The Best Entry Yet: We have a little girl

A month after my last post everything in our world shifted.
Tuesday (important to note)
May 5th (important to note)
We received an email from our agency telling us of a little girl waiting.  There was one medical need in her file that we had not originally checked as being open to, but if we wanted to go ahead and look at the file we could.  My heart fell.  It was a Tuesday.  It was the 5th.  I called Dave.  His heart said the same answer mine was screaming, "yes!!!".  I called our case worker as Dave was frantically driving home from work. 
Could this be it?  Could she be our daughter?
We set the girls up with a movie and the two of us gathered around our computer.  We prayed.  We called our case worker and he began to speak.  I have no memory of anything he said.  It was the basic information.  Age, 3.  Birthdate, February 20.  Location, Johannesburg.  Then he began to speak into her need that we had not originally "checked" on our medical check list form. 
Very premature
28 weeks in fact
Two pounds at birth
Sweet baby girl
Dave took the lead because I think he knew my heart was off to the races. 
"We want to see her file, but no pictures yet."
He is so wise.
We got off the phone and didn't really know what to say or how to process.  The other part is that Dave was leaving.  Headed to Boston for a business trip and then from there to Haiti until late Monday night.  So we prayed and said goodbye.
This file and I became the best of friends.  I read it at least three (hundred) times a day.  Googling words I saw.  Names I read.  We emailed it off to the International Pediatrician at Children's Mercy for review.  And prayed.  My anthem song was Holy Spirit by Francesca Battistelli.  Every single time I was in the car that song came on.  I invited His presence to surround me, to flood our home, that at the end of the day it was His glory and His path that I wanted more than anything.  Dave and I weren't able to talk because of his meeting schedule and our schedule here at home.  And then when he got to Haiti the chance for communication lessened. 
Sunday was Mother's Day.  Standing at church worshipping by myself, holding this sweet girl in my heart.  Crying out to Him as I had been for almost 4 years to bring to completion this call. 
Was this completion? 
Driving to the airport Monday night I repeated a phrase that I repeat very often in our marriage, "expectations are pre-meditated disappointments".  I said it over and over and over again.  Because I knew that the last 6 days for Dave were very different then the last 6 days for me.  I didn't know where his heart would be.  Or if it would be anywhere.  And I needed to let my heart know that and give permission for his heart to not be where mine was.  So I repeated it and repeated.  I knew that I was a resounding YES.  So many things over the last 6 days had confirmed that for me.  But I knew that I needed to stay calm and let Dave lead this one.  I pulled our car over to the side to pick him up.  The girls were so happy to see their Daddy again.  I was so happy to see their Daddy again.  He got in the car and the tears started for him.
"God completely took away my desire for a son.  Every orphanage we visited a three year old girl grabbed my hand and wouldn't let go.  All I can see in our family is three little girls."
There was more but I don't remember.
All I know is I was driving, crying, listening and repeating still, "expectations are pre-meditated disappointments". 
That Tuesday we heard back from the International Pediatrician
And that Wednesday, May 13th, we officially accepted her referral and saw her face for the very first time.  The four of us piled up by the computer and we opened the file all together.  We have this on video and I will post that sometime soon.  It was pretty sweet.  She is ours.
An orphan no more
A sister
A daughter
Why is Tuesday so important?
*Two years ago we got a referral for a little girl in Ethiopia.  She is blind.  I had just picked Maren up from school when I got the phone call.  We spent a day of big prayer and fasting.  We were going to say yes, but there was this deep ache in my heart.  Deep.  I knew that I could be a good Mom for this little girl, but I knew deep within me that I was not her Mommy.  Since that day I have been praying for God to redeem Tuesdays for me.  Not only that, but Tuesday school pick up.  Almost every Tuesday since that one, I prayed that prayer driving to school.  And wouldn't you know this email from our case worker came while I was waiting in the pick up line for Maren?  Tuesday redemption.
Why is the 5th so cool?
*We changed to South Africa in November.
December 5th our social worker came over to update our home study
January 5th we mailed our documents to immigration
February 5th our completed dossier was sent to South Africa
May 5th we were presented with our sweet girl
I poured over her file a zillion times over those 6 days.  Going to sleep was hard.  I read the Psalms when I feel anxious or can't sleep.  I was reading one of my favorites, Psalm 34, one night.  I came across verse 18 and the words that I wrote above it struck me.  I went and grabbed her file.  I couldn't believe my eyes.  Tears rolled down and laughter came too. 
"The Lord is close to the brokenhearted;  He rescues those whose spirits are crushed."
Above this verse I wrote, "prayer for our baby and their family 10/2012"
Our baby girl was taken into care October 2012. 
God was so gracious to align all of our hearts in that moment.  While adoption is one of the most beautiful things, we have to remember that our gain comes at her loss.  There is deep loss before there is a deep gain.  So yes.  October 2012 is a month of great hearts that were broken and spirits that probably did feel crushed.  Because the weight of this world is great.  But in that moment, God aligned this Mommy in Kansas with a Mommy in South Africa.  Words fail me in even trying to grasp this mystery.  Even while reading Jen Hatmaker this morning, she nailed it exactly, "Their tragic circumstances didn't lessen their worth but raised them to the highest level of divine attention."  While the pain of this world, the loss in this world, the hard.....all of that seems to say that there is no God.  That He has forgotten.  That He isn't there.  Truly, it is those moments that raises us to the highest level of divine attention.  I had no idea that when I prayed that night in October that I was praying those words so precisely, so timely, so exactly.....but God knew.  He knew because He raised our baby girl and her family up to the highest level of divine attention.  I am eternally grateful.
So she is ours. 
What comes next?
We are currently waiting for our approval letter from the Central Authority.  As soon as we have this we will apply at Immigration.  As soon as we get immigration approval we wait on a court date.  As soon as we have a court date we travel.  As soon as we travel, we meet her and keep her forever!  Phew!
Big prayer right now is for that letter to come so we can get the ball rolling.  We would love to leave late July but that isn't looking like it could be.  But our timelines are not His timelines.  We would love your prayers!
I cannot share her picture or name publicly just because she is not legally our child.  So when you see us ask, we will tell you and show you!  Our girls are so excited for a new sister!  
We love sharing her with people and we love answering questions.  But also know that we won't answer all your questions.  Our baby girl's story is hers and hers alone.  Imagine if you had a file for your life, and I mean the most broken place of your life.  That is probably not something you want read by everyone or told to everyone.  It is your story.  It is hers and hers alone.  We hold it with such tenderness, dignity, and love.  And we will hold it for her.  I will write a little more on what coming home plans will look like for our family as we begin to knit each other to one another.  Why I won't be dropping her off at Sunday school or not having a big party when we get home or not hanging around a lot of people or not wanting you to hold her or not going places much at all.  So many have forged beautiful paths of this knitting together so I can share with you their insight.  I hope my words don't make you nervous to ask me questions or to draw near to our family.  That is not my hope.  My hope is that you wouldn't be offended and that we can all have permission to learn together.
Thank you for being on this journey with our family!  We are so grateful for you!
More to come!
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  1. Breathless. Redemption. Such beauty. I love you my soul sister. I love your baby girl and her big sisters.

  2. This is my favorite post you've ever written too!!!!! Sooo happy and excited for you. And, WOW. The way God has written this story, every little detail. Every date. Every prayer. Just in awe of His goodness. Love you!!