This adoption journey has been quite an emotional roller coaster with many unforeseen twists and turns. There might have even been a corkscrew or two thrown in there for good measure.
And it ain’t over yet.
But that’s OK. It’s kind of par for the course when it comes to international adoption. I’d imagine domestic adoption is a similar roller coaster ride.
Christy finally met “W” face-to-face. It’s been great for the soul and I hope that it will continue to warm his heart after she returns to the States.
Two more trips are required before he comes home with us. Sometime in the Fall, I hope to be able to meet “W” for the first time. During my stay in Ethiopia, I will appear before a judge and declare that yes, he is the child we’ve been trying to adopt. If all goes according to plan, “W” will then be declared our son in the eyes of the Ethiopian government. Then I’ll return home shortly after that court date. A few weeks later, we should have an appointment with the US Embassy in Addis. Christy and I will fly to Ethiopia, meet with the Embassy, and bring “W” home after that. Hopefully that will happen before Christmas of this year.
That’s the way things are supposed to happen. That’s the way the timeline generally goes. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s how it happens for us. But I also wouldn’t be surprised if it didn’t happen that way, either. Because here’s what we’ve learned during this journey: God is writing this story. We are not. And the Author is going to weave this story together in whatever way He sees fit.
In high school, I wanted to do something “big” for God. I never knew exactly what it was, but I was going to shock the world with the gospel. So I kept searching for that big thing I could “do” for Jesus. I don’t think I was wrong in my desire. I might have been a little misguided in my approach. But hey, I was a teenager. I think we all were a little misguided as teenagers, weren’t we?
This desire to “do” something big for God continued into my preaching years more than a decade later. I firmly believe that God can work miracles. I’ve seen them happen. It was my hope and prayer that I could somehow put God on stage and allow the congregation to see what God had done. It was almost as if I was expecting Him to perform some great act so I could shine the spotlight on Him.
Again, not a bad desire. But maybe the wrong approach. After all, God is God. He doesn’t have to perform a miracle in order for us to shine the spotlight on Him. He is worthy of worship because He Is who He Is. And that’s enough.
Then we saw God move a mountain.
God orchestrated things in such a way that He provided for Mihret’s adoption in exactly the right way at exactly the right time.
So when we started pursuing “W,” I kind of expected things to work out in a similar way. I mean, that was a pretty cool story the way everything was woven together so perfectly.
But that organization didn’t award us a grant this time. No worries, I thought. There are other opportunities. So we applied for more grants. And waited.
We had the yard sale that was hugely successful. But it wasn’t enough to cover the rest of the fees.
So we waited some more.
Then things started to get a little…oh, what’s the word?….tense…around here. If Christy was really going to make this trip before the courts closed in Addis and school started here, we were going to have to figure out a way to cover the rest of the fees and travel costs. Maybe we were going to have to make this thing work on our own.
Then it happened. God moved mountains.
Not only did God move the mountains, He obliterated them. He caused them to melt like wax.
We were confident that God was going to use the matching grant from Hand in Hand to make a big dent in the need. But we didn’t know how much was actually going to be donated. There was still a lot of uncertainty. And maybe some doubt.
But the donations that were contributed to the matching grant were over the amount necessary.
Then we started getting notifications of approval for grants that I had totally forgotten about. And I’d definitely forgotten that we’d applied for their assistance. But they started sending in money.
And the next thing I knew, everything was paid for. The agency fees. Christy’s plane ticket. Even the in-country travel fees. Everything was covered within a matter of days.
Yes, God is in the mountain moving business.
As I sat and watched the whole thing unfold, I started to realize something. Sometimes “doing” something big for God simply means being obedient and stepping out in faith. You do what you’re supposed to, planting seeds as you go along the way. But in the end, you sit back and watch God do what you couldn’t even possibly imagine what would be done.
All week, I’ve been humming this song. It makes sense when you look back on the events of the last few weeks.
God is writing a story, friends. And it is bigger than any of us even realize.
If you get a sense that God is calling you to “do” something, then go do it. By all means, do.it. But if you think God is calling you to go and watch and listen, then do that. Watch how He works. He’ll let you know when it’s time for you to do your part. Because He’s already at work. He’s already telling the story.