Monday, September 20, 2010

Our Best Good Deed

This little boy,
Aaron Vanya Nalle,
by order of a court decree,
is an orphan no more.


     This morning my husband presented to me the following blog post that he wrote during the sleeping hours.  It made me cry.  It did not do justice to what he has sacrificed to come here and bring home our little boy.  It does not speak of his faith and his persistence.  It does not recall how many times he has carried me in my weakness and questioning.  I could write my own book. His post is worth reading and sharing.  It is worth posting to every single blog, for every other husband who is dragging his feet.  The Lost Boys and Girls in orphanages and institutes across the world need to come home.

(Rob writing)

A Woman's World

I have said it before: the world of special needs adoption is a woman’s world. If you don’t believe me, try reading some adoption blogs. Take just one cautious step into this marshy bog of sentiment, and suddenly you’ll find yourself thigh-deep in a muck of chatter about breast pumps, toddler fashions and the contents of dirty diapers. There isn’t a man alive who wouldn’t rather hang himself to death with his prison bedsheets than read these womanish adoption blogs.

On the other hand, these children need families, and that usually means two parents. How do we men come on board? I only know how I came on board: My wife talked me into it. I carefully weighed the options, then firmly and decisively led my family down the road toward adoption.

To explain, I have to relate a bit about how I feel about women: I love women. In my opinion, there isn’t a single woman on earth who doesn’t have at least some God-given beauty-- although a few hide theirs most effectively. And I especially love my wife. I find her endlessly fascinating. Every good thing I have in my life, I have because of her. Everything that matters to me matters more because of her. I love life only because of my love for her and my love for my children. No other earthly thing signifies-- no accomplishment, no amount of wealth, no pleasure or diversion. I knew God before I was married, but I understood God’s father heart (a little) only after I became a husband and a father.

When my wife became interested in special needs adoption around last Christmas, I resisted. The pictures and the stories on the many blogs she followed didn’t move me in the same way they moved her. I’ve always given liberally to church and charity, but I was very reluctant to bring a stranger into our home, our only refuge from work and the world. When I’m home, which is little enough, I want to rest. And I already had bookkeeping, editing and business chores chewing away my home time, plus my home schooling duties. Besides all of that, we both knew that we were in no financial shape to undertake a hideously expensive international adoption.

Yet only a few weeks after all of this came up, I found myself agreeing to pursue Aaron’s adoption. I told Julia that I would “follow her heart.” I said that after I realized that every good thing we’ve ever done has come from following her heart, her good woman’s heart. I couldn’t let myself be the fool who stood in her way and prevented her from doing what I was sure the Lord was leading her to do.

If the path of our lives together was left to me, I would do nothing but work. I would work for twelve hours every day, six days a week, thinking about little but work all the while, and go home exhausted. I would come to view my time off as unproductive, wasted time, and I would begin to work half days on Sundays, too. I’m already a long way down that path. My work is tiring, but satisfying. I don’t have the energy for much else.

My wife is different. Her heart is more like God’s heart. She is more in tune with the Holy Spirit. She naturally cares about the things God cares about. She loves what God loves, and hates what God hates. Where I overlook people and their needs, she cares for them and frets over them. Where I assume that people are beyond help, she finds ways to help. Our family leads a much more fruitful life when we follow her heart than when we follow mine. We lead a more Godly life, a life more pleasing to God, when we follow her heart. And we experience more of the love that God has to offer when we follow her heart.

I picture it in this way (I may be borrowing this illustration, I don’t remember): imagine that all of God’s people are swimmers in a broad, swift stream. The stream is God’s will, and it flows toward the accomplishment of God’s purposes. People like me tend to stay close to the banks, where the water doesn’t move too fast. We hang on to the edge to keep the raging will of God from pulling us faster than we have the courage to go. Sometimes we even try to swim upstream, against God’s will. People like my wife, on the other hand, are always pushing away from the banks, out into the center of the stream. They want to be where the action is, to see God moving in the world and move with Him. We’re all going downstream to the same place, because God’s will cannot be denied. But if we want to experience more of God, we have to move out into the center of the stream.

That’s how I see this adoption: we’ve pushed out nearer to the center of the stream of God’s will. With God’s help I followed my wife’s heart, I took a step in faith, because I wanted to experience more of what God has to offer. I was curious to see what God would do. And God has not disappointed me: He has aroused compassion in the hearts of hundreds of people who have helped to bring Aaron home. Through them, He has raised all of the money that we needed. He has saved a precious little boy from being Lost forever. He has moved the heart of our skeptical judge.

And before any of that, he chose the perfect little boy for us. This was the thing that worried me the most before we got here: who was this little boy? We committed to adopt Aaron based on one smiling photograph and a short description that turned out to be about 75% right. All of our efforts to learn more about him before we got here came to nearly nothing. I even doubted that we’d be able to find him when we got here, because there seemed to be so little information available on him. When we finally found him, though, it took us only a few minutes to discover that God had not steered us wrong. On the second day we knew him, we were already making plans for his care, plotting his life with us as if he were one of our own. Now that we’ve been with him for several weeks, we smile fondly at him and admire his features, just as we do with our own sons. We take pride in his little eccentricities. We couldn’t have wanted any other child this much. God made the perfect choice for us.

Yes, our adoption has been hard, harder than it had to be. Maybe that makes it even better in the end. No matter what happens from here on, I think I shall always consider Aaron’s adoption the best good deed of our lives.


  1. you're a wonderful writer Rob, and it's good to see how much a man appreciates his wife. You have a good one and you know it, how blessed you are!
    Better than Rubies :)

  2. Precious! Moving, inspiring, genuine, convicting and joyous all at once! Thank you! Gods speed. Be safe. Looking forward to meeting Aaron.

  3. That is BEAUTIFUL. I read it to my children at the breakfast table. They made fun of me for crying---again! Especially the boys...haahaa...the girls get it.

    I will put this on my blog....I hope it does something to the hearts of many.

  4. The best child, to the best parents!!!People
    with great heart for a child who needs thot big heart.
    Thanks for helping me to trust humans again.

    ( sorry for my english)

  5. So beautiful. Thank you for sharing this. May God continue to bless and keep all of you.

    And congratulations on being the parents to 3 wonderful boys!


  6. this makes me think of Sara Groves song "Fly" - he loves you that way, and so you do fly!!

    I'm so very happy and thankful for all of you and your lives as a family.

  7. Rob and Julia,
    This is beautifully written and I think it probably describes many RR adoptive parents. Last fall due to lots of unfortunate circumstances I was in Ukraine from late September to December 7. It was a very long and difficult road to our boys but one that ultimately was well worth the wait. I hope the rest of your trip is smooth and uneventful. Your Aaron is a beautiful and lucky boy.

    God Bless,
    Jolie Harris

  8. Oh that was SO beautiful! I know it's been a hard journey for you guys but thank you for opening your hearts so we can all be a part of it.

  9. Congratulations! Today I celebrate with you. My God make the road ahead easy and without problems. I pray that you can get his passport fast, to go back to your sons at home!

  10. The vacationing contingent of the Nalle clan sends love and prayers your way. We've been counting down the days with you. Godspeed this final leg of your long journey for Aaron... or is it the final leg of the beginning of your journey with Aaron?

    Our hearts are with you!

  11. That is incredibly beautiful! Congratulations to your WHOLE family!

  12. I'm boo hoo-in' too (in true female adoption blogger style!). Now words for this except for thank you for revealing your true feelings about your never ending and always growing personal relationships with God.

    Can't wait for the GOTCHA DAY pics:)

  13. Your hearts...BOTH of you....are beautiful. Aaron was obvioulsy meant to be part of your family. I am so glad that you both followed God's will and swam to the center, it's been a wild journey for you, but that little boy of yours is worth every drop of sweat, every tear cried and so much more. Thank you for following your hearts, thank yo for saving this precious boy, thank you for speaking on behalf of the other voiceless, faceless children. Thank you for the sacrifices you and your family have made and continue to make to complete this journey.

  14. You were right-- a wonderful post. I am sitting here in tears right now rejoicing for your family and hoping that my family too might be on our way towards a similar meaningful journey. I admire your courage Rob, and your love for your wife and willingness to follow her heart. Wishing you all of God's blessings for your family and new son!

  15. Well written Rob. Your articulation also mirrors Hansina and I too. It's not easy and/or often communicated our men's position in our journey of adoption. These ladies are unsung heroes.
    Signs, miracles, and wonders are evidence of God's presence and power in His family's lives. Adoption reveals all these.
    Worship in elemetary terms is child-like faith...Trust and obey.
    I honor your steadfastness and rejoice in persevereness to enlarging your family and your heart!
    Keep going!!

    Mark Mickschl

  16. Congratulations to all of you! Precious.

  17. Poetry. So glad to hear the good news. Hope the paperwork from here on goes as smoothly as possible. The soup countdown begins.

  18. Rob- I felt God tugging at me to send this to my husband, it was like He spoke to my husband through you. We are praying to open my husband's heart to adoption, it's all in His time though :)

  19. Ahhhhhh ...this is beautiful. Just beautiful. You all have profoundly touched my hearts through your willingness to go to hard places to find beauty.

  20. Yay! Aaron is part of his very own family now! I pray that the rest of the process and paperwork gets done soon and then you can take Aaron back to his new home and family!

  21. You two are lovely! Beautiful post, Rob, and I shall indeed be stealing it lol! :) (don't worry, I'll link back to you!)

  22. Rob, I just had to tell you how much I LOVE your writing!! You always articulate things so well. By the way, I follow several blogs in our little RR/adoption world, and I think your post made it to about 80% of them today! Including mine! :)

  23. Hi Rob,
    I just wanted to say what a great post that was and how much I identify with it. My wife Lu, is I would say responsible for giving me a glimpse of God's heart while I was totally ignorant! Having read what you had to say about Julie was like reading about Lu. I don't do 'onlineness' much but I just felt compelled to comment. It's really good to hear a guy publicly appreciate his wife (for once). My Missus really taps into God's heart also, in a way I never had experienced before. Consequently leading me into a deeper relationship with God, and like you every good thing I have in my life basically can be traced back to her. God must love me...
    I'm so pleased for you all, and especially the little guy you've just welcomed into your family. Having read much of this blog, it's obvious God handpicked for him a family who would love him more than anyone else could have.

  24. so beautiful...... how blessed Aaron is to have you as a Daddy.

  25. Amazing! God is so good. Rob... your writing is so eloquent. It made me cry. What loving words you have written about Julia. How blessed you all are!!!

  26. BUUUTIFULL! I'm so proud of you all!

  27. Truly beautiful and heartfelt! Couldn't be better written.

  28. That was beautiful, Rob! Thanks so much for sharing. I'm so glad you went to the middle of the stream with your beautiful wife! :-)

  29. The two of you bring out the best in each other and that makes wonderful things happen! It's wonderful that you appreciate each other so much and that is a wonderful example for all your sons.

  30. Crying in Kharkov! That was beautiful!

  31. Well said, Rob! Your family is blessed to have a man with that kind of heart. Congratulations to all of you.

  32. Huge congratulations to your family. Love that smile and the shine in his eyes! This post brings tears to my eyes and I am so grateful for heartfelt and honest bloggers such as yourselves.

  33. This will come up as my wife's name, but I'm her husband Dan. I love how you have said so many of the things that have been on my heart and the way God seems to be able to speak to my wife more clearly than me. And trust me it is not just the women who get teary, nothing moves me more than to see people make a sacrifice like this, of their time, money and every part of their life, to reach out and bring an orphan into their home. This is the heart of God, to reach out to the helpless, the widow, the orphan.


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!