We have a firm belief in the very real power of prayer, and also believe that it played a key role in bringing our sweet baby Noah home nearly 8 years ago. So, ironically at this crossroads in our journey to bring our daughter home we want to share a little bit about that experience.
After 4 years of aggressive fertility treatments, riding the adoption roller coaster (communicating with several birth mothers) and the heartbreak of a failed adoption right before the baby's birth, we felt renewed hope with our new match after Noah's birth mother chose us to parent her child. We flew out to meet N. and were even able to place our hands on her pregnant belly, knowing our son was growing inside this selfless young woman. We developed not only a love for this little person we had yet to meet, but an admiration and respect for the mother he grew inside. Our anticipation to become parents grew as we continued contact with N. over email and she included us in various details from doctors appointments to cravings. Later I flew home for a big baby shower from friends and family, and we began purchasing all the things we "needed" for our new little guy. We washed clothes, we set up the crib in his room, and put his name on the wall. I was even spoiled with a shower at my work, and I had my last day at my job a few days before we were to become parents. We truly experienced the often used phrase (in the adoption community) of the baby growing not in our belly, but in our heart. We absolutely felt a bond with this unborn child.
We had our suitcases packed and were married to our phones as N. went into labor. However, once Noah was born his sweet birth mother cut off contact with us and her case worker while she took him home from the hospital to think things over and see if she had the strength to go through with her decision to place him in our family. This was without a doubt the most trying week of our lives (as it surely was for N. also), but we had so many people praying for us...and more importantly for her. It is difficult to describe being part of something like that - hitting the lowest low we've ever felt and then watching a miracle unfold before us, and knowing it was because of the pleading prayers of so many people. As time went on we found out about more and more people we knew, and even people we didn't know, that had fasted and prayed earnestly for each of us that week. We consider it an honor not only to be Noah's parents, but to have been part of something that so deeply touched our faith in God.
I share that extremely personal time in our lives because I feel an urgency to exhibit that same kind of vulnerable faith now. We have no control over this situation, and cannot see the big picture. However we know that our Heavenly Father is all knowing and is anxious to heed faithful petitions of prayer if it be His will.
Of course we pray that we will be directed in the things to do to find the daughter that we feel is meant for our family. We still feel that our daughter will be born in Ethiopia, but only time will tell if that is what God has in store for us. In the meantime our hearts ache for the children there who already yearn for families, as well as those to come who will be shut off from that possibility if they are condemned to a life being raised in an orphanage, on the streets, and subject to all forms of abuse.
So! At this time we ask you to join us in prayer for the government leaders and those with influence in Ethiopia, that they will see wisdom in a well rounded approach for caring for their children. That as they develop programs to keep children in their families in the first place, and to be placed for adoption domestically...that they will keep international adoption open as an option as long as there are children that are still in need of a home and family. And believe me I would truly celebrate to see the day when there really was no need for that any longer. However, with the millions of children in need right now that can't be any time very soon.
It has been something faith-building to hear the innocent prayers of my children as they petition the Lord about this. We ask that you will join us in sincere prayer, and if you feel so inclined we will be fasting for this cause on this coming Sunday as well.
A heartfelt thank you to those of you that we know are already praying with us, including some dear friends of mine that dropped these flowers by with a super thoughtful card.