Saturday, January 30, 2010

Exactly one year ago tonight, our lives changed forever. It was a normal day, getting home from school, making dinner, putting Aiden and Alyson to bed, looking over what we still needed to get finished for our adoption homestudy. There was no anticipation, no expectation that this was THE night. I sat down in front of the computer to look something up in our agency's handbook, and thought, "I'll just take a quick look at the Waiting Child page." I typed in the password, scanned for any new postings, and gasped. Seriously, my breath was taken away. I was staring into the deep, soulful, glorious dark brown eyes of my new daughter. I knew it, I truly did. I stared, and I stared, and I stared. I cried. I tried to talk myself out of it. I cried some more. I tried to get up the nerve to go tell Matt about her. All the while, he thinks I'm just goofing around on the computer. :)

Around Christmas of '08, I'd had a dream. It was time for us to go pick up our little baby boy from Ethiopia. Matt couldn't go-he was staying home with Aiden and Alyson. I headed over to Ethiopia with my Dad and step-mom. We got to the orphanage. We were ushered into a room. I sat down on a chair and waited for my baby boy. Finally, the door opened and in walked the nanny. She carried this two year old little girl in, and placed her on my lap. This two year old little girl in a frilly light blue dress, with deep, soulful, glorious dark brown eyes. I tried to tell them this was not the baby of ours. But, they assured me over and over that it indeed was. And, when I saw that picture just a few short weeks later, I knew they were right. Now, I'm not going to say it was really HER in my dream, necessarily. But, I will forever attest that they were HER eyes. I knew those eyes before I saw that picture on my computer screen!

Finally, I got up the nerve to walk into the living room. I don't really remember what exactly I said to Matt-something like, "So, uh, I was just kind of looking around and just happened upon this picture of this little girl, and, I wonder if maybe we should just maybe, uh... ask our agency for some more information?????"

Needless to say, he said, "OK." There were probably other words involved, but that was all I really needed to hear. The next thing I remember is running through the hallway at the end of the school day the next week to see more pictures on our email, when I found out they'd sent her information. Thus began the year that taught me more than I've ever learned in any year of my life. Things like God's provision, patience, the resilience of children, peace, the beauty that is Ethiopia, that we're not the only ones out there crazy enough to go on this adventure, doubt (and its resolution), more scripture memorized than in several years before. One, in particular, that strikes me right now after spending a few fun and amazing hours alone with this sweet baby girl from the other side of the world: God sets the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6). As I hear that verse in my heart, and remember her belly laughs and ear to ear grins this evening, I know that God definitely does that, indeed. But, before one year ago tonight, I had no idea how lonely WE were without her, and I'm so thankful God saw fit to set her into OUR family.