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!