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wow. Wow. WOW.

I haven’t been able to post—the internet service has been great…my heart though has been processing. Third world countries feel like my 2nd home and 2nd nature to me–so processing the poverty hasn’t been new. The new part–has been accepting and dealing with the effects of poverty in a new way. And that–changes your heart and mind and even your soul in a way only adopting parents, missionaries, foster parents, birth parents and orphanage staff can only explain. Words can’t put my heart’s feeling into understanding for you–and it would be an injustice to even try.

In less than 24 hours, I board a plane–to bring my son home. Forever. Some come on mission trips to third world countries and say “my life will never be the same”…I say this in an entirely different way. With deeper and different meaning.

I am overwhelmed by what the Lord has done here. Just overwhelmed.

I have made family with the other parents I have traveled here with. Normally, becoming a parent again is a very private and holy event shared by mother and father…we have birthed our newest children together—we have cried together, rejoiced together…they are all so dear to me. So dear. Anything they could ask of me–I am there.

I have held hands with the woman that birth and sacrificed for my son so he might live. I have never been a part of a more true, powerful, holy, real, hard, beautiful or more perfect meeting. Richard–our wedding is close…but the vows we made there were of only joy and commitment. At my wedding, I repeated a pastor because I was too nervous in front of a crowd–yet my vow that day was, indeed, heartfelt. Today’s vow–was also heartfelt…but it was filled with pain and love…and even worship. The Holy Spirit was there. And REAL. The words I spoke were more than true–they bled from my heart. BLED. If you ever doubted God, had you been at the meeting of me and my son’s birth mom, you would no longer. He bound our hearts–and worship even took place. God laid specific scriptures on my heart—and as I read them to her…I tried to be brave and strong…but in brokenness and identification with her…I melted. And in my brokenness–the Holy Spirit bound us together…and she raised her hands to heaven and worshiped the God who answered both of our prayers. I know her wishes for her son–and I made a vow to her and to the Lord this day. My life will be spent filling it. An honor. I am overwhelmed.

We laughed together. Cried together. The pictures are breathtaking. I may share them in a week or 50 years. Ones of us holding hands. Crying together. Even the most breathtaking image in all my years of photography that I’ve ever laid eyes on–both of us kissing Isaac Temesgen on his cheek together—and at that moment the Holy Spirit calmed OUR son…and a fussy baby turned happy and JOYFUL…complete JOY is on his face. Thank you God.

Other people can debate is it right to adopt when your child has a birth mom who loves him. They all have birth moms…it’s how babies are created. And they all love them…it just looks different–maybe even deeper than what we understand. You cannot debate with me on this issue–there is absolutely no debate. Had you been at the meeting you would understand. Had you heard her heart you would know. Had you seen her lift her hands to heaven and worship God for answering her prayer you would not argue but instead lift your hands to heaven and worship too…the God who sets the lonely in families, cares for the broken and defends the widows. I am forever changed…and truly—when I say my life will never be the same…I mean it with every ounce of my being.

As I left the orphanage–for the very last time…the home my son has known since the beginning of this year…the director of the orphanage who has loved my son well grabbed me. She hugged me and told me she saw through my heart. And she reminded me of my purpose. “Andrea, you have a tender heart. You must remember: You can not save Ethiopia. You were called to save Temesgen. Now, go be his mother.”

My adoption preparation and milestones are now over. I have a son…and we are preparing to head home. HOME. How thankful I am for this journey. How thankful I am for the families I have traveled it with. How thankful I am to the Holy Spirit for being present on it…to Jesus for dying so I might know God and be adopted by Him…and to God for being my ultimate Father. It will be my task now—for Isaac Temesgen to know Him deeply…and to keep the vow of raising Him in the Lord that I made the woman who chose life for him…who made the ultimate sacrifice of letting her son go so he might live.

I, too, lift my hands. Fill me Father and help me. I need Your help and guidance. Thank you for the honor of being your daughter and helping me follow You. Oh Daddy, Father in heaven, hold my hand tight now as our new family comes together this Friday–and help us to stay ever close to you as we parent these you have entrusted us with. Amen.

We have one more stop before we board the plane in just a matter of hours. The government orphanage where all of our children were before coming to Hannah’s Hope. I pray for the families who have already begun their adoption journeys…who are faithfully following the You Lord to parent many of these they have yet to meet. They have felt called…they have jumped through hoops…and now they wait through the red tape and their hearts are being stretched as they wait in their obedience. Be with the children there Jesus as they wait. Let them hold on. Keep them healthy. Be with the birth families–who chose life for their children. Give them peace—and be their Jehovah–their great Provider. Be with the families who will become their new parents as they follow and hope…and wonder Your will. And I pray, Lord, that You will call quickly more mommies and daddies that You have chosen to this most holy calling the courage to follow…no matter what. Amen. Amen and Amen.

Can’t wait for my family to all meet one another in less than 48 hours. God is so good…and how I can’t imagine a life of not following Him!

Megan - June 30, 2010 - 7:37 pm

So thankful for sharing this miracle with us. I understand this feeling….it is similar to the one I had with our daughter’s birthmom. It brings tears to my eyes thinking about it…this happens daily 7 months later. I’m sure it will continue to make humble me the rest of my life. Congrads!!

Jeannie - June 30, 2010 - 7:41 pm

WOW is right! I had goose bumps as I read that. Honestly, I feel so anxious when I think about meeting our daughter’s birth Mother. I am very excited to have the opportunity to meet her, but to do it in the presence of our child causes me anxiety. Reading your account gives me some peace – Thank you. Have a safe trip home!

monica carroll - June 30, 2010 - 7:47 pm

Oh, my stars! I am completely in tears – so filled with [*well, filled with everything, really, so i can’t even choose one word*] that the Lord chose you all – Isaac, his birth mom and the Young family. Your story, the one of which all of you are a part, is amazing, heartwarming, uplifting, comforting, faith-reinforcing, beautiful, inspirational and every other good, emotional word I can think of!

Glory to HIM!!

I do hope you share the images of you, Isaac and his birth mom sooner than later. I am sure they are filled with the image of God.

Blessings to you all!

Britney - June 30, 2010 - 7:54 pm

Thank you for this post Andrea, it is extremely motivating! I am struggling with having courage and I am praying, praying, praying to have faith in Him. All I can say is God is AMAZING and definitely answers prayers!!! I am so touched and encouraged to hear how God worked not only in your life, but also in Isaac’s birthmother’s life. I am praying you guys have a safe trip home!

Dawn - June 30, 2010 - 8:26 pm

You put into words so wonderfully what I haven’t been able to….thank you. Thank God for changing us!!!

Shannon - June 30, 2010 - 8:53 pm

Andrea, I have no words … only this swollen, aching, yet joyful knot in my chest at the power of your experience and your beautiful way in sharing it with us. You are amazing. I am so blessed to know you. I cannot wait to meet precious Isaac!! Love you!

Karee Koepp - June 30, 2010 - 8:53 pm

Wow, Andrea! Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart. Perfect title to this post…all I can say is WOW! Praying for safe travels and wonderful bonding time for your family. ~Karee

Heather - June 30, 2010 - 9:04 pm

Wow! That is beautiful. Tears are in my eyes. Thank you so much for being personal & allowing us a glimpse into your adoption. I can’t wait to bring my baby home!

Elle J - June 30, 2010 - 9:18 pm

Thank You, Lord, for answering all of our prayers for the meeting of Isaac’s Mothers!!!! What joy the Lord has shown the world through this meeting, and what peace He has given to all of us for knowing this story. Andrea ~ you are a true blessing and inspiration to so many in all corners of this world. No doubt your new family member you met today is at peace with you tonight.

Jenny - June 30, 2010 - 9:48 pm

Wow. This post has really touched me. I hope that I have the chance to meet with our son’s birth mother!

Tiffany - June 30, 2010 - 9:53 pm

Beautiful…and absolutely true. We did not have the opportunity to meet Caleb’s birth mom and I pray faithfully that some day we will. What a wonderful and precious gift – one that is so very hard to explain to some…but this has been orchestrated by God…all of it…and it is perfect – not only in the rejoicing, but in the pain and loss. He is there. I have been praying for all of you and will do so again this evening. What an amazing journey.

Tiffany - June 30, 2010 - 9:54 pm

Ok…so I just posted a minute ago, but I was too weepy to add this silly comment on the end. Please tell April that we ran into her mother-in-law, Harris and the kids at dinner tonight. Everyone looked good and they seemed to have it all under control. 🙂

Rebecca Harley - June 30, 2010 - 10:08 pm

with tears streaming (again:) – that was beautiful, my friend. Praying you home, lifting you all up ….. cannot wait to see some pics from the airport!

Kristin - June 30, 2010 - 10:08 pm

Your words are like music to my soul. As I anticipate our birthmom’s court appointment on Friday, I cannot stop thinking and praying for this woman I have never met. I just posted about it too. Your experience opens my eyes even more to God’s amazing design and plans on earth. So thankful we are His children. Thanks for sharing.

Larisa Maibach - June 30, 2010 - 10:16 pm

Oh Andrea…I’ve been following your journey for awhile now, and this post is simply amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your heart. We are currently working on our homestudy for our second adoption with AGCI, and I recognize so much of what you have been feeling – in spite of the fact that we were unable to have a birth family meeting when we met our son last summer. I am praising our Father for you today – you and your beautiful family, and your gift for writing. May He fill your hearts in new and amazing ways as you all come together for the first time on Friday. We will be praying for a safe journey for you and little Isaac!

natali - June 30, 2010 - 10:22 pm

thank you for sharing this, andrea.

Vanessa - June 30, 2010 - 10:26 pm

WOW! Love ya sweet sister! Praying for your return home 🙂

emily - June 30, 2010 - 10:44 pm

Beautiful, so well spoken. Meeting Abe’s birthmom, crying in each others arms is truly a moment so perfect, so devine, words don’t do it justice—yours came pretty close though.

Safe travels.

Kim - June 30, 2010 - 10:45 pm

wow. Wow. WOW!!!

Alison - June 30, 2010 - 10:50 pm

Okay, I am crying…beautiful. How amazing that you were able to worship our Heavenly Father with your son and his birth mom! WOW!

melissa - June 30, 2010 - 10:56 pm

Truly Amazing! Thank you Jesus for your abounding love that passes all understanding! WOW, WOW, and WOW!!!!

Angela - July 1, 2010 - 12:08 am

Wow, this was powerful. So so amazing what the Holy Spirit did there and continues to do!

missy - July 1, 2010 - 1:05 am

i have chills all over. what holy ground you have stood on…and continue to walk in.

Christina - July 1, 2010 - 8:52 am

Andrea, you are such a gifted and anointed writer. My heart hurts that I will not meet Kiya’s birth family this side of heaven, but I’m so happy that you have had that opportunity, and that it was such a beautiful, blessed, God-glorifying meeting. Praying for smooth flights and safe travels home.

kim lynch - July 1, 2010 - 9:07 am

Andrea, I have met you before with April at Cup of Joy. I also know April through several friends. I have been following your blog and your journey has been one that has touched my heart and spirit more than one could ever imagine! You are an amazing person for all that you and your family have done and given. Baby Isaac is truly blessed to be a part of your family and it is so incredible to read how Gods hand has brought you through this entire journey!! I have cried, laughed, smiled and have had goosebumps with each post on your blog. Thank you for letting all of us be a part of this special journey. I have had you in my thoughts and prayers each day and can’t wait until you are all reunited with your families again. May God continue to give you all the essentials you need as you begin another chapter in your lives. Huge congrats and many blessings to you always! P.S. you should definitely be a writer…you are incredible!
Blessings and hugs,
Kim lynch

Brad - July 1, 2010 - 9:19 am

Ok. My wife has forwarded me EVERY post on your adoption journey. EVERY email she has sent me she prefaces the post with “tears streaming” “weeping as I read this” “crying AGAIN”….I think you get the picture….lots and LOTS of tears as she blog-walks this journey of life with you. And from the other commentators…she evidently is not crying alone. Well, I am a man – through and through. We dudes pound back lunches, over-stuff a day alone with kids with wild adventures, grow 4-day old beards, and follow Mom’s craft/food/outfit schedule as best we can. AND, we don’t cry when we read blogs unless some other dude is blogging about the time he scratched the paint job on his new truck. However, I defy ANY man to read this post and maintain dry eyes. Hearing how the Lord orchestrated your meeting with Isaac’s birth Mom, generated authenticity through brokenness, and ultimately provided deep and lasting peace through worship simply rips through the masculine veneer and topples the well guarded emotional core of a man. Brilliant. Inspiring. Full-throttled awesomeness. I worship with you through my own tears today. Blessings to you and your family.

Mindy - July 1, 2010 - 10:47 am

Hi Andrea. I found your blog through another AGCI blog and have been hooked on your journey! We are adopting a baby girl from Ethiopia through AGCI and are in the paperwork process.

This post touched more than about anything I’ve ever read. Absolutely beautiful. Isaac is seriously one of the most beautiful baby boys I have ever seen! I love listening to your heart – thank you for sharing your journey with people you don’t even know. And thank you for your prayer at the end of the post. It brought tears to my eyes to know that even though we aren’t placed with a child yet that there are people praying for us. What a blessing the family of God is! Blessings to you and your sweet family!

Rachel Campbell - July 1, 2010 - 12:00 pm

WOW! I don’t even have words. The Love of the Holy Spirit just pouring out of you fills my soul. I can’t even imagine how powerful this journey has been for you, and how impactful it is on each of us here cheering for you!! Much love- Rachel

Helen - July 1, 2010 - 12:57 pm

Absolutely beautiful and beyond touching as I sit here and read your story with tears in my eyes…You are so amazing and thank you for allowing me to read about this wonderful experience!!! Safe travels~

Tarah - July 1, 2010 - 4:29 pm

Thank you SO much for sharing. You have blessed us tremendously by sharing this experience. We are praying that God will bless YOU abundantly as you journey home with Isaac.

leslie masterson - July 2, 2010 - 11:30 am

I have been following your journey for months now and it is so exciting to be able to walk alongside you through this blog as your son joins your family. What a beautiful post. I am from Pekin, Il and I think there is a family traveling with you to get their daughter from Pekin! All my prayers as you travel home. I am sure you are anxious to see your children/husband and introduce everyone.

Jennifer - July 2, 2010 - 9:40 pm

I am in awe of your ability to put to words what you feel AND inspired! I have been praying for you and following your blog…even had to check in on our vacation and my computer break. Isaac is beautiful!!!!! So glad your family is together now!!!!

Amanda - July 2, 2010 - 10:57 pm

Reading this post gave me chills. It was another post that you shared that made me cry as well. You are an inspiration! Blessings to you and your family!

Amber - July 3, 2010 - 3:29 am

This was so well shared-THANK you for sharing it-it is truly amazing and I can’t wait for that day!

Russ - July 3, 2010 - 9:08 am

wow. Wow. WOW! Finally getting caught up on your posts. You have taken the sterile textbook topic of adoption in the 3rd world and turned it upside down with reality that can be tasted and felt directly through your words and emotion. Thanks for pouring out with such raw feelings. Blessings to your family!

My heart, her heart « Starrchasers - November 11, 2010 - 3:05 pm

[…] while trying to get my heart around God’s sovereignty.  His goodness and mercy.  The way He answers a believing birth mother’s deepest, most desperate prayers for her son, to preserve his very life.  To allow two mothers to rejoice and worship Him together… hand […]