One night at the dinner table the seven of us, meaning myself, Knight in Shining Armor, Fair Maiden, Kind- Hearted Warrior, True Princess, and two BEAUTIFUL migrant teenagers, were talking about the future arrival of Thunder and Lightning, our two little boys from Honduras. The BEAUTIFUL teenagers were especially curious about their position in our family after the arrival of the new children. Then with reckless abandon and great delight, they blurted out, "We could be your Thunder and Lightning!"
At that moment a new chapter in our adoption tale began.
Yes...we felt the connection. Yes...we saw the need. Yes...perhaps Thunder and Lightning were not boys, but GIRLS...not preschoolers, but TEENAGERS...not Honduran, but MEXICAN.
We prayed and we prayed hard.
We cried and we grieved and we moaned over the loss of OUR dream, OUR little boys, OUR adoption story. God was wringing us out like wet sponges squeezing every bit of selfish desire from our hearts. He was demanding that we die to self, completely, and accept our part in the adoption tale He was writing. He was showing us again and again that He is not here for us, but we are here for Him and the assignment He was giving us was BIGGER and BOLDER and more BEAUTIFUL than anything we had ever imagined.
When we originally surrendered to the mission of adoption a few months ago we began to realize that we hadn't completely surrendered. Surrendering to the mission of adoption was not enough. God was calling us to surrender to adoption His way in His timing, adopting the children of His choice, not ours.
Now remember we started this journey on the Adoption Highway in an RV, roomy and comfortable, traveling down well lit roads with our destination clearly marked out. Within months we had ditched the RV and found ourselves crammed into a tiny two-door hatchback with one missing headlight inching forward down a dusty, dark, and bumpy dirt road. Unbeknownst to us, when our mode of transportation changed so did our destination. The next chapter of the story was being written right in our own backyard.
We shifted gears and were no longer pursuing International Adoption, but rather Domestic Adoption. We hired an attorney, changed programs within our agency, obtained consents from the girls biological parents who willingly relinquished their rights to them, rearranged our lives and opened the doors to two BEAUTIFUL migrant teenagers promising them a future of love and stability and protection. A future where they would discover God's magnificent plan and purpose for them. A future with an education and liberation from an enslaving poverty and web of addictions.
The days that followed took us to new levels of dependence on Him. His mighty hand was evident in the events of everyday. His transforming power kept us awestruck. He answered our prayers to see with His eyes and love with His heart. These girls became woven into the fabric of our lives in a way that only pointed to Him and His ability to work in and through surrendered hearts. On so many levels the transition was a bear. The sacrifice and giving demanded of our family was huge, but at the end of the day, there was always a blessing, an encouragement, a God wink, something to help us face the hurdles of the next day.
There were days when I saw my family falling apart at the seams. There were days when I was coming apart at the seams with the demands of blending and bonding with this new family.
The oldest teen went to public school.
The youngest joined our home school.
Kind-Hearted Warrior struggled to fit into a house full of raging hormones. Fair Maiden had to deal with the looks and stares of people who didn't/couldn't understand the appearance of her new sister. True Princess mourned the loss of her time on mommy and daddy's lap. The BEAUTIFUL teens battled head to head with cultural differences, permanent new rules, new clothing styles, a set bedtime, and an everyday expectation of respect for authority. They needed constant love, constant support, constant reminders, constant attention. They loved having a strong male figure in their life, but resented the responsible, loving, consistent, disciplined female that would be their mother (aka Me).
Our family, immediate and extended, gave their all to embrace these girls as daughters, sisters, granddaughters, nieces, and cousins, doting on them with time and hugs and support and welcome gifts.
On Christmas Eve they were baptized.
On New Years Day, without warning, they packed their bags and walked out the door. Without so much as a thank you or a good bye they said, "We are leaving here and going back."
We reminded them of everything scary that was waiting for them "back there"...everything they were so desperate to escape. It was like talking to a brick wall. Nothing was changing their mind. They had already "checked out".
Can I ask you a favor? Will you please pray for these girls? And will you please pray for my hurting family?
GOD IS LARGE AND IN CHARGE.