I clicked open my email to swiftly scan my messages 45 minutes ago. We were touched down in Albuquerque on a Southwest plane, heading to SLC to celebrate Christmas with my wild family, who seems mild compared to the man sitting behind us who only has one obnoxiously, sailor-cussing volume. As I scrolled through messages, Sue Hedberg rolled down the screen of my phone. No name has had the power to cause my heart to leap out of my chest upon first sight like hers. Last week the subject line read, â€œEmbassy.â€ Heart out of chest! Often, the only information in the emails from Sue is whatâ€™s in the subject line. In that message, she stated our case was to be submitted to the embassy around December 8th. Sue said it would be a few weeks before it would be reviewed. At that point the Embassy could request more documentation, request a birth parent interview, or clear our girls to come home. Todayâ€™s messageâ€¦ subject: pick up trip (heart pounding out of chest) As you know, the embassy could clear your adoption case at any time, or they could ask for birth parent interviews, further investigate the case or send it to Kenya for a long review. We never know what will happen! In order to be prepared for a quick embassy appointment, I need to know what your availability is for travel over the next few weeksâ€¦
Our surreal are coming home. Our daughters from Kamashi, Ethiopia will be cocooned in our fold. In a short time (God-willing), Dennis and I will return to Ethiopia to wrap Meseret and Kamise in our arms, hold them, kiss them. This time we will not have to leave them behind in the Transition house, parentless. This time, we will take them to the airport for their first time. We will stand in the immigration line with their hands in ours, soberingly ushering them into American citizenship. Within a 5-foot expanse (and a year of paperwork and fundraising and fighting for them), their citizenship will transform from Ethiopian to American. When we walked that path in November, upon our return from our court trip, I was stunned by the reality of that. I couldnâ€™t help but think about how at the moment I placed my trust in Christ to forgive my deep, dark sins and give me eternal life, my citizenship changed from an earthly one to a Heavenly one. I belonged to my Creator. Instantly. Though I reside here, my citizenship is there, with him. And how I battle to believe that reality, deep in my soul. As we cross that line, our daughters citizenship will change on the spot. Wild.
They will board their first plane, watching their momma steal barf bags out of all the surrounding seats. Now that will be an interesting game of charadesâ€¦showing them how to use the barf bag. They will take off of the ground for their first time. Eat their first airplane meal (ewww). And after 28 some odd hours, make their debut at the Orlando International Airport, where they will be overwhelmingly embraced by their new siblings, hopefully some of the grandparents, and the most intimate of their new community.
As I complete my adoptive education kit, Iâ€™m sobered by the path of deep loss our girls will trod. Though they are being grafted into a family who is committed to loving and providing for them as well as they are able, and who long for Christ more than this earth or anything in it, they will grieve the loss of their culture, family, language, heritage. Only our Father knows how this will express. Only He is able to author their story, our story.
When we leapt off the cliff into mystery, responding to our Fatherâ€™s leading just over a year ago, the free-fall took my breath away. And continues to do so, as Sueâ€™s name in my inbox shows. Gratitude fills every part of my being as I think about the faith our Father has poured into me in the free-fall. How that faith heâ€™s building will bring Him some glory. And how that faith heâ€™s building in me will sustain me to be with our new daughters in the mysterious journey of joy and grief ahead. The ground is holy.
Madison, Keegan and Cole cannot wait for them to come home. Cole exclaimed the other day, â€œCan we set Meseretâ€™s birth date on my birthday so weâ€™re twins!? Iâ€™ve always wanted a twin!â€ Madison lights up at the thought of them. Keeganâ€™s wheels spin at the many ways he wants to serve them and smooth the road less traveled.
Very soon, the Brockaman familyâ€™s story is going to meet the story of 8 and 10 year-old Ethiopian sisters. Through a most supernatural grafting, our pages will merge into one. I long to be able to read theirs. For now, the pages of their life are blank to me. There are only a few pictures.
Thankfully, Immanuel. God is with us.