So many have asked if I am "so excited" to finally get to meet our son. While I have never longed for anything more, I am also deeply sobered at the new season we are about to enter.
At the beginning of May in 2010, I write in my journal, "Thank you, Father that you love me as your own. You don't point a finger at me saying that I am not enough. I need new revelation of what it means to be your child- adopted into your forever family. Every whole and healed place that I will love our son must come from this revelation." It was around this same time, that a mother, a father or a relative made the desperate and heart wrenching decision to leave their son at a hotel near the Kigali airport. He was found severely malnourished, taken to the hospital, and then eventually left at the orphanage where he now lives. The nun writes in her letter to the government "Up to now, no one has come to claim him."
Until NOW! I remember that May well. While I was worrying about the real estate market and loosing weight, a hospital was giving our son an arbitrary name and birthday. That day, God birthed a son in our hearts.
When we originally decided to adopt, we requested a healthy boy between the age of 6-18 months. But as the wait grew longer, our hearts became more open. The words from Mark became quite literal, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners." What if our son was older with a less than perfect history and record? Trust me, the thought scared me. I am not some high capacity mom who just rolls with the punches of parenting.
I was at a park crying one day saying, "God, you have got to be loud and clear about changing this paperwork." I randomly opened the Bible to these words, "What is the matter? Do not be afraid; God has heard the boy crying as he lies there. Lift the boy up and take him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” (Genesis 21). I knew then that God had an older son in mind for us. A few days after we changed the age, Rwanda quit accepting any changes.
We have these many promises from God to remind us when the going gets tough. Surely a 24 hour plan ride with a 2.5 year old who speaks kinyarwandan will be the beginning of a hard parenting season.
Around the time that Jacques (we still don't know what we will call him for sure), was brought to the orphanage, I write, "Listen to me, house of Jacob, you whom I have upheld since your birth, and have carried since you were born. Even to your old age and gray hairs I am he, I am he who will sustain you. I have made you and I will carry you; I will sustain you and I will rescue you. (Isaiah 46) God rescues each one of us- our son's just looks a little more literal.
It has been 2 years since Joe and I sat in our living room and prayed, "Do you want us to bring our third child into the family through adoption?" Yet, we are only at the beginning of the real work of parenting. Rejoice with us and witness with us this mystery and miracle that is adoption. Pray that all the papers get expedited and signed, that we stay healthy, that Jacques knows in his heart that he is ours. But please remember we are just being the parents that God has asked us to be. We aren't heroes. We are parents. Now the true work of love begins.