Friday, September 12, 2008

Reflecting on God's Faithfulness

Three years, 8 months and 4 days ago I met this little one in a Houston, TX hospital. We'd waited what seemed like so long for her (we did not know babe would be HER, for the record!). :) As the holidays approached just before that, I'd grown so weary. My heart was feeling very faint, so sensitive to the needs of children who had no place to call home ... yet wondering why it was taking so long to get that call. During "the wait", we'd gone through a big health scare, which eventually led to surgery that was grueling for me to get over. All of these compiled has just worn me down. Well, shortly after the new year, we put in an email to the agency we were using to check in ... that prompted them to email us back with a special situation they had. A little girl, African American, 4 days old, about to undergo major heart surgery, no family available. We knew right away this was the child that God had been preparing us for. A little math and we realize God was relentless in calling us to obey him at the time of her conception. God is in the details, in case you've ever wondered. :)

So after having the absolute privilege of praying for her that day as she underwent surgery .... then hearing she made it through and was beginning the long road of recovery ... we made travel arrangements and soon I was on three different flights to get to her.

I'll never forget walking in that room. The huge sense of JOY from the Lord I had in knowing this is exactly where He'd led us ...... and the horrendous realization of just how alone she was. Here in America. She was still on a breathing machine, dialysis, and a host of other wires and gadgets ... yet those BIG brown eyes were WIDE open and met with mine as I walked up to her side. The nurses later told me I looked like a deer staring into headlights as I walked into the room. They were concerned something was unexpected to me. No ... I was just taking it all in.

I remember holding her little hand. Thoughts in my mind quickly drifted to her birthmom .... the amazing and brave woman who chose to give her life and not end it in a culture where it's so commonly accepted.

Well .... time has passed and now this spunky 'lil Texan is doing just great. We returned recently from our heart-doctor check up and she got a wonderful report! How grateful we are to God for protecting her, bringing healing through doctors to fix her heart and for giving us the JOY of watching her grow up.

We knew that children with heart conditions, such as hers could easily have "delays", or issues later on after some trauma after birth. But we also knew regardless of what lie ahead, we needed to be obedient and trust the Lord had a plan, no matter what it looked like to us. Those of you who know Naomi, know there are no delays. :) She is the spunkiest of all our children. She's witty and some days a challenge to "out smart". She asks me questions about her life that you expect an 8 or 10 yr old adoptee to ask.

Looking back I cannot imagine life without her. What if we'd not obeyed when God was drawing our hearts to feel the needs of orphans? What if we had listened only to "practical reasoning" and not trusting in the God who owns everything? What if we'd given into fear of issues regarding becoming a multi-ethnic family? For us, it was an issue of obedience. Would we trust God with EVERYTHING ....... every detail.

These days we're in a new season of trusting. Huge things like selling a home, embracing a new ministry, raising support during a questionable economy and a long list of others. We find ourselves wrestling with the big and the little. Do we really trust that God is good, no matter the circumstances we see? Do we really believe He has our best in mind? Will we be faithful to walk this journey, even when we only see a tiny glimpse at a time of what is ahead?

I have been so deeply challenged by Philippians 4:4-6 these last days. Not a new passage ... one that has brought hope and encouragement in times past. But these days it's bringing something different. It is challenging me in depths I've not been to in awhile. Perhaps, it might bring encouragement to you in your own life.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Let your gentleness be evident to all.
The Lord is near.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds
in Christ Jesus.
Phil 4:4-6

As I wrestle through the things I need to trust God about .... it brings me hope to look back at all the times in our lives we've experienced His abundant faithfulness. We left for Houston, TX with a lot of questions. We had a back-up plan, that was not a desirable one for us. Earlier on in our adoption process we had applied with the ABBA Fund for a no-interest loan. At that time, they didn't have the funds yet to honor our request, but "perhaps" they "might" be having more funds soon. It was a big "if". BY FAITH we purchased the tickets for me to get on that plane and David to follow later. During our time in the hotel, while Naomi was recovering from surgery, we got the notification from Eugene that indeed they could stand with us for our loan. That was a couple hours before we needed to write a check to cover the rest of her financial needs to bring her home.

So while we wait for God to reveal the details of the future, and answer the "unknowns", we look back and recount HIS FAITHFULNESS and praise Him. He is GOOD. He is ABLE. We must do our part and trust Him to do His.




8 comments:

Hauswife said...

Wow, thanks for sharing this. It's so beautiful the way that the Lord weaves families together. I think I had that same face on when Michael and I arrived at the hospital to meet our son, Jackie. What an awesome moment!

Jana Kunz said...

What a touching story, what a beautiful little girl. You and your family are so amazing!

coffeemom said...

Ah, great post! GOd does amazing work, and the trick, ever, is to trust. That's the hard part! But He always works to our greatest good....thanks for reminding us w/ this! Keeping you in prayer! love M

Jim and Debbie said...

Thanks for sharing this precious story of your sweet Naomi. God is in all the details, isn't He?
Lifting you all up in prayer,
Debbie

The Albertsons said...

Oh man. This is amazing. Our God is faithful to US. He is faithful. He gives us faith. I love your life journey... it is so encouraging to me!
love
becca

Dave and Rae said...

The verse you posted was so timely. Thank you for helping me look back to Him as the source of our delight...

As a fellow adoptive parent, I thought to write and tell you about the new guest home in Ethiopia specifically for adoptive parents and volunteer groups for the benefit of orphans in Ethiopia. Now that it is up and running, we would love to share the vision with other adoptive parents. You can see more at http://www.ethiopiaguesthome.com.

If you would like to post a link, send me an email at dave@ethiopiaguesthome.com and I’ll forward you the information.

Blessings,

Dave McIlrath, MA
Orphan Advocate
Ethiopia Guest Home
More Than a Place to Stay
www.ethiopiaguesthome.com

Rebecca said...

Thanks for sharing Naomi's story. What a sweetheart she is!

Christine said...

How touching. Thanks for sharing this story.