How do I begin to capture the emotions of the last five days? I’m at a loss. There are a thousand details I can’t share at this time because of laws, but this I know in the deepest crevices of my soul . . .
God is faithful.
He is faithful in the wait and in the fulfillment. He is faithful in the dark days and the jump-up-and-down-squeal-with-delight-might-pee-your-pants days. He is faithful. He is faithful. He is faithful.
Wednesday afternoon I was in the kitchen when I got a call from our agency. It was our program director, and the conversation went something like this…
Agency: Hi, Elissa. I wanted to review your age range for child.
Me: (Thinking that I had written something incorrectly on one of the many forms I had sent in recently for our new dossier.) Oh, well, it’s 0-5 years old.
Agency: Yes, but what’s your ideal age preference?
Me: Just as long as Lyd stays the oldest, it doesn’t matter at all to us.
Agency: And you’re open to either gender, you’d be okay with another girl?
Me: (Heart rate starts racing.) WAIT, why are you calling?!? (This is the first moment it dawns on me that THIS IS THE CALL WE’VE WAITED ON FOR 4.5 YEARS!)
Agency: Well, I’m staring at a beautiful baby girl who I think would fit in great with your girls.
Me: TEARS, SNOT, HYSTERICAL WORDS THAT DON’T MAKE MUCH SENSE. (Over and over) Is this real? Is this really real? Is this happening?
And that’s how I first found out about our daughter. The rest of the conversation is somewhat of a blur. At one point, I was weeping so fervently that my 3.5 year old brought me the stuffed doggie she sleeps with every night because she thought I needed consoling.
The agency emailed us a picture of her, and we waited until Matt got home from work so we could all look at it together. At 4:30 I started texting Matt to see if he could feign illness so he could come home because I thought the email might burn a hole in my computer. (Being a man of integrity, he did not feign illness, but he might have gone a little over the speed limit to get home.)
He walked through the door, and we crowded around my computer on the kitchen table and looked at our baby girl for the first time. Lyd and Lottie were immediately squealing, and Peach seeing their excitement knew something good was up, so she started squealing too. (Ah, the high-pitched squeals of a room full of girls.) Matt and I were crying. It was just one of the most joy-filled moments of my life.
And then last night I watched God do a miracle through our village. You gave and shared and gave some more, and I am humbled by it all. We are so unworthy but so grateful. I woke up to find that literally overnight you had taken care of every remaining penny we needed to send in today. Only God. I cannot wait to tell our daughter the story of how her village would stop at nothing to bring her to the family that couldn’t wait to hold her and love her and care for her. This story God is writing–it blows me away. My faith has been wafer-thin at so many points, but He has sustained us and we trust He will continue.
I wrote this last night on Instagram while I was snuggled under the quilt writing thank you messages to our village . . .
Four years ago (back when I still did crafty type things–you know–before I got to the desperate point of ordering my toothpaste via Amazon Prime) I made this quilt for our future Ethiopian child. I wanted it to have reds, yellows, and greens, with a little blue like the Ethiopian flag. I wanted to sleep with it so it smelled like me so I could wrap her in it and she would know she was home.
And a lot of time went by. At some point I folded it and put it in my closet where I could still see it occasionally but where it wouldn’t be so painful to think about the long wait every time I looked at it.
Because waiting is so hard.
I have the honor of praying for a tribe of waiting mommas, and their faith and hope nudge me forward. We carry each other when another is struggling, mourn and celebrate together. In studying the Old Testament, I keep circling this one word–remnant. God’s promise to sustain His remnant, to bring them out of the wilderness, out of exile, out of darkness. I made this quilt from remnant pieces of fabric I found at the fabric store.
But now it is a reminder that God needs only a mustard seed of faith, a remnant of the hope-filled and faith-trusting to accomplish unimaginable things.
We still have a long journey ahead, many valleys to forge through, and a lifetime of helping our baby girl heal. But we can hold onto the hem of His robe and watch Him do amazing things with only a remnant.
“Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27 ESV)
Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. (Jeremiah 32:17 ESV)
No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. (Romans 4:20-21 ESV)
He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 ESV)
I’m clinging tight to this quilt and thanking God for each of you and for His faithfulness during the wait. Only God.