We truly are a family redefined. We are husband, wife, son, daughter, step children, biological and adopted children and most importantly, Children of God.

A friend pointed out that I needed to update my blog header. After our adoption from Ethiopia, I had updated it stating how the adoption of Sara Joy completed our family. Well... the journey continues. After much prayer, we have decided to follow what we feel is God's calling for us...we went to Ghana with the intention of adopting a four year old girl, Isabella Hope. Little did we know that she would be the catalyst to bringing home not only her, but her half brother and sister. We will now be adding not only Isabella Hope to our family, but also Mary Grace (9) and Gilbert (6) who we will transition to the name Nathaniel Timothy. The shock is wearing off and the JOY and EXCITEMENT are overwhelming. Now truly, our family is complete. The great part of journeying with God, is that it's always an adventure. He knows where we are going, and for us it is all a marvelous surprise. Looking forward to sharing our family adventures as we walk daily through life and as we venture off to Ghana to bring home Mary, Nate and Isabella! It's always an adventure redefining our family!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

For A Time Such As This - Part 1

Wow!  It has been quite some time since I updated this blog.  Not because there hasn't been much going on - but because there has been a LOT going on.  We've been busy.  There have been things going on on the adoption front, but not much movement - until this week.  I'm going to share all about that later, but for right now I have to share a story.  

I've been told many times that I should write a book.  I was told that long before we started our adoptions.  It's more than adoption, it's about God.  It's about His walk with me through becoming a Christian, dealing with blindness, adopting, marriage.... all of these things.  God has shown Himself in so many ways through all of these things.  The biggest "theme" in my life has been the people He has placed around me *For a time such as this*.  No matter what that "time" was, God has used people and used them profoundly around me.  There are times when I didn't even realize why or how He would use them.... and then BAM!!!  They show up back in my life "for a time such as this".  I'm going to tell you one of those stories.

I'm sure you all remember my last trip to Ghana.  It was in August.  I don't remember if I shared it on here, but I know I shared it on Facebook how my luggage got lost... for FOUR days.  Anyway, God used that luggage experience in two profound ways.  One way I will not share here, at least not now, but let's just say it removed people from harms way.  Literally.  How he used that luggage experience became clear to me right after I left Ghana.  There was no mistaking it.  AND, it had to be lost for four days.  Any time shorter and the protection it provided would not have been there.  Only God.

Well, the second God-thing happened Saturday night in the airport in Ghana.  We had arrived on  Thursday night, went back to the airport on Friday - no luggage.  Went back to the airport on Saturday - no luggage.  At this point, I broke down.  I had to have my luggage in order to take the trip to Kwahu where my children were.  It is HOURS away from Accra which is where the airport is and where we were staying.  I begged and pleaded with God to make the luggage arrive that day, but it was not happening.  At this point we had to make a decision, either head to Kwahu without our luggage (not a good choice as everything we had for our kids was in our luggage, and we only had minimal stuff for ourselves), or call Kwahu and ask that the children be brought to Accra - which is what ended up happening.

Anyway, we waited in the airport for the flight to come in from London.  As we sat, I noticed a family that looked to be an adoptive family.  They were caucasian and they had two Ghanaian children with them.  They were sitting in a waiting area.  Cameron and I had some time to kill while waiting for the flight to arrive that "might" have our luggage, so we found a seat in the waiting area as well.  We ended up striking up a conversation with this family.  The lady's name was Stacey.  She was there at the airport waiting for one of her older children to arrive in Ghana from the US.  She was spending an extended time in  Ghana as she and her husband were working to build a home for children in Ghana and also were staying throughout the process to adopt their two little girls.  

We talked for awhile while we waited for the plane.  We got to know a little bit about one another.  In the meantime, our driver, who apparently had to leave to take another family to the hotel, left.  When the flight arrived we waited some more.  NOTHING and I do mean NOTHING happens in a timely fashion in Ghana.  The "lost" luggage was to be brought to a little room downstairs in the airport.  This was where were sitting.  We waited awhile and went over to the counter.  We were sadly informed that no, our luggage had not arrived (again) and not only that, but they didn't know when it would arrive.  It was truthfully lost.

I broke down.  I was so tired of wearing clothes to bed.  I was so tired of not shaving my legs (I know.. .too much information).  I was tired of having NOTHING to give my kids.  I was tired of driving back and forth to the airport at a late hour.  I couldn't help it.  I broke down in tears.

Stacey came over and asked me if I was ok.  I told her the situation with our luggage and she offered me so much help.  She gave me her number.  She gave me directions to places I could find necessities while we waited for our luggage to arrive.  She gave me information for a cheaper place to stay, as we were only supposed to stay at our hotel for one night before leaving for Kwahu.  She offered me anything she could.  

After finding our driver, we parted ways with Stacey and her family.  I found her on Facebook and sent her a friend request.  That was pretty much the end of that. 

Fast forward 2 1/2 months.  I found myself in the middle of a mini-crisis last week.  Ok, it was a HUGE crisis.... there were some serious implications to what was going on.  Without going into detail with regard to the issue, I needed people to pray.  A meeting was being held on Monday (this past Monday) that could change the course of our adoption.  I begged for prayer.  People answered.

After the meeting on Monday, it then became critical that I get my three kids' passports.  Our visa exit interview was scheduled for less than a week away (it's happening in just three days) and it could not happen without those passports.

Enter Stacey into the picture.  I got a message on FB from a "Stacey". Now remember, Stacey and I had only met in an airport and only talked for a couple of hours and then we had no further contact.  I didn't remember her last name.   I'm also going to tell you, that in the adoption community, it's not uncommon for a strange to help another "adoptive" stranger. You don't have to be "friends" you just do what you can do for one another, when you can do it.

So, I got a message from a Stacey asking if she could go to the passport office for me on Wednesday.  She would be there trying to obtain one of her daughters' passports and she would like to do what she could to assist with ours.  I gladly accepted.  I didn't know who this "Stacey" was, but I was  so thankful for her help.  She asked for our kids names and dates of birth - heck, I probably would have given her our social security and bank account numbers if she said she needed those... I just felt I could trust her.

I was telling my son and husband about this "Stacey" that had volunteered to sit at the passport office all day if necessary to obtain our passports.  One of them asked who Stacey was.  I simply said - I don't know. She's adopting.  I don't care.  She is willing to help.  Cameron said "Mom, isn't that the lady from the airport".  No... I don't think so.  

So, Stacey had sent me a facebook message asking for a bit more information.  I responded to her and said - by the way, do you happen to be the lady that we met at the airport?  Are you THAT person?  She responded with yes, she was THAT Stacey.  I was floored.  Really I was.  I don't know how Cameron remembered that, but I'm so glad he did.  I would have continued on like this woman was a stranger, and while I don't know her all that well, she is far from a stranger!

She found out so much information for us on Wednesday.  I'm so thankful she was there for us.  She was not able to obtain the passports for us, but she was able to provide me with some much needed information.  Today (Thursday) we still do not have the passports, but I'm hopeful that they will print tomorrow.  Stacey actually has plans to be back at the passport office tomorrow because her daughter's passport is scheduled to print.  Imagine that timing... only God.  So, she is going to the passport office at 8 AM tomorrow morning and will then call me with an update on our passports!  

Standing in the airport in Accra, I NEVER thought in a million years that I would hear from Stacey again.  I felt like her brief time in my life was meant just for that day and time at the airport, to keep me calm and level-headed during a very stressful time.  I love God's plans though.  He connected our lives I think more for THIS time in our lives than  THAT one.  Amazing!  

Stacey, if you read this - thank you from the bottom of my heart for all you are doing for us to help us get our kids home!  You have been truly God-sent!  You are my first "For A Time Such as This" story.  To anyone who thinks this is a "coincidence" or just luck, or a stranger just helping out... I'm not even going to try to convince you about how truly wrong you are.  God placed her in my life for just this very time.  For A Time Such As This!  I'm sure of it.  

Praying for a positive update tomorrow with news on how our adoption is moving forward!

In Christ,