**Warning** This post has the potential to become a bit of a love story.
An interesting thing happened in the midst of our wait for K'Tyo. I got that very antsy feeling in my heart about another child. Say what? I began wondering if we were supposed to be bringing home 2 children from Ethiopia. Finally, I contacted our awesome coordinator & began doing some processing about my feelings. At that point, there was still a possibility to receive another referral, but as time went on, it became apparent that getting another referral was not going to happen. However, THAT feeling was still there. After some further discussion with our coordinator, we opted to be put on the waiting lists (at the time, the agency we were with allowed for this). We did not share this information with anyone because we just really wanted to focus on K'Tyo's homecoming & not take away from that.
I fell hard for Ethiopia. I loved the people. I love my son from there. I was very excited to be going back, & we were steadily moving toward the top of the lists. And then Joe dropped a bomb. This man of mine has never been one to flex his "head of the household" muscles, but he informed me that deep down, he was feeling that our child was here & he really felt like we should remove ourselves from the wait lists. Remember my "here, there, everywhere" comment in my last post? My heart was "there", but Joe was saying "here". Huh? I must admit I was more than a little ticked that God was talking to Joe about these matters! ;)
In Part 1, I mentioned that learning more about my marriage has been part of the testimony. The journey to Kendi was a HUGE time of growth in our marriage. After some prayer, I realized I had a choice to make. I could pitch a fit & get my way (I can pitch a pretty good fit), or I could take a step back & let my husband take the lead. The truth suddenly hit me hard...why would I not trust my husband? His heart is just as invested in following the Lord in this passion for children as my own. And not only that, he is always doing things to make me happy, so why would he come up with some idea of changing direction if he didn't feel strongly that that's what God was calling us to? So, I removed our names from the wait lists & we began working with a private agency in our state.
We have had some people ask us in the past about feeling "the same" about our adopted & biological children. At the risk of sounding mushy or like I am romanticizing this, I can honestly say that even though these children were not conceived by us physically, they were conceived nonetheless. At this point in our journey to Kendi, we still had not told anyone, & we really felt like this was something very special between us...yep, I guess you could say Kendi had become our "love child"! So, we continued to keep it between us.
There were still moments I struggled with not going back to Ethiopia. I struggled with waiting for someone to "choose" our big family with "mature" parents. But God.
In church one Sunday, this verse was part of the sermon:
"The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help." ~1 Timothy 5:5
Lightbulb...I had just read something that referenced today's single mother as the modern-day widow. I began praying in earnest, wondering if this was the type of situation God had been breaking Joe's heart for. In less than a week, the answer was yes. Have you ever noticed, though, that God tends to go above & beyond as He answers prayers? This time was no exception. Not only did He bring our hearts as one for this birth mother & her child that was also our child, but He used this birth mother to convict me of another truth. I had been convinced that no birth mother would choose our family due to it's size (I mean, that's what all the adoption experts say...birth mothers typically want smaller families) & the fact that we are
older more mature, so I figured we were waiting for an emergency situation where the birth mother would leave the choice of families to the agency. We were open to a variety of needs, so sooner or later we would be next in line. But God.
This birth mother CHOSE us out of several profiles. I do not say this boastfully. As a matter of fact, I am still quite humbled. Through this birth mother, God reminded me that our family is just the way HE intended for it to be. I love this big, beautiful family the Lord has blessed me with, & there is to be NO shame in that! But that's not the end of this birth mother blessing us... we had the opportunity to meet, & she proceeded to tell us, "I did not know what I was going to do. I was praying to God every night." Just like the verse He gave me. Beyond humbling.
Yes, indeed, this journey to Kendi was very much a love story, but not just Dardi & Joe's love story. It's God's love story. God loves His children so much that He never leaves them where they are. Status quo can be good, but He used an adoption journey to say, "You're marriage can be even better...as your capacity to love more children can grow, so can your capacity to love & trust each other." God is just cool like that.