So you can all blame my brother Ben for the delay of Part 3. If he, his wife, and son weren’t so awesome to hang out with, we wouldn’t have tried to convince them to stay an extra night while visiting and I would have written my post on Sunday evening;) It is hard to want such fantabulous people to leave. And of course they accepted the invitation to stay. I mean who would want to leave when you are around such cool people. I guess the awesomeness must be genetic. LOL. If you are just joining us, make sure read our announcement, Part 1 and Part 2. We wouldn’t want you to miss anything.
So where did I leave off. Ah yes, we had found Lenny and I was worried that someone else would snatch him up. But that was June of 2013 and we didn’t start the process until March 2014. There seems to be a gap. What happened?
We arrived home from our road trip the beginning of July. We had lots of driving hours to discuss things on the long last few legs of the trip. We decided that we wanted to reach out and learn more about Lenny. We started by reaching out to Reece’s Rainbow to become his prayer warriors. Did you know that you could do that? If the Lord draws you to a certain child, sign up and commit to pray for that child and their future family. It is much like sponsoring a child but with prayer instead of funds. Learn more about how to be a prayer warrior here.
Then we asked the folks at RR how to get more info about him. They put us in touch with an agency here in Washington. The wonderful woman at the agency emailed us his file and answered all my questions. Would we even be able to qualify for adoption? China had strict rules in place and having 6 kids definitely exceeds their limit. Would our small house be an issue? There were many what ifs and what abouts. The response that I got was great because none of those things would be a problem and sad because the reason they weren’t a problem was because he is special needs. They are willing to waive so many things because these children are unwanted. They so want these children to have a home and there are so few people that want them, that they are willing to look the other way on most of their requirements. As a mama this broke my heart. Do we truly value all life? Or just lives like ours?
Now, adoption is a scary thing. There are so many unknowns and so many hurdles to overcome. After getting Lenny’s file and praying, praying and praying, asking friends to pray, seeking council from trusted Godly people, we weren’t feeling peace to adopt him. I couldn’t understand. I knew he was my son. Than knew he was part of our family. Yet, we couldn’t get peace to move forward. We were impressed upon to be cautious and to take more time. Did the Lord not understand that Lenny had already been waiting for sooooooo long? That he held a place in our hearts. But there wasn’t any peace. The kids seemed less than thrilled at the prospect and that was a huge concern as well. This would affect our entire family for the rest of our lives. This isn’t a little thing and we couldn’t in good faith move forward if the Lord wasn’t in it.
Oh how I grieved. But we were his prayer warriors and we would pray for him and his future family even if it wasn’t us. I still found myself going back to RR and looking to see if he was still on the waiting list. My heart would start to drop as I would scroll farther and farther down the list and not see him. Then finally he would pop up!! He was at the bottom of the list. All the kids around him would be gone but he was still there. It was torture. I finally had to stop looking and things in our lives changed and looking for him took a bit of a back seat. The Lord knew there were trials coming that would need our full attention.
Life is precious. And that is never more poignant than when you are watching a friend battle for her life. An amazing Godly mama, wife and friend of mine had been battled Stage 4 terminal cancer for over a year and then in the end of August 2013, the bad news started piling up. More lesions, moving faster, harder treatments. There were meals to organize, children’s ministry needs to help with, and much more. Just before Thanksgiving she was given the news that it was time to start getting her affairs in order. In December, she stepped down as the children’s director at our church and Than and I stepped in for the interim. She got very sick in January and went to be with Jesus in February. It was a long hard road. She was an amazing testimony of faithfulness and grace sharing her faith with everyone she encountered through her illness. Please keep her husband and daughter in your prayers as they continue to learn to live without her.
Katie’s battle with cancer changed things in our lives. Looking back, I see that the Lord needed us present to be with Katie in the end and to carry on her legacy with children’s ministry until a new person was found. I needed to be able to spend time grieving and sharing the memories with friends. If we had been deep in the adoption process, all of that would have been much more difficult. So in those hard 4 months watching my friend say goodbye to her family and this temporal life here on earth, I had stopped obsessing about Lenny. As a matter of fact, I didn’t think of him much at all the last couple months. The Lord had my mind filled with other things and had me serving Him in other ways.
Isn’t it amazing how the Lord walks through this life with us!?! He is not only the Infinite God and our Creator but also our Father and Redeemer. When we surrender to Him and don’t strive for things ourselves, He will make our path clear. We didn’t know the trial that was to come but our Lord did. By listening to Him and that lack of peace, we were ready to do what He had for us. Had we ignored His promptings, we still would have done what He had for us through this trial but it would have been much harder. It wasn’t that the Lord hasn’t set Lenny before us as our son but we had to trust His timing. How did we finally know that the time was right? The Lord had quite the series of events that makes even the skeptical see the obvious path before us.
But I will save all that for Part 4. What’s another word for cliffhanger? I don’t know so CLIFFHANGER!!!