Its been almost 4 years ago since sweet Eliana joined our family. I had no idea of all that was coming - but the name we chose for her might have been foretelling. Her name means "My God answers with Joy". I didn't see the answer to my many prayers for her right away, but God has opened my eyes and caused me to see things differently. He took me through much pain and heartache during her rocky first year, but also gave abundant love, laughter and joy in order to mold and shape me in new ways. To help me to understand His heart a little better. To change my focus and priorities. To live life with fewer worries and greater peace. (Now, not that I've *learned* this and do it all well - it's a process!)
In 2007, as Eliana neared her first birthday, we became involved with Reece's Rainbow. We gave money to sponsor a child on the Angel Tree as a gift to some of our family. Little did I know of what was to come. I watched as some of the children got families, but many more were still waiting. In 2008, we chose another child to sponsor. We chose a child with no money in her fund. Someone that had not yet captured the hearts of her parents to be. We chose "Tonya".
Rebecca started our fundraising by choosing to have all of her birthday presents that year be gift money given to Tonya. We continued our tradition of giving to Reece's Rainbow in lieu of gifts for family. The more we prayed for Tonya, the more our hearts grew to love her. As her 4th birthday started coming closer, I began to panic. I wanted her to have a family so badly. I cried for her and prayed for her and pleaded for God to find her a family.
By the Fall of 2009, there was still no family for Tonya and we chose again to sponsor her for Christmas, though in reality, we had never stopped. There is a long story in the midst of this that I'm not going to go into (but can point you to a post if you want the details). In December 2009, a family came forward for Tonya. I began writing to the Mom and she has become a sweet friend. Once again, God's answer wasn't exactly what I had planned, but as time went on, I came to understand that His plan was best.
On September 17th, Tonya came home to be with her forever family. Thank you God!!! (This still brings tears to my eyes!) I'd love for you to meet Totiana.
Isn't she just beautiful?
Oh I look forward to the day when I can give her a big hug!
She also came home with a precious little sister - Adalyn.
Could she be any cuter?!!!
I'm so grateful that God's plans for these beautiful girls was to join a wonderful family! I'm so thankful for my sweet friend Nicole and her dh and their willingness to follow God's plan for their family. I'm thankful too that I'm able to be her friend. I'm thankful for the many pictures I've gotten of these two gorgeous girls. I'm thankful for the opportunity to continue to pray for them. I'm also really hoping that one day we'll all be able to meet in real life!
I still have prayers though that are waiting to be answered. Sometimes God's timing can seem so slow, can't it? Its only in hindsight that we can see that He is never late. Sometimes we are even treated to seeing the "why" in difficult times to see that God has had us in His hands the whole time and that what we thought was for our harm was really a blessing in disguise.
This prayer isn't exactly new though. It's just one waiting to be answered. Would you join me in praying? Meet Anya.
Last year we sponsored a fundraiser for Anya. She is still waiting. Waiting for someone to bring her home. She is getting close to her 4th birthday. Her birthday is just 2 days before Eliana's. She is just a tiny little girl waiting for someone to hug her, put bows in her hair, kiss her sweet face and call her their own.
I've started a chip-in if you would like to donate to helping raise money for Anya's fund. For many families, money is a huge barrier standing in the way of adoption. I'd love to take this obstacle away - or at least make a dent in it! If you contribute $35, you will receive an ornament with a photo of Anya on it. This would make a great gift too! You can pay via paypal through the chip-in in my sidebar which is completely tax deductible. You can also send a check if you prefer.
I know this is a tough subject. I know it is uncomfortable. I also know it is a huge blessing to care for those that God loves so dearly. I'd love to have you join me. There are many more children on the Reece's Rainbow site if you want to visit and see more adorable children. I know God has a plan for these little ones and my heart's desire is that each will be placed in a loving family.
Thank you for reading this far. Please join me in praying.