The boys have now been home almost seven months. They have adjusted well and they are thriving. Every day I am amazed at how much joy they have brought to our family. When we first brought the boys home, I remember reading about many issues that people were facing after adopting an older child, and I remember thinking how thankful I was that we had adopted our boys at such a young age. The boys were adjusting well. The bonding was easy. We loved our boys and our boys loved us. I remember saying that I would NEVER, ever adopt a school-aged child.
Apparently God found great humor in the plans I had for my life. Shortly after saying that, he started breaking my heart for the older children....the children who were least likely to be chosen. After all, it is pretty easy to fall in love with a cute baby or toddler. But, who was going to love the older children...those who so desperately wanted a family? The ones who have been waiting for years? Those that have been passed over time and time again? God began filling my heart with love for these children. In my head, these thoughts of adopting an older child terrified me, but in my heart, I told God that if this is what He wanted us to do, then I would do it.
For months we prayed. Was this what He was calling us to do? After all, we were doing our part in the orphan crisis, right? We had just brought home our two boys. Certainly there were other families who could step up. We can't save them all, right? But I didn't feel like it was enough. There were still children out there without families. We could love one more, couldn't we?
This was something we could not get out of our minds. Our hearts were broken for these children. There were a few girls who really broke our hearts. We had been praying for direction for months. We had a list of girls that really had our hearts. We were torn. How do you choose a child? I did the only thing I knew to do, and that was to pray. And God answered. I was honestly surprised by the girl that God put in my heart. She was on our list, but she is not the girl that I would have chosen on my own. She was the oldest child on our list. She didn't have much money in her fund on Reece's Rainbow, and there were no reduced fees or grants for her. That would be a huge risk for us since we didn't have the funds just sitting around. But, as soon as I requested her file to look at, God started working in my heart. He filled my heart with such an incredible love for her. I can't even describe it. She was the one we felt needed us the most and the one we thought would be least likely to be chosen because of her age and lack of funds. Even before seeing her file, I knew she was the one we were meant to adopt. I was ready to commit to her then. At that point there was nothing in her file that could have made me change my mind or make me love her less. We waited 3 agonizing days for her file. During that time, we talked about her often. We imagined her in our family. I would break down in tears wondering if she knew just how special she was. I wondered if she had ever been told how beautiful she was. I wondered if anyone ever told her how proud they were of her. Thoughts of her consumed my mind. We knew we had to bring her home, and we knew that many people would probably think we were crazy. In fact, there was a time not so far in the past that I would have thought the same thing. But, here we are, starting the process to adopt again, just 6 months after bringing our boys home, but this time there won't be any cute babies for us, but there will be a super special older girl. By the time we bring her home, she will be thirteen years old. Yes, in my head, that is pretty scary, but in my heart, I am filled with great peace knowing it is what we have been called to do. We love her already and we are SO, SO EXCITED to bring her home!
Here is our beautiful daughter...our sweet Elliette. Unfortunately, her picture is about 5 years old. She desperately wants a family and in her country she will age out next year, meaning that she would be too old to ever be adopted. Because she was born with Cerebral Palsy, she would be left in a culture without a future. For years she has waited for a family. She has said with tears in her eyes how much she wants a mommy and a daddy. Well, hold on sweet girl, God has answered your cry and we are working hard to bring you home!
I love the Lord, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy. Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live. Psalm 116:1-2
If you feel led, we will be raising funds for our adoption of Elliette. You can click on the paypal link at the top right of the blog. We can't wait to bring her home, but we know that we cannot do it without God's help and your help. Thank you for helping make Elliette on less orphan!