I cried. One week ago tonight, I stood at the alter. My arms were raised as my tears fell one after the other. I was moved by the presence of the Lord and I was thanking Him for all He has done in the past few weeks. Specifically, in my relationship with Caleb's birthmother. He has given me His love for her. And He allowed me to show her HIS love for her. Truly, there is no better feeling. He joined her into our family. So I was praising Him. I was saying how good He is and how much I love Him. I cried out "USE ME, GOD. USE ME! USE ME again and again. I want to be USED BY YOU!"
Wednesday morning I sat in a church lobby during our Classical Conversations and fed sweet Caleb a bottle. I got a text. Urgent situation: Ethiopian baby boy, 4 months, special needs, need Georgia family NOW. My mind began to race. Who, Lord? Who do I know that could take this boy and make him their son? Better question is: Who do I know that WOULD take this boy and make him their son? I began making phone calls, and networking like many others were doing on his behalf.
Suddenly, I remembered my cry from the night before. I thought, "Surely He isn't meaning us", but I bowed my head and prayed. "Lord, if this is our son, we say yes." Then I began to go over all the reasons why he couldn't possibly really mean us. We have ZERO money left after finalization of Caleb's adoption last month. We don't have an updated home study. My husband will surely say no. I have my hands and heart full. We don't have room in our van for another person. On and on. I have 1000 reasons why any normal person would say no to this boy.
But I'm not normal. I can't say no to God. I just can't. He's the reason that I live. Literally, he saved my life in 2000 when I flipped my car going 70 mph at midnight. He saved my soul when I was 7 and asked Him to be my Jesus. He has given me more blessings in one lifetime than any girl deserves. He holds me when I cry and shows up when I seek after Him in the secret place. He supplies all my needs. He holds the master plan to my life and I can't say no to the only One who knows and holds my future. I don't want to live a life saying no. So I said yes to God and I texted Rich.
My precious husband, and best friend. He loves the Lord and wants to please Him . He's also the more logical of the two of us and I was counting on him to be God's no. I texted him about this baby and he texted back "You know my heart. Seatbelt is on, scared to death, but seatbelt is on!" My heart skipped a beat. I googled Pallister Killian Syndrome. Oh Lord, surely this isn't your plan. He could die. He might not walk, or talk. He has cleft palate. He has a feeding tube. I asked for more information. Our home study isn't current. Oh that's ok, in Georgia you can just complete it before finalization. We have no money. The attorney will wait a month to be paid till we can take a loan from our 401k and is willing to do the adoption for $2500 which is pennies compared to most adoptions! We prayed. I kept asking God for a reason we should not present our profile. The only reason not to was fear. God has closed so many doors to situations like these in the past 2 years for us that I cannot count. He is able.
I am selfish. That is what I have learned in the past 6 days. I want what is easy and fun. I want what God wants but I want it to be sweet and fun and happy. Like Caleb! It's a joy and a pleasure to be his mommy. It is not hard. Really, it's not. My flesh delights in caring for him, and for the other 4 children. But this baby in Atlanta...he will be hard. Caring for him will be a lifelong journey. We would have to give up many things and it will affect all of us, and many more. I found myself face planted to the carpet crying out to God many many hours this week in the middle of the night. Praying for courage to go through these open doors. Praying for a closed door if this was not His plan. BEGGING for grace to get through these agonizing hours of satan torturing me. God has taught me more about Himself in 6 days than in my entire life. He has drawn me closer than ever and lifted me higher. He has united us as a family. We chose to show our adoption profile to the family. At 3am I woke up and checked my email and immediately I saw the word. CHOSEN. Chosen to be a family to a beautiful 4 month old baby boy who may never utter the word Mama. Chosen to love a baby not my own skin color. Chosen to go beyond myself and care for someone else's needs for the rest of my life, or theirs. Chosen to follow my Savior down a path that scares the daylights out of me. Chosen for a greater purpose that is yet to be seen. Chosen for the blessing that God has already named Isaac.
In the wee hours as tears hit my pillow one after another, not out of sorrow, but out of joy in His presence.....I heard the Lord speak. "Because you have faith like Abraham, I have blessed you with Isaac." Oh Lord of my heart, hear my cry and the cry of my family. We will serve you all the days of our lives. We will be used by you for whatever purpose you call us to. We will love Isaac as our son, just as you love me as your daughter. We will care for his every need just as you care for ours. We will trust your heart and your word. We will stand on your promises and receive the blessings you hold in store that we cannot even fathom. Use us Lord. Use us.
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed when God called him to leave home and go to another land that God would give him as his inheritance. He went without knowing where he was going. And even when he reached the land God promised him, he lived there by faith - for he was like a foreigner, living in tents. And so did Isaac and Jacob, who inherited the same promise. Abraham was confidently looking forward to a city with eternal foundations, a city designed and built by God.
Our children are watching and learning to live by faith and not by sight. They will not be harmed. They will inherit our blessing. They are learning, as am I, to work for the Lord with all of our hearts. They are learning to put others before themselves. We are so excited to welcome this precious, beautiful baby boy into our home and our hearts. Please lift us up in prayer. Pray for our transition. Pray for provision of a large van and for all adoption expenses.
My gracious friend started a fundraising site for us this morning and within hours the body of Christ has raised over $1400. I cannot begin to explain the joy in my heart to see each name pop up, knowing you love and support us. Whether it's $5 or $1000.....we are so blessed by your love. Thank you to each of you who has given, and to those who have prayed for us for this past week. Our hands and hearts are overflowing with love, joy and gratitude for the amazing things God is doing. Here is the link if you feel led to give. http://www.youcaring.com/adoption-fundraiser/help-isaac-home/97045
Check out Howell baby #6 !!!!!!!
Isaac Joshua Howell
(we will have him in our arms very soon, maybe next week and yes, he is 100% Ethiopian!)