Diana left a week ago. I have been out of touch with the real world. Many things in everyday life seem mundane and meaningless. The girls went to VBS at our friends' church the day after Diana left and that kept them busy and their minds occupied. They each brought home a prayer request card and each wrote the same thing: that Diana would find a home.
I've been processing. Bits of scripture have floated in my mind. I want to view this experience through God's eyes. It was exhilarating, exhausting, awesome and heart-wrenching all at the same time. I was thinking of the "theme" verse for our (now defunct) Bible study this year. "Enlarge the place of your tent; stretch your tent curtains wide, do not hold back; lengthen your cords, strengthen your stakes. For you will spread out to the right and to the left..." Isaiah 54:2, 3. Each family that agreed to host a child stepped out of the comfort zone and ventured into scary and exciting territory. We enlarged our hearts to take in a foreign, parent-less child, opened our doors to allow God to do His work, and stretched our abilities to the limit. We did not know where God would take us.
Sometimes people pray for God to reveal his will for their lives. If we are waiting for God to answer, maybe we need to just look around and see where the river is flowing and jump in with both feet. The imagery of streams of water in scripture usually means a dry, desert place becoming alive and fertile and life-giving.
"I will make rivers flow on barren heights, and springs within the valleys. I will turn the desert into pools of water, and the parched ground into springs. I will put in the desert the cedar and the acacia...so that people may see and know, may consider and understand, that the hand of the Lord has done this..." Isaiah 41:18-20. Let's see where God is working and let the current carry us to unknown waters.
So where is God and where is he working? I think of Jesus' words in Matthew 25:35-40: "For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me." We would answer Jesus and say, "Lord, when did we ever do any of those things?" But he responds, "I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me."
A week later I am amazed at the miracle that took place among a small group of families. Let me tell you about these selfless, faith-filled people. The family from our church who coordinated this project with two adopted children already hosted a special needs little boy and have already begun paperwork to adopt him. Two other boys will be adopted by two other families. One couple, only married two years, hosted two boys, ages 13 and 8. They plan to adopt them both. An older couple with grown kids desires to adopt two 13-year old boys who are best friends. They did not host these boys, but participated in all our group events and were open to go wherever God was leading.
One girl who will turn 16 in September was in urgent need of a home. If paperwork is not completed before her birthday, she will never be allowed to come to America to join a family. Her host family is contacting congressmen and senators to move mountains so she can be their daughter forever. Pray for God to move the mountains.
I had pictures of three siblings on my desktop for weeks. They really tore at my heart: a 14-year old girl, a 6-year old girl, and a little brother only 4. We waited and waited for a host family to step up and take these beautiful children. Finally one did, a couple with no children. They specified they were only hosting, not adopting, but would try hard to find a forever family for these kids. This couple is now planning to adopt ALL these children! The little boy did not come as he was too young to travel. They will take him too, sight unseen by them--but known by God. What sacrifice and faith! I am humbled by this family.
Then there is 12-year old Sergei, hosted by our good friends. The father is very practical. The whole family loved the boy, but Dad wisely said they would wait a week and when the emotions died down, they would make a decision on adoption. In just a few days the decision was made. Sergei will also be coming back to America permanently!
Twelve children have families waiting. What a mighty work of God! Each of us who joined in this work, from the recruiters and paperwork-doers and those who tapped bank accounts, to VBS workers who cooked the meals or cleaned up messes, who planned the games and told the stories, from my friend who designed t-shirts to the van drivers and those who opened their homes to us, from those who supported us in prayer to those who just called to see how things were going--you ALL participated in a miracle! What a privilege and an honor to serve our wonderful God!