Early this morning, while hurriedly applying my makeup to fly out the door to school (Fridayâ€™s the day boysâ€™ program meets), I checked my email inbox. Sue Hedbergâ€¦.
subject line: your cases have cleared
deep sigh. heart leapt. deeper sigh. a tinge of excitement. Then awe. God did it. Our Father did it! My mind rewound to 14 months earlier, when God told us to, â€œPut our feet in the river.â€ One of my deepest fearsâ€¦heâ€™ll lead us into the waterâ€¦and leave us hanging.
Over the past 14 months, my vision of Him has shifted, my eyes detarred a little more by His faithful provision and pursuit. He is no longer the one who might bail out and leave me hanging, but the Faithful One. And He has done it.
We will find out tomorrow if our tentative Embassy Appointment on Jan. 23rd is a go. If so, we will fly the friendly skies on a very unfriendly route back to Ethiopia to bring our daughters home. I opened a photo stream from Sue last night in my inbox. The girls had one more goodbye with their birth father. As I scrolled from one to another, a story was being told, a vivid story. How I longed to be a fly on the wall as all three flipped through the photo albumâ€™s we sent the girls. Then their father was writing on a piece of paper and they were pensive, deep in conversation and thought. Scrolling down further, dadâ€™s eyes were filled with tears. Next photoâ€¦tears stained his cheeks while Meseretâ€™s eyes filled. Next photoâ€¦dad and Meseret, both with tear-stained cheeks, Kamiseâ€™s eyes filled. Next photoâ€¦.all three a wet mess, wiping tears, huddled in close.
They seemed to stand in a prayer circle. Then their birth father turned to enter the vehicle which would take him the long 14 hours back to his village. My eyes filled. Tears poured over. Tears stained cheeks. Soft heaves. The ground is so holy. Dennis and I were sobered by how wildly our Father has entrusted to us these two precious girlsâ€™, whose losses I cannot fathom. Their father is passing on the baton to two who have more resources in every way to raise his daughters into who God designed them to be. I donâ€™t understand why things are the way they are. I never will. But Iâ€™m grateful our Father gave us the courage we needed to put our feet in the river 15 months ago.
As I scrolled through the pictures, I kept thinking, â€œThis is so much bigger than us. This is too much for their young hearts to bear. This is too much for my old heart to bear (ok, almost middle aged). And then I thought, â€œIâ€™m good at sitting with people in crisis. Iâ€™m good at being â€œwithâ€ people whose lives are turned upside down.â€
I think my Father was bringing me much needed comfort. Heâ€™s been authoring my story for 42 years and knew this chapter would be written when in my motherâ€™s womb. He whispered that throughout the chapters of my life, heâ€™s been pouring into me to prepare me to walk alongside these two little girlsâ€™, be with them as they grieve, guide them through their lives, cheer them on in their endeavors, and lead them to Christ.