Monday, March 13, 2017

Don't Ever Tell Me...

Our little girl with the boo boos on her knees?

The one who gripped our hearts 2 1/2 years ago and set us on the journey that brought John home?

She was on the Angel Tree this year.

She was on the Angel Tree.

We knew she was available. After we returned home with John she was relisted on Reece's Rainbow. We knew she was relisted but there was no way we could go back.  No way. We were never ever doing it again. I stopped looking at the children. I never ever looked on the pages for the girls. Out of sight out of mind.  Easy.

Until this Christmas. Someone out there picked her to be on the tree. Someone cared enough to put her on the tree so she could find a family. Someone was advocating for our little girl. Someone was willing to yell and shout and cry out for a family for an unknown child across the ocean.  Someone loved the least of these.

And we love the Angel Tree.

Which means that both Rob and I were actively paying attention to the tree.  Just about every day.  And she was on the tree. Her little face. Her same boo boo knees. 

There was no way.

That's what I said.  No way.  I told Rob that God would have to do a MAJOR WORK in my heart for me to commit to adopt her.

Not because I didn't want her. I absolutely wanted her. I wanted her in the deepest part.  If only someone would drop her right into my lap.

I didn't want the process. I didn't want the stress. I didn't want the paperwork. I didn't want the fundraising. I didn't want to jump off the cliff and trust God.  I didn't want to cry again.

I was the one who said no.  Me.

Rob was ready to jump as soon as he saw her on the tree.

Don't ever ever tell me that it is always the women who want to jump first.

I said no.

I couldn't see my way past the terror and the stress and the paperwork and the fundraising.

He didn't push. He didn't manipulate. He didn't argue. He didn't try to convince me.  He understood my trauma. He understood my resistance. He let my no be no.

Okay. Maybe he manipulated a tad.

Like when I suggested that we split the little boys up and put one of them in the bedroom we painted for our little girl. He said no. He said it meant the door was closed. He couldn't handle that.

Oh my. Don't ever tell me...  That was the day I stopped with the closed heart and started to ask God to change my heart.

But I wasn't telling him.  I was super super quiet about those prayers.

Then he dropped the bombshell that completely upended my Jonah ship.

We were finishing our book.  We were doing the final touches. Which meant we needed to dedicate it.  He asked me if I had any ideas.  I actually had forgotten that detail. My brain went blank. I had no ideas.  I could not come up with anything which is highly unusual for me.  So we put it off. Or at least I thought we put it off. What I didn't realize when he asked me was that he had his own ideas. Ideas he neglected to share with me.

Until a few days later when I remembered the dedication and asked him what we were going to do.

It was written.  If I didn't like it we could change it.

We dedicate this book to the daughter who got away.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away;
    may the name of the Lord be praised.”
— Job 1:20-21

Dear Lord!  I sat down and wept. Rob's heart laid bare. To the daughter who got away.  Our little girl. The one who said no. I would never ever change a word of that dedication.  God gave. God has taken away. No matter what, He is to be praised. So much said in those few verses.  The deepest deepest belief in both our hearts. We worship the One who has given. We worship Him who has taken away.

How could I say no with Rob's heart laid bare?  How could my petty fears stop us from at least trying again? How could I let fear keep me from experiencing more of God's grace and blessings.

A few weeks later we jumped off the cliff for our little girl with boo boos on her knees. We started the process. We contacted our social worker. We started filling out the forms. Then an e-mail. She has been adopted.  She's gone.  Forever to us.  She's in a family but not ours.  Found and lost and found and lost again.  How can it be? 

How can it be?

Our older sons had said yes. Our social worker had said yes. Our hearts had said yes.  Dear Lord, please! What do we do?

Have you seen Mary?


Of course not.  I haven't looked at the listings for the girls in a very very long time. I especially wasn't looking for LITTLE Girls. So no.  I hadn't seen Mary.  I had no idea she existed.


No, we hadn't seen Mary. We hadn't seen her, but we see her now.  We see her now.

We know loss. We know there are no guarantees. We know that the road we are on will twist and turn and possibly rip our hearts to shreds. We know we could lose her. We know.  But God is good no matter what, whether with torn robes in grief and anguish or sweet rejoicing. Faith is faith. It is a stepping out into the blackness, believing that God is ever-watching, ever-loving and ever-providing all that we need to take each step.

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."


  1. I'm crying.
    I've followed your last journey and remember how it all happened.
    The Lord is exciting, isn't He?

  2. Can you tell us a little about Mary?

  3. I thought the same thing; she looks just like John. Adorable!

  4. Praying for this next journey and all that comes with it!


Loving words from kind people make our hearts glad!