Maddy fell asleep on me last night. That marks a successful day for Aunt Sissy. My six and a half year old niece mimicked a explanation she’d heard her Mommy, Aunt Sissy and Nana all use when she said “I’m just resting my eyes, Aunt Sissy.” I know what that means. I wondered if that just-reached-59-pounds delight knew that a “rest for her eyes” would save her from having to walk up the stairs to bed. Daddy must have seemed like a better option and I was happy to be the intermediate pillow.
When I was visiting my nieces and nephew last night I was reminded of the “Ebenezer” of sorts that will forever be burned in my brain during this adoption process. I can’t remember exactly when it was, but early on — before we’d decided officially to adopt — I was staying with my sister and playing with her kids right around the time that my brother-in-law, Scott, got home from work. As soon as he heard the garage door open, my nephew Nolan shot his fists in the air as if he’d just won the gold and shouted “Daddy is Home … YES!”
(Now, that could have been an indication that his current playmate — me — wasn’t as exciting as the new alternative but I am choosing to believe the expression was for a greater reason 🙂 ….)
In that second, God broke into my heart. My mind immediately registered that the experience of “Daddy” that Nolan had was one that millions of children across this earth would never know in their lifetime. The security of having an earthly father, for many, was a luxury.
I was not short of information on orphans when that incident occurred. It wasn’t a statistic that put me over the edge or even a convincing argument on adoption from a speaker or pastor. The Spirit of God broke into my heart and at that moment He let me feel His pain for His kids … and their physical lack.
As we wait on the adoption a significant piece, most certainly, is that we just want to be parents. We can’t wait to raise children together. But in the delay, the ache that seems to resound is that same ache I felt watching Nolan squeal for his dad and thinking of all of the children to whom “dad” is only a fuzzy dream. Something has happened to Nate and me in the past few years and bringing our girls home at this point is about more than just addressing our maternal and paternal instincts. I can’t explain it other than God. This thing we can’t shake … this deep heart for LIFE whether it be unborn babies or orphans in Africa … has to be Him.
So, here we are …. praying back to Him the very thing He put in our hearts in the first place.
It’s almost like breathing.