friend. She was selling them to raise money for their adoption. I bought it in August, at a time in their process when she had completely reached the end of her rope. She was burned out and exhausted from the constant roadblocks they had encountered on their journey to adopt a little girl with down syndrome from Aaron's former country. It had been over a year of mountain after mountain for them and there just didn't seem to be an end in sight. The possibility that they would not make it through to the end was very real. There were no words of comfort I could give my friend except to say that I was praying. Our adoption at that time was also stuck in mire. We were home, hoping and praying that a judge would have mercy and grant us court to go back and get Aaron. We were swimming in our own shock as we waded through the system, but our grief did not compare to the cross my friend was carrying for their child.
You see they had already lost a child. A beautiful little girl with down syndrome who died of cancer in 2008. They knew all about grief and loss. They had walked a road I couldn't understand and hope to never take. When they committed to a Reece's Rainbow child, it was not to replace their precious Caylyn. They didn't originally plan to adopt the child they picked, Marina, only to advocate for her. But they could not get her out of their hearts and minds and so in a massive leap of faith they committed to adopt her. That was in June 2009. But major obstacles were in their way and by August 2010, my friend had just reached the end. They seemed no closer to getting over the mountain than when they started.
All I could offer was prayer, a shoulder to cry on and a purchase of a bracelet. I bought the bracelet and put it on. My constant, hourly reminder to pray. Marina needed a family. My friend needed Marina.
Today I am looking at the bracelet with tears in my eyes. Good tears. Happy tears. Marina is home. She came home yesterday. The journey to get her is over.
In church on Sunday, as the people around me were singing and worshipping, and with Aaron sitting happily on the chair beside me I put my head in my hands and quietly began to weep. I was holding my bracelet and thinking of my friend. Realizing anew what a Mighty God we serve. Marveling at His tender mercies.
I worried when they flew out in October to get Marina. Their process from June 2009 to September 2010 was so horrific, I just trembled in fear that they would get hit with more mess and mire. My heart longed for them to have peace over there. I was so afraid that the same paperwork issues that caused them to stumble here, would prevent them from completing the adoption. But God in His Love and Kindness granted them peace. He allowed them to fight all their paperwork giants on this side of the ocean. He let them battle their faith issues on US soil. By prolonging the process, He forced them to face their loss and grief and anger and hurt before they boarded the plane. But once on Marina's soil, He calmed the storm. He granted them rest. They breezed through their days. My friend, her husband and their precious boy. Together, they met Marina. Joy Unspeakable. She was alive, happy, fiesty and so full of life she knocked their breath away. He hand picked a little girl who fit perfectly in their family, in the same way God handpicked Aaron for us. Oh how marvelous is our God to know exactly what we need and to so graciously offer it to us. How loving a Savior. I wept on Sunday and I weep again today. I can't wait to meet Marina. To hear her sassy little voice and her bossy little ways. I look forward to laughing at how quickly she has whipped her family into shape. I rejoice that God kept her carefully and tenderly all these years for this family. Oh the healing as they love on their new precious treasure. No she doesn't replace their loss... but as my friend so aptly put it a few days ago on her blog:
"Our family once again has managed to complete a journey and embark on one all at the same time, yet again. God has been very gracious. More than I ever ever dreamed. Cay would love this gal. But without Caylyn and her journey I can surely say there would not be a Marina Hope Bachman in our lives.
So this morning I cry. Happy tears. Marina is home safe. One more orphan in the arms of a loving, Godly family. I marvel at God's goodness and I rejoice at His tender love. My friend and her family - though tested in their faith - have come through.
Psalm 30: 5b - "Weeping may endure for the night, but JOY comes in the morning."