We heard this question a million times when the kids were here. The youngest asked it every time he wanted to do something, try something new, or even go into another room. Looking at his eager face, his curious green eyes, and sweet voice---these became my favorite words.
I heard those words before from our God. When we first got the email just before a weekend away together.
I can tell you what I am learning about saying yes. Recently, Jeremy and I participated in some triathlons and we had the whole weekend to ourselves. (sigh) The day we headed out, I got an email from a friend who shares our love for the orphan. Orphan Hope International was looking for families to host about 17 orphans from Colombia. They would be coming to the States for 3 weeks this summer in hopes to connect with forever families.
These kids are close to aging out.
As I was on the bike (my 2nd least favorite part of the tri, the swim being my least favorite), I was thinking
shoulders down, butt back, cadence high....
AND about all the opportunities around us to love kids who do not have moms and dads.
We had recently talked about "when do we say no?"
And we are finding that for us, at this time, as we see opportunity around us (right here, right now), as we wait on the Lord, as we plan our next Rwanda mission trip, as we start a new chapter with homeschooling, as we seek His face, to know His heart more, and desire to follow Him...
we can't say no.
We will say YES.
YES to whatever.
And let Him say "No."
This is not the final part to "Saying YES"It is still being written.
Between April and July we had minor paperwork & training to complete, and I remember putting on our application we would host up to 3 kids. We soon received a call from one of the directors because there was a special situation with a sibling group of 4 kids between the ages of 5-12. Evidently, we were the only host family that said we would take more than one or two kids. Jeremy got the call and said he would check with me first, but he already knew it would take half a second for me to say yes.
Really, what's one more?
My thoughts the day we found out their names.....
Today we found out names and actual ages of the kids coming from Colombia with the vacation host program. It means so much to know their names. They are not just orphans from Colombia anymore. We had a very informative and wonderful meeting with a representative from Colombia. I am so thankful to have had that meeting and I gained new understanding....understanding of the perspective of the kids and the workers who long for every child to have a forever family.
Now I can pray for them by name.
and when I saw pictures of them the first time...
Today we received an email with pictures of the kids. I was so excited to see their pictures. Before I opened the email I wondered if I would be looking at the faces of OUR children. Jeremy had thought about the same thing. I noticed the language in the email said, "Pictures of your kids!" Your kids. That popped out at me and sunk in. Were these my kids?
As I looked at each picture, I began to have mixed emotions. I have this faint feeling of sadness and I don't quite know how to explain it. I studied their faces. I looked deep into their eyes. I began to ask, "what's your story?" Each one looked different, had unique features. Each one beautiful. I don't know why, I don't understand why I do this, but I looked for characteristics in each one that were similar to my family. Why do we do this??
I can't wait to meet them! Can't wait!
And I saved the best for last. The night Jeremy and I talked about these kids and the "A" word in one conversation....
Lately we have been staying up too late and getting up early. So tonight Jeremy comes to bed late and just before he gets in bed he says he wants to tell me what he thinks about the kids coming over from Colombia. We know their names, but we have not seen pictures, and do not know any history yet.
He really kinda surprised me. First of all, that he initiated the conversation was amazing in itself. And more so because of what he shared. I hear him begin with, "I think we may adopt these kids." I got that feeling that I had back in 2006 when he said he really wanted to pursue adoption and wanted me to check out a couple agencies. FEAR. It's weird because all this time I am dreaming, praying, hoping, and wondering where our next kids are, and when he says something that means we move forward, I am like,
"REALLY? Are you sure???"
I am quiet as he reveals his thoughts. He asks if I am asleep.
I just don't want to interrupt. I want to hear what HE thinks. What he REALLY thinks.
So he goes on to say that he believes we COULD adopt these kids AND other kids too.
(what? other kids too? that's like enough kids for our own soccer team!)
Fear begins to turn into awe and then excitement.
He continues...."What's really important? Am I going to say no to adoption because I'm worried about how we will pay for college, weddings, quinceaneras?? Will we change how we spend money and what we "store up?"
"The bottom line is that our treasure is in Heaven. What's more important? Storing up treasures on earth or having the PRIVILEGE of being the parents of these 4 kids?"
(and you thought just I was crazy)
That's the question we heard again the week after they left. God asking us, "Will you join me? Will you really trust Me?" That week after they were gone, as we were silent and seeking Him, we heard Him asking that question and asking us to lay down our dreams, our plans, our future.
As I look into His face and listen to His sweet voice through His Word, I think what a privilege to be asked to join Him. How merciful and gracious He is to us!
These have become my favorite words.