I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
The Lord watches over you— the Lord is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night.
The Lord will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; the Lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Psalm 121:1-8 NIV
God first planted the desire to adopt in my heart nearly fourteen years ago in a small village orphanage in Ukraine. I spent only a few hours of a ten day mission trip there. Even so, during this brief encounter, my heart broke and I was left forever changed.
At the time, I was twenty-five years old, in the middle of nursing school, single and had no prospect of marriage in my future. I was fervently praying for direction. My hope was that one day, marriage and a family would be part of God’s plan for me.
Little did I know that on that day, God would take this broken place in my heart and plant a deep desire to adopt. From this softened place, a fierce love would take root and begin to grow. Nor did I know that six months later, I would meet my future husband and we would share God-sized dreams for our future and a family which included adoption one day. Nine days after my twenty-seventh birthday, I married my best friend.
God filled our home and hearts with love and life. After three years of marriage, we went on to have four beautiful children in the span of six years. It has not always been easy. Life has brought loss and challenges. We have been stretched and our expectations have changed. Despite all of this, God had given us rich blessings. Our family life full yet our hearts have room for more. Our desire to adopt never fading, it only grew stronger. The year of our tenth wedding anniversary, our hearts were open and ready.
Looking back, I reflect on the deep sorrow that I felt so many years ago at the orphanage. I remember not wanting to leave. I sat in the van after saying goodbye to the orphans and sobbed uncontrollably. The only question on my mind was this, “Who goes to these small, vulnerable children when they awake crying at night. Who comforts them?”
Today this question still looms heavy as a mother of four young children under one roof, still at times waking for their mother’s comfort. While at the same time, one little girl, still unknown to us yet intimately known and wonderfully created by God to be our daughter, waits alone on the other side of the world. She has most likely never known the comfort of a mother’s touch, the security of a father’s embrace or the sense of belonging that a family brings.
The sorrow feels fresh again and I become restless and inpatient. The weight of this harsh reality too heavy for one mama’s heart to bear. I long to go to her. To comfort her.
Recently, we were out as a family and heading back to our car. We were approaching a busy parking lot and my husband and our three oldest were in front of me. I could not see them. They were just around a corner. I had our youngest son.
I shouted out to my husband, “You have #1, 2 and 3, right? I have #4.”
Our oldest son answered, “Yes, Mommy, and God has #5!”
“Yes, buddy.”, I said with a smile. “God does have sister.”
Then He responded, “Mommy, He’ll bring her when everyone is ready.”
God tucked this deep desire in our hearts and now He leads us back to Eastern Europe, to the small mountainous country of Bulgaria. With four vast mountain ranges, there are few places in Bulgaria where a mountain is not visible on the horizon. Our daughter can see the mountains where the luminous light of hope bursts forth, new every morning. Her help has come.
Lord, you have her. You have always been her comfort, her place of belonging. You are the Maker of Heaven and Earth and you are preparing a way. Over mountains and oceans, Your limitless love has come. You will bring her home.
I ask that you would plant a seed of hope in her heart. Help her to know that you are near and that you have plans to give her a family and a future. Your timing is perfect and no matter how long the wait, you will sustain and protect her.
I lift up my eyes to the horizon. I will wait for You. When my heart grows weary and anxious, I will draw near you. I will trust in your unfailing love and I will rest in your abounding comfort. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, I pray, Amen.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord,
“plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future.”
Jeremiah 29:11 NIV