Thursday, December 24, 2009

We have some very good news to share with the Good News of Christmas. It’s wonderful to me that part of the Nativity is an adoption story. I want to make Joseph the patron saint of Adoption, because his story illustrates the way that welcoming someone who is not your flesh and blood into the hearth-circle of your family is a miracle of grace.

“Do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:20-21).

We are in the process of adopting Bernadette from the little children’s home. She and Mae, her closest friend from tlc who will be going to the United States in the new year with her forever family—the two of them moved into our home on the 19th. Mae will be here just until her family are able to come pick her up, but Bernadette is here to stay.

She has always been dear to us. She came into the little children’s home when she was a year and a half old and she’s been at tlc for a year. We were in the process of adopting her out in the normal process when we realized that the Lord had something very different in store for her.

During the matching process, a problem came up with her paper work and the social worker at Inter-Country Adoption asked Deborah almost offhandedly, “Why don’t you just adopt her?”

Deborah had been holding things together to do her job until that moment—and she burst into tears. Our hearts have been telling us something for a long time.

Deborah and I were in near- miraculous- immediate agreement about it, but we had no real idea how the boys would feel about it. So one night Deborah put the question to them pseudo- hypo- thetically, “What would you guys think about adopting someone from the little children’s home?”

Simultaneously Aubrey and Auden said, “Yes; we should adopt Bernadette.”

One more story that tells the condition of our hearts toward Bernadette came in the form of a significant set-back. It’s common practice that once the paper work is in process, families can get visas for international travel together even before the adoption is finalized. We had enquired about this very early on because Deborah’s sister, Mary, is getting married next summer and the last time I’ve seen most of my family was in 2006. I’ve felt for a long time already that this is too long, and the boys are very much looking forward to a camping trip in Canada with grandparents and cousins. However, a couple weeks ago now we were told that the policy on travel is changing and they will not grant visas until things are completed. It could easily be a year or two—meaning we would miss Mary’s wedding and the boys’ camping trip.

We talked about it together as a family because this is something we all care about very much and Aubrey said, “Well, if we adopt Bernadette, that’s for the rest of her life; if we go to North America, that’s only for a few months.”

It’s taken near- traumatic events (and the wisdom of an eight-year-old) for us to see what the Lord is telling us. Of course, the we still have most of the process ahead of us and many obstacles to overcome, but our course is committed.

The girls are doing very, very well—and the boys have been consum- mate kuyas (older brothers). Aubrey’s been offering to help with dishes at night, and Auden (though he’s actually been quite ill) has shared his mom amazingly well. The girls are a lot of work, but we all feel like this is the most amazing Christmas present possible.

If you will, please pray for our travel plans. At this point it would take a miracle to make it home next summer, but we’ve seen God move greater obstacles that this.