Last month I attended a Sip & See. These estrogen-laden events are normal fare for new moms to show off their little bundles and us ladies to amply “ooh” and “ahh” and make a general fuss. This time, however, was different. First of all, the sipping was some ah-mazing mint tea. Yikes, it was good. But, the seeing was not the typical passing of a single digit weighted lump of peach skin and wrinkled fingers. This seeing was of a vibrant, 17 month old who toddled from room to room, pulled items from tabletops, and pretended a table leg was a horsey. This child was one of the most beautiful visions I have known in this life. She looks nothing like her mother or her father, all almond eyed and buttery fleshed. She likely didn’t understand the words being spoken to her, and she only says “Mama” and grunts noises. There is nothing wrong with this child in the physical or mental sense. If anything, Evelyn is more special than most children I know.
Two years ago, Evelyn was in a mother’s womb. Maybe unwanted. Possibly unloved. Potentially loved so much that her mother gave her up, knowing the life she could give Evelyn was not enough. Across an ocean, my friend, Amy, prayed for healing in her heart. She & her husband longed for a child to nurture. A longing I imagine is crippling on the days friends welcome new babies and announce second or third pregnancies. They filled out boxes of paperwork and waited patiently for God to move. And waited. And waited. Through the months, Patrick & Amy were faithful in their belief God would answer their prayer. The adoptive process is long and arduous, even after a couple is matched to a child. A picture here. A gift mailed there. Wait for this clearance. Hold for that process.
Eighteen long months after their application for adoption, they traveled to South Korea and finally met their daughter. A 13 month old who had no idea who they were or how much they love her. I cried buckets as the pictures poured in from the other side of the world. And now, four months after her arrival in her new home, I was watching this tiny person look up at her mother with adoring eyes and cling to her as strangers milled around. God answered Amy & Patrick’s prayer. He answered it big.
There are a multitude of lessons I have learned from Amy and her family this last year. I could fill four or five posts with them. But, what has struck me most about their journey is their steadfast faithfulness and how God’s plan for our lives is so much greater than what we imagine. Amy’s testimony is one of enduring faith and patience. She remained focused on God’s grace and glory throughout their wait. Amy has repeatedly found scripture to place on her blog and emails and cards that better describe her feelings than any words she could form herself. And, God has granted them a blessing more vast than the ocean crossed to access it. She doesn’t have Amy’s blue eyes or Patrick’s smile. They did not see her first steps, and her first word was spoken in a language they do not understand. Not exactly what a woman dreams of when envisioning her future children. But, only God loves Evelyn more than her parents. Amy cannot now imagine her life without that precious face. Nothing she saw in her dreams was so glorious as Evelyn. Maybe not the path she would’ve chosen with its thistles and briars, but one that led her to straight to the door of undeniable grace of motherhood.
What prayer are you fervently praying? Is God not answering in the way you desire? Hold fast to your dwindling hope, friends. For God’s plan is greater than anything our feeble and tainted minds can conjure. After all, who could weave a story so touching and create a family so beautiful as He?
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. - Jeremiah 29:10-12
If you’d like to have a good cry, visit Amy’s blog and see joy and love blossom on your screen. This post of their first moments with Evelyn breaks me down each and every time.