A few weeks ago I hung some Scriptures on the wall in our bedroom about suffering, including the verse above, Psalm 34:18. Little did I know how much this would comfort me in the days to come, reminding me of God's nearness in my current heart break. Let me explain.
Almost 3 weeks ago, our 14 year old son fell off his motorcycle and badly injured his knee. We couldn't tell what was injured on the inside but he had a nasty wound on his knee that went pretty deep. We were doing our best to care for it but his leg and foot started swelling, even 4 days later, so we decided to go to the capital city to get an orthopedist to look at it. Thankfully there was no infection but he had a small crack in the bone below his knee so he was given a brace over his knee to keep his leg straight and crutches to keep his weight off his leg.
When we packed for Kampala, I went ahead and brought clothes for a week for everyone plus our bag for the baby we're adopting, because the paperwork was done and we knew we could get the call any day to go pick up the child. Every day the wait felt like forever. Then on Friday, our adoption agency asked if they could call us that evening. I knew something big was up. I was hoping it was good news. We were ready. My parents had even come from their town in western Uganda to help with the boys. But the phone call revealed devastating news. The medical report had arrived for the little girl we were hoping to adopt and it showed that she has cerebral palsy and severe mental handicap. We are not approved in our home study for children with special medical needs. And because of where we live, we know we don't have the resources to care for a child with those needs. I really can't find the words to express how it felt to hear that. 1.) because we so badly long for that little girl to be adopted and have a forever family and 2.) because after 11 long months of waiting, staying up late filling out paper work, calling and texting and emailing back and forth with our agency, etc, we were back at square one. We had our suitcase full or little girl clothes, her car seat, and we anticipated returning home to Adjumani with her. Kenzie, the little girl I'd already fallen in love with, prayed for and ached for, didn't get to come home with us.
The drive home to Adjumani on Sunday felt extra long as I spent many of those hours looking out my window, all my thoughts and feelings swirling around. I want to process this and allow myself to grieve but I'm also scared of the downward spiral. I kept going back and forth in my mind - playing through all the reasons I should be sad, disappointed, even angry. But also knowing that we still have hope that God has a child meant for our family. Acknowledging that I have soooo much to be thankful for - a life of fulfillment and purpose, a family I love with all my heart and an incredible community.
So for the time being our baby clothes and toys are packed away. The suitcase I'd packed with everything we might need that first week with our new child is stowed under our bed. Right now I know I'm meant to be ALL HERE for my family and ministry that God has for me in the present. But I can honestly tell you that I KNOW our new family member is coming. God has not closed that door and He has not released Eli and I from the calling to adopt from Uganda.
Well, online school started for Isaac, Evan and Joshua yesterday on August 31. They will do first term of the school year here at home, online, and hopefully will be able to go back to school in Kenya in January. They are missing their friends and all the activities and sports. But this mama is sure enjoying having them home.
So far so good. Eli is busy pushing his Bible students through their program so they can graduate their first group of students by December. I will continue to lead the Bible study for the young women (youth) in our church and disciple the few ladies that God has put in my life.
Life goes on.