We had an email conversation with one of our blog friends last July. We were very down because we had already been on the waitlist for three months and were #1 on the list for a toddler girl for most of that time. In our frustration, it seemed as though nothing was happening. We were quickly approaching the Ethiopian rainy season when the courts would be closed for most of the months of August and September. It was that feeling of wanting things to happen, and wanting to make things happen, but having no ability to bring about a referral.
So we emailed a blog friend whom we knew had just come back from Ethiopia with her little boy. We asked her how many toddlers were at Hannah's Hope (our Agency's transition home) in Addis Ababa. We also asked about the Ethiopian orphanage Bethzatha - the place where many of the Hannah's Hope children come from. She mentioned that there were not many toddlers at Hannah's Hope but that there were many toddlers at Bethzatha. She mentioned a number of other informational details, but then left us with a far more important urging.
She said the most important thing for you to do right now is to pray EVERY (she used all caps) day for your little girl. Pray for the circumstance that she is coming from, the plan that God is working in her life, the path that she is being led through to get to you. Pray for the many details that need to be orchestrated to bring her to you.
Now prayer is one of those complicated, simple things. God is sovereign over all. Psalm 115 says, "Our God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases." So if He is able to do all things apart from us, what's our purpose in prayer? I don't have a great answer. Other than, He works through the prayers of His people. Not because He needs His people's prayers, but because it causes our eyes to turn toward Him and realize our utter hopelessness apart from Him. It is in prayer that we realize how empty and completely dependent we are upon Him for even the breath that we breathe, for even our very next heartbeat.
So we started praying every day for our little girl. For the story that God was weaving in her life. Not knowing who she was, what her situation was, where she was coming from, or when we would get her referral.
As I sat yesterday and prayed for our Peaches, I began to think about that email and wondering what the date of it was. I looked back and found that the date was 7/18/10. When we received Peaches' referral paperwork, it included many medical and legal court documents. So I looked through those documents and specifically looked at the dates. The very first court document is the legal proceeding when Peaches' mom appeared in court to testify that Peaches' father had died and that she was unable to care for her little girl. She was relinquishing her rights as a mom and turning her daughter over to the Ethiopian orphanage system. I can't imagine the pain she must have felt as she testified and gave up her daughter. The court documents also include the testimony of two witnesses that appeared that day to also testify that Peaches' father had died and that her mother was unable to care for her little girl.
Well, that court hearing happened on 7/19/10. The day after the email exchange we had with our blog friend. The day after she urged us to pray for our girl EVERY day. As we felt uneasy about things, we had emailed a blog friend in Georgia whom we had never met. At the Spirit's urging she shared with us our daughter's need for prayer. At that very time, a mother was contemplating a court hearing the next day where she would have to relinquish her little girl. The email exchange ended on the night of 7/18/10, very late. With the time change, it would have been around 9:00 am on 7/19/10 in Gambela, Ethiopia. It is possible that that is when Peaches' mom was appearing in court. There was a great spiritual battle raging, and God was at work.
God works many miracles. He does things every day that we will never know or understand. He weaves the stories of lives together with unimaginable wisdom so that His glory will be displayed for all the world to see. We are continually blown away by the details that God orchestrates through our adoption. And not just our adoption, but how He works continually in the many other details of our lives and the lives of those around us.
So through the uneasy feeling that we had on that day, we emailed a friend in Georgia whom we had never met. She had no idea what our little girl's situation was, but urged us to pray for her EVERY day. And at that moment, God was beginning our daughter's story to bring her to us.
God was working. We weren't aware of it at the time, but God was working. He is always working. He is working right now. He is working in our lives. He is working in your life. What are you praying for? How is He using prayer in your life right now?