The last time I posted was in January! And here we are already cruising through April - I can hardly believe it! I have wanted to update our blog so many times over the last month because there has been so much happening and God has led us down some very twisty roads that we never could have imagined He would. And I know so many of you would love to know more about it. I just haven't been able to find the words. It's been hard. More hard than I thought it would be.
So let me back up. In January, we focused the month on praying over our future and where we would return once the time came for us to go back to the mission field. July/August is fast approaching and that is the target time that we would like to be heading back to ministry with South Sudanese on the African continent.
February was Mission Month at our church so we had a lot going on and in the midst of preparing sermons and presentations we got the call we've been waiting for all year - an expectant mama wanted to place her baby boy who was due in a week for adoption - and she chose us! It was a crazy few days as Eli and I prepared to drive to Kentucky where the baby would be born. On March 1, a beautiful little boy was born and we got to hold him and name him when he was only hours old. He had to be in the NICU for almost 2 weeks due to some health issues and we got to stay with him day and night, rocking, feeding, and loving on this precious baby that we fell in love with instantly. But after 11 days, his mama changed her mind. She decided she wanted to try to get her life back together so she could parent him. We knew he was her son and so all we could do was pray over him, say our goodbyes, and pack up to head home to our three boys in South Carolina.
The next few weeks were a blur of grief and tears. We wrestled with why God had opened doors for us to begin the adoption process this year - only to have this baby taken away. We wondered what to do next. Do we keep hoping for another match or close up our adoption profile since our time was running out? Only 2 weeks later, our same lawyers called us with a new baby - due in only 3 weeks in Philadelphia. We were so totally excited but terrified at the same time. But:
What if this mama changes her mind?
Could we go through another heart breaking loss?
We prayed and believed God was telling us to step out in faith for whatever He had in store. We've now been waiting for about 2 weeks. We have a plan for Eli's parents to come stay with the boys again and Eli and I will head to another state to meet another precious baby. We have no idea what will happen but we are trusting that God has us and this baby in the palm of His hand and HE IS IN CONTROL.
We have also decided that once this adoption situation has resolved - whether we get to bring baby home or not - we need to then set our hearts and minds on our future and what is next for our family on the mission field. Eli wants to travel to Uganda, hopefully by the beginning of May, to scout out several places near the South Sudanese refugee camps. We also need to decide which organization we will be seconded to since SIM doesn't work in Uganda. We will still remain with SIM, but seconded, or working under the "umbrella" of another organization. We are excited about the options in front of us and we believe that God will take care of all the details in His time.
It definitely feels like there are a lot of crazy and intense things going on in our lives right now. I can hardly believe this is the story God is writing for our family! I'm thankful for all that He's taught us and the growth He's allowed to happen not only in Eli and me, but in our boys too.
I'm also very thankful that just this last week we were able to enjoy a week jam packed with special family memories! It was the boys' spring break from school so we asked the boys what things they still really wanted to do while we're in America. That was easy: the beach and camping. So we spent 2 days at the beach in the sun and 3 days camping. Eli and Isaac did a fun 34 mile canoe trip by river along the way with our neighbor and his son.
Tonight as I was tucking the boys into bed, preparing for the beginning of another school week beginning tomorrow I reminded the boys of what a special gift God gave us this week: He filled our tanks with special family moments to fuel us through the rest of this month, whatever it holds!