pa pa.
Then the movie is taking a turn.....it's a turn toward a ending I don't like or even want. We are at the necessary offices thinking our paperwork is going to be reviewed and given the "nod" to get the official seals on it. However, as the sweet kind lady who has helped us from the beginning leaves the room and is gone for a period of time, a longer period of time than necessary, my heart begins to panic. As she enters the room- I know- I don't need the translator to translate. When her eyes won't meet mine, I realize it is not to be. They called it political red tape, they are sorry.....policies changing. The words are just a jumble in my mind and on the screen. I am not sure how I will every move from that chair. You see "our girls" was what had kept me going for the past 11 weeks. The 11 weeks I physically and emotionally healed from an unplanned hysterectomy. You see even though I had been told I would most likely not have a baby- I secretly held out hope all those years for a miracle. How could I look at Mike in the eyes. The movie is playing but it brings back to many intense memories, I can't watch. Somehow we cling to each other and make it to the car waiting to take us to the mission house. Our precious friend who is driving us is visibly upset for us. I go through a range of emotions but mostly just intense pain with lots of crying. We are told we can see the girls one more time. I can't even begin to imagine saying goodbye.
As we went back to the mission house - I am thankful that our dear friends Laura, Elizabeth and Jami were there to love on us. They talked if we wanted to talk and just sit quietly if that is what we needed too. It was a hard day. Mike made arrangements for us to see the girls the next day. He and our driver went to pick them up and I began to work on setting things up. We had brought quite a few gifts to give them each day and since this would be our one last time to see them- I wanted to set it up like it was Christmas. I had always been so excited to do as my parents had done for me and set up our gifts for that special morning. Here they came in all excited- I hold as a portrait in this movie playing - their faces when they rounded the corner. It was priceless. I had prayed and had lots of people praying I could enjoy this special, last visit with them and not cry. He answers prayers-we had an incredible time together but when it came time to let go that last time was hard. It was if part of my heart was being ripped out. My incredible husband rode alone to take them back - to spare me the pain. I knew his heart was breaking too and we had cried many tears together but he was forever trying to protect my heart from any pain he could at this point.
The movie is in it's final scenes. As I know I need to watch to the end last night- I'm hysterical. I am crying so hard I am trying not to shake the bed so I will not wake up my husband. I begin to pray the Lord will give me the peace only He can give me- peace He brings me whenever this movie is showing in the darkness of the night. Here it comes...............
The Lord's gentle reminder that He asked us on this journey for reasons - some we know why and some we will only know in heaven. However, a big smile comes to my face as I see "JG" and "JL" playing and laughing. I am reminded of the miracle of it all. Lots of things that I can not share here happened (due to our process to adopt the girls)., One of them I can- "JG" was given medical treatment. She did not have a rare disease that we were told would end her life just a few short years after she was to be officially "ours" but rather a simple problem that could be solved with medicine. She was already becoming a different little girl the last time we saw her- the disabilities were being solved with therapy. She was so much happier and smiled a lot. Her quality of life would be different.
Before the credits were to play- the final scene. One of my precious husband, me and the girls. Mike is praying over them - praying someone would water the seeds of His word in their life, asking Him to allow them to accept Him as Savior - so that even if not here on earth we were every joined together we would be in heaven. The credits roll - although it is just one large groupings of words. I strain to see what it says because I am falling in a deep sleep as I wrapped tightly in in the peace of God. I can't read it - I am too sleepy and just then the Holy Spirit whispers in my ear- PRODUCED BY GOD THE FATHER PURCHASED WITH JESUS CHRIST AND ARRANGED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT................ the last picture rolls and it is Mike and I in heaven...........we are not alone.........it's our girls!