There is no question in my mind that we are living a full fledged, only God, bigger than life miracle.
Our youngest daughter, Olivia, was only three months old when God began to really break our hearts for the fatherless. Olivia turned three in August, and the very next month, we brought home BOTH of our girls, against all odds.
Everyone told us we couldn’t do it.
Everyone, that is, except Lifeline.
And in the natural, stepping out in faith to adopt at this point in our lives, with nine biological children, was the craziest thing we had ever done. It even bordered on stupidity by today’s standards.
But here we are at home with our girls, and the girls are thriving.
It hasn’t been without difficulty. We were thrown a couple of curve balls with Evangeline’s bone infection and Eliza’s microcephalus and significant developmental delays, and there were moments when I questioned how we could manage all of this. There were times, in my weakness, I thought to myself, “It wasn’t supposed to be this way.”
There are moments even now when the needs weigh so heavily that all I can do is cry out to God to pick up where I fail, and ask Him to meet the needs for me.
I’ve written before about how our feelings just don’t matter when we are following God’s call. We will never know pure joy and fulfillment when we try to create it for ourselves. It is only in giving our lives away to Jesus that we can ever know true joy.
The only thing that matters is the reckless abandon of our own feelings and desires and a focused deliberate obedience to God’s call in our lives.
As Mark and I have chosen over and over again to walk the high road, to continue on this path God has chosen for us, we have been blown away by God’s wisdom and grace, and by His incredible goodness to us.
I couldn’t ask for the girls to be doing any better than they are.
I am just amazed at the ease of their transitions.
Evangeline has bonded so quickly and intensely to us that I am in awe. She climbs on my lap and allows me to rock her. She nestles into my chest and drifts off to sleep as if I had parented her since infancy. She is an incredibly attached child. If I correct her, she responds just like an attached child would.
She has developed a close relationship with her sisters. In every way, she is one of the girls.
There is no question in my mind that God intended for Evangeline to be here in our family, and He moved every mountain to get her here.
Eliza’s adjustment has not been quite as easy, but looking back, I can see God’s hand at work in placing her in our family. And it certainly has not been a difficult attachment considering she is fourteen and spent her entire life in an orphanage.
She could not be more attached to her daddy if he had adopted her as a baby. She just loves him. And as time has progressed, Eliza is really attaching to me too.
I called home today from CHOP, and Eliza answered the phone. It was such a precious moment. There were so few words we could use, but she named each child that was home and said, “Okay.”
She was telling me they were all okay.
Then, before she handed the phone off to Victoria, she said, “Mama, I love you.”
Yes, she did.
The past few days I have been acutely aware of how happy Eliza is here in her home. She loves her brothers and sisters. She loves the dogs and the cat. She loves her room. She loves being a big sister, and a little sister.
She loves her life here.
Her face just radiates pure joy so much of the time. I could share precious story after story of how she is bonding with all of us, but sleep is calling rather loudly at the moment, and we have to go back to CHOP in the morning.
I think back over the years as we have trusted God to decide our family size. I remember the faith it took to trust Him through the leaner years, and now I am just amazed at how this family, our family, seems to be a most fertile soil for our girls to blossom in.
Evangeline and Eliza were meant to be here.
We were meant to love them.
They really have come home.