I can't tell you how long I've dreamed of a different title to a post - "He said YES!". I've hoped, waited and prayed for this for over a year.
Last fall, while looking at the Reece's Rainbow site, Rebecca and I were looking for a little girl to sponsor. One that didn't have much, if any, money in her grant fund and one that needed support and prayers. We chose Tonya.
I loved the picture of this spunky-looking little girl. She was already past 3 years of age and could be sent to an institution to live when she turned 4. I really believed she needed someone to commit to her by Christmas. I began praying for her daily, faithfully.
I should mention that I've been interested in adopting for awhile and especially since we were blessed with Eliana. Even a year ago, I dreamed of adopting a little girl with Down syndrome. I must confess though that I probably wouldn't have picked Tonya because I though I'd like someone younger than Eliana. It's funny what prayer will do to your heart though. The more I prayed for Tonya, the more I began to fall in love with her. I know it must sound silly to some of you reading and I can't explain it. She feels like a daughter of my heart.
Last Christmas I so hoped that my gift might be a "yes" to adopting Tonya. As time passed, I continued to hope, and dream and pray. My prayers began in just wanting a family for her, but as time passed, I also greatly wanted the family to be ours. I can just imagine her here playing with Eliana, sharing toys, crawling up into my lap and just being loved.
Fast forward to this Christmas. There is a family adopting from the orphange in which Tonya lives. They took new photos of her.
This created a great interest in Tonya and much money has been donated to her grant fund. I knew in my heart that her huge grant would cause someone to come forward. I still hoped and prayed it might be us.
Roger has also been praying about this decision for a long while too. This week-end, we really committed to pray. We were both praying and asking for a sign from God to let us know what we should do. I was honestly scared that there would be no sign. I was frustrated that I'd been praying for over a year and He had done nothing! I was afraid of what would happen to my heart if nothing happened.
Over the week-end, we prayed and talked like we haven't done in a long time. It was much needed for our marriage and sweet as well. It was something that happened because of a little girl in a far away country that we have never seen. She was able to do for us something that all of the trials and tribulations we have faced with our children could never do - draw us closer to each other and to God.
On Sunday night, Roger thought we should adopt her. Almost immediatly I became sick and stayed that way through the night and much of the following morning. I felt better by afternoon after talking with a precious friend. We knew we needed to decide quickly if we wanted the decision to be ours. We decided to say yes! I was elated!
I emailed to tell of our decision and we began to talk details. We knew that Roger's age was a few months past the limit of the country's requirements. We'd been told that was something that could be worked around. Then I was asked if I had income and told that was also a requirement. I was devastated. Crushed. Of course, my answer was no, no income. I'm a stay at home mom. Was there anything that could be done? I was told that they would ask the officials in country and get back to us. Another night of many prayers.
I was confused (and in some ways still am). I didn't sleep much and just spent a lot of the night praying. I was also sick again. I begged God that if this was not to be the path for us (adoption) that He would close the door. It seemed an easy thing to me. He could not allow us to have a loophole and we would know what His will was in the matter. It seemed clear.
Again today, many prayers. Many. Early this evening, we heard back. They could work around the requirement! Hope! Is this the sign we had been asking for? I knew that a no would mean that the adoption could never happen. Was this the yes?
Time for more prayer. Asking God for peace, clarity and wisdom. Also asking for Him to give us the same heart. This has been my prayer for so very long. Years. During all of this time of praying, I also came to realize that I had to give my desire for Tonya to God. She is His. He loves her more than I can even fathom.
As we prayed we talked about things from all angles. I know all of the many reasons that we shouldn't adopt.
*We don't have the money - though the large grant would help so much!
*My/our plate is full with the many medical/special needs we are already dealing with.
*It would be hard for some of our family and friends and thus hard for us without their support.
As I prayed though, I was lead to a verse in 2 Timothy, where it states that God does not have a spirit of timidity, but one of love and power. I thought of our fears and wondered if this was truly God cautioning us.
This is a huge decision. A life-altering one. We both wanted to do His will. We both wanted to follow where He was leading. We both wanted peace and to have the same heart. I wish I could say that these prayers were all answered.
As we prayed, I came to think that the door was opened due to the answer we got when it looked so very closed. I know that God would bless us for stepping out in faith to follow. I knew this would test our faith and would teach us much. I was ready to commit.
When I turned and looked at Roger, I knew he was not feeling the same way. He just said "I'm sorry."
We told the children and Rebecca was also deeply saddened. She has been praying for this little girl a lot too. She has a heart much like mine.
I would be lying if I said everything was fine. I'm crushed and heartbroken. For a brief time, we said yes and she was going to be our daughter. I have hoped for this time for so long. Something to be excited about, to look forward to.
I'm thankful that there appears to be another family ready to adopt her. I've prayed for this for a long time. I'm not sure what God is going to do in our lives now. My heart is feeling battered once again. I feel crushed. I'm thankful for the things He has taught me through this beautiful little girl. My heart will never be the same for having prayed for and loved her.
God bless you precious Tonya! I know He loves you so much more than I do and that He has a plan for your life. I'm thankful to have been a part of it.