We are revoking the committals for both girls and Josie and I are headed home next week. Let me cover the responses we have already heard so that no one feels the need to say them. Then I'll explain why.
1. "But you're so close!"
2. "But it will ruin their lives!"
3. "But Jesus never leaves his children orphaned!"
4. "But you can't. It's wrong."
5. "But you'll never forgive yourselves!"
6. "I'll bet you guys will never adopt again, huh?"
Please know that right now our hearts are broken, yet the Lord has granted us peace and unity in our deicision. It doesn't mean it's easy...it doesn't mean that any options on the table were completely right or wrong. This simply is the way that this story is playing out thanks to the ever merciful and good hand of God himself. There is the possiblity that even after the 7.5 months I have spent here moving house to house away from my husband, family, friends, and church back home, that something could still work out. "Just wait one more week On more day. One more month." Those phrases are passed out like bubblegum here in Zambia. I guess what it has come down to for us is a final loss of trust with those working in the adoption system here.
Whether intentional or just by way of being sloppy at their jobs, those in authority have failed us miserably and we are not willing to keep our family apart indefinately to see how the future "ifs" play out here. So I'll answer the above questions as kindly as I can.
1. "Close" has been an extremely subjective term over here. In reality this adoption could be completed in July 2012 or it could be 2013 sometime. When I started out thinking I was leaving in February, I don't have a good category to place the word "close" in right now.
2. I don't presume to know whether Evolet and Keira's lives will be ruined or not. The Lord placed me here for a purpose and more and more I am believing that it was only to touch their lives for a short time. I don't regret that and I hope they remember what they've been taught. I believe the Lord will raise up families for them. His plans are better than ours.
3. Jesus does not leave his children orphaned. I would not leave my children orphaned either and even though in practice they were my children for a short while, legally they never were. If so I would be leaving the country with them and there would be no problem. The analogy only goes so far. The same Jesus who never leaves us also has the power to orchestrate the universe. I don't.
4. I have prayed and prayed and prayed for the answer to this question. Is it right or is it wrong? The Bible says to care for orphans, but he also promises to be their father. I crossed an ocean to do that and in the end it feels that the Lord is saying "thank you. Now it is time to move on." I truly don't feel that in this situation it is wrong to leave them in the hands of the Lord.
5. I will forgive myself because I don't feel that I've done anything wrong. When the Lord placed the desire of adoption on our hearts we followed. We obeyed. We suffered for love--both for our Lord and the orphan. Now I feel that the Lord has placed it on my heart to leave and simply trust him to provide for these children. I know it doesn't make sense. I've been on knees praying for clarity this past week and somehow I just know that leaving doesn't mean giving up. It means that my time with them is up. The Lord had me here for a purpose and I've fulfilled it. It's time to get back to filling my role as a wife.
6. This question is like asking a woman who has just travailed in childbirth when baby #2 is coming. It simply isn't a good question to ask right now. My answer is "absolutely not." But I would never agree to say "never". My reason is simple: I don't know what the Lord will ask me to do next. If he impresses that on our hearts again...we will follow in obedience--hopefully guarding our hearts as well as the children's hearts a little more.
I'm thankful. I'm thankful for the experience I had even though I'm coming back with the same number of children I left with. The Lord has taught me so much about himself and this part of the world. I go home with no regrets and no worries. That doesn't mean that I'll return with no scars or no pain or longing for the children I've left behind. Please be understanding. Please be supportive and encouraging to our family. Lift us up in prayer and hold us close in your hearts. There will be alot of adjusting back to American life for Josie and I.
Providentally, the pastor's message this morning was on Acts 14:22. He spoke much about hardship and the ways that they serve to strengthen our faith. Paul said "Through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." BUT Praise the Lord:
"He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds." -Psalm 147:3