Happy late Valentine's Day everyone! This may very well be one of my least favorite holidays, but how I pray that you know and feel the great love that our Father has lavished, and I do mean lavished upon us today and every day.
Today I wanted to share what happened in February of 2010, the month and year that the Lord gave us the gentle nudge to begin the adoption process. As you may recall, this was the month that the devastating earthquake struck Port au Prince, Haiti. We all watched in horrified silence as the pictures from this already poor and in many ways desperate country poured into our homes. The human toll was so large that my brain simply could not compute the numbers. Shortly after this earthquake occurred, we received a letter from a missionary who lives there. She was in Port au Prince when the quake hit. I think that she just had to express the horror she was seeing, trying to process what was going on around her. She miraculously escaped the collapsed building she was in, and as she walked the streets she tried to describe the sights and smells that assaulted her. I read this e-mail, stunned, trying to understand what she was saying, when I stopped cold at reading this line: "There are children milling around everywhere, unattached to any adult...filthy, terrified, crying, dragging dirty blankets behind them, screaming for their missing parents." God broke me. He whispered in my spirit, "Defend the cause of the weak and fatherless; maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed." (Psalm 82:3) I called for Aaron who also read this e-mail, and all of the fears and what-if's about adopting felt much smaller. We prayed that night together, "Father, we are available to You. We will adopt if that is Your desire for us."
This part of the story is my favorite part...I love how gracious God is to answer our prayers; I love how pleasantly surprised and tender toward Him I always feel when I hear His voice whispering to my spirit. Less than 48 hours after praying that prayer, we received a phone call at around 8:00 in the morning. I'm up with the chickens, so this is not early; however, I was surprised to hear the phone ring at that hour. The voice on the other end of the line was a nice woman who is an acquaintance of mine from our church. As soon as I heard her voice, I was afraid that she had called to ask me to speak at a lady's event or something terrifying like that! These are exactly her words as I remember them: "Jenny, I know this may feel like it's coming out of the blue, but my brother is going to try to use the jet his company owns to fly to Haiti and bring orphaned children back to Grant County. Would you and Aaron be interested in adopting one or two of them?" Bless her sweet heart, I started to cry. I startled her and she began to apologize profusely until I could finally tell her, "You have no idea what Aaron and I just prayed!!" She started laughing, obviously quite relieved that the crying wasn't her fault, and we marveled together over the timing of this phone call. All this time, Aaron and our children were standing in the kitchen with me watching me cry and wondering what in the world was going on. After I got off of the phone and told him, he just kept saying, "No way. NO WAY!!" He talked with his sister about it a while later and said, "We sure think the Lord has opened the door for us to adopt." She replied, "More like He opened the Grand Canyon in your front yard!"
We truly thought the Lord was going to allow us to adopt from Haiti, but this of course could not happen. It is difficult enough to adopt from Haiti sans natural disasters; this earthquake made it impossible. I heard on the news that the government there was closing all possibilities to adopt from there; I was shocked to hear the news anchor say those words. Aaron came home and I tearfully told him the news. He hugged me and said, "Just because we can't adopt from Haiti doesn't mean that we can't adopt. We'll just have to ask the Lord where our children are." Turns out, they're in Ethiopia :)