My dear friend Meredith said this to me not so very long ago. It was in response to me trying to help her through a terrible and sad time in her family's life. She and her dh Mike had gone to Ukraine to adopt a little girl they loved desperately, only to be met with roadblock after roadblock, brick after brick in the wall they were trying so desperately to tear down and bring their daughter home. In the end, the answer was simply: No.
No meant no to parenting a little girl who would then never know the love of a mother and father, and parents whose arms would ache forever after to hold her.
No meant leaving her behind, closing the door and walking away.
No meant accepting the will of the Lord they believe in with everything in their being.
To watch this glorious journey of faith become a game of control and power to a man who had both firmly on his side was heartbreaking. I reached out to her in that time, trying to be there, to be a friend, to lend my shoulder. In the end, as always, it was she who comforted me. Her words to me that day were "He is either on the throne or He isn't. I believe He is. I need to wait and listen for His guidance."
I was screaming blindly into the night, and she, who had had this horrible injustice thrown at her...was quietly waiting for guidance from the God she loved. They did walk away from that child, but they will probably never stop parenting her, in their hearts. We spoke yesterday about another child, a little boy who has become so deep in MY heart that I expect I will always think of him as a little bit mine, even though his new family has gone to collect him. Every new picture, every description of him, and my heart swells and aches all at once. It could have been me. But it wasn't right, for me, for him, for my family. I listened for God, and the answer was no. Like Meredith & Mike, I will carry a little piece of that precious child with me. And I will find joy in the fact that he is going to be the beloved son of someone, out of that place of misery and heartache. LOVED.
When the first adoption fell through, they changed gears. Through all of the pain and hurt, they listened, and finally heard the words in their hearts they had waited for. Go get her. Another child had been on their hearts all along, but practicality and the politics of adoption there meant they had to choose...and together, they chose the child who had already been sent to the Institution, to bring her out, hoping the other child would have a little longer before she, too, was sent away. The other child, a sweet tiny waif of a girl, was named Daria.
To say she was skinny is an understatement. 15 pounds at 4 years old. She was starving to death, untouched and unloved, waiting to die. And God's voice spoke to her parents through all of that grief. "She is meant to be yours. Go get her."
Across the country they went, not knowing what to expect. Grieving one child, terrified for the other. The first child was at least in a place where she was fed and cared for to some degree. This child...this Daria...was a skeleton of a girl. Could she even make the trip? Was her heart defect so bad that she couldn't manage the altitude changes? What would bringing her home mean? Still, they felt led. Meredith had once shared photographs of their biological daughter compared to one of Daria. They could pass for twins. Except one was loved and held and showered with attention. And the other lay quietly year after year in a crib, damaged goods. Little did she know how much her life would change!
The day she posted the pictures, Meredith said:
My heart is consumed for this little girl tonight. She needs some strong arms to protect her, and a strong heart to keep her going. Please say a prayer for little Daria tonight.
The dream changed, the other little girl did not come home, and Daria became Emma Hope. The sadness in her eyes become a sparkle. She was loved. She was treasured. She was home. And God was on the throne.
Initially, they were told Emma's heart was not fixable. That the journey would be short-lived, that she would die...and soon. But a parent's hope and faith "He is either on the throne or He is not" does not let them quit. Yesterday after a persistant chase for an answer Emma could live with, we all got the best news. Emma's heart is fixable, after all. There is hope. And God is on the throne.
In leading them to Daria, He also led them to another child, a baby boy who would be called Micah. Finding him so early meant years of neglect he would be spared. Alone in a room with no other children, his Down syndrome diagnosis determining his fate, he was starving to death physically and emotionally.
But guess what? God is on the throne. Micah's life was saved, scooped up by the mommy & daddy who came for his new sister, carried back the the U.S. the beloved second son of Mike and Meredith Cornish. He would go home in time to reap the benefits of a family and a home during his infancy. God planned a two-fer, and precious Micah is living proof...God is REALLY on the throne.
A Mother's love
A Father's love.
The Father's love.
He is either on the throne or He is not. Obviously, He is.