If you’re not up to speed on “gawsh”, be sure to check out part 1 and part 2 before reading here.
Alrighty then, now that you’ve been officially warned to begin at the beginning, lest you get ridiculously confused, we can get back to the story.
After my very loooong conversation with the agency that had her file, it felt like there was a crack in the door. Whether or not it would actually open remained to be seen… but I’m not gonna lie, it felt like God was at work.
In my mind, we were in the window – time wise – of being able to bring home a second child at the same time as Poppy. Additionally, the agency that had this child’s file had explained that they would be agreeable to releasing her file in order to help her find her forever family. And in September, China swung open the door for adopting two children at the same time, specifically to find homes for children just like this little girl… kids who really need to find a forever family because of a more serious special need.
So, I was actually letting myself get the tiniest bit hopeful.
I filled Chris in on all the details of my conversation with the agency when he got home from work. We talked about what would be involved in putting this child’s file on hold: we would need to fill out an application, pay an application fee and then consult with cardiologists regarding her condition. And pray like crazy.
And then, we’d need to determine if this little one was our Esther.
We spent that evening filling out the lengthy application, dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s to be sure everything was completed correctly. The next morning I scanned and emailed our application to the agency. And, before submitting the application fee, I decided to call them just to confirm that another family did not have this little one’s file on hold. The director explained that, although her file was not on hold, there was one other family that he felt like he should check with before allowing us to move forward any further. And I agreed – that was the right thing to do.
But it did make me panic, just a bit.
Which really caught be by surprise. During the days that lead up to this point, I’d had countless conversations with God about the ridiculousness of a proposition like this. That it just didn’t make sense. At all. And many times I just sort of expected that the door would close and that would be the end of it – and I’d be left with a laminated referral photo of a child that was not mine, tucked away in my purse, and in my heart.
I hung up the phone with the agency. I prayed. And I waited an hour what felt like an eternity to hear back.
The other family had decided they did not want to move forward.
The news brought me to my knees with gratitude. I honestly crumbled. I was so, so… well… grateful. I felt filled to overflowing with thankfulness to God. Which made this child, Esther, feel that much more like my daughter.
And a verse that I had heard earlier in the week was now ringing in my ears:
“Is anything too wonderful for God?” – Genesis 18:14
We put her file on hold and took a deep breath. We now had two weeks to see what God might want to do.
Much, too much, happened in those two weeks to detail here.
Either that, or I just don’t feel like I can relive it here.
I’m not sure which.
But, the condensed version is that after having those first few doors open, we got a lot of doors slammed. Right in our faces.
And it seemed that those who had been so happy to help us bring Poppy home had no interest in hearing why we so desperately wanted to bring home this little girl. How we wanted to help heal her heart. And make this little girl a beloved member of our family. This child, who day by day was becoming less a “little girl” and more our “Esther”.
In the days that followed those most painful experiences, the enemy got a hold of me in a really big way. As I look back, I can see that was ripe for the picking – wrung out and strung out and so so focused on what the ‘world’ thought of our family I could hardly see straight.
I found myself clinging to Him more than at any time I can remember – and it wasn’t because I wanted to, it was because I had to. I had reached the end of myself. I desperately needed Him and His provision, His shelter, His truth in a way I never had. I sought Him out in new ways… praying, of course, but fasting, devouring the Bible, listening to sermon after sermon after sermon and asking others to pray with me and for me. Y’all know who you are… I love you!
Chris and I also spent much time talking, sometimes late into the night. One night I remember our conversation was more me questioning Chris’ commitment to this whole crazy thing than anything. But he was certain, without hesitation. And I knew, in my heart, that I was already in it. We both felt so strongly that she needed someone to fight for her. She needed us to fight for her. And, even after researching her heart defects, and reviewing the somewhat frightening report from the cardiologist, we felt an overwhelming peace about it all. A peace that had nothing to do with the world, or what seemed to make sense, it was only attributable to God.
So right there, that night, we promised God and each other that we would do every thing in our power to bring her home.
We committed to rest in the knowledge that God can open doors that no one can close. That He can close doors that no one can open. And that, if the door closed, we would know we had done all we could. That we had been faithful to obey what He had laid, so clearly, on our hearts for Esther.
And our resolve was put to the test. Daily, sometimes hourly, I had to remind myself of our promise to this. To her. And every time I felt like we’d reached the end of the road, that we had done everything we could do, God showed us one more door to knock on. One more thing to consider. One more thing we could do to to continue to step forward, sometimes blindly, in faith… trusting only in Him.
And so we did.
What He opens no one can shut, and what He shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept My word and have not denied My name.
~ Revelation 3:7-8
P.S. Part 4 coming. Eventually.