Let me tell you, it's not easy to pick one. Picking one child means leaving all the rest behind. We spent months looking at the Reece's Rainbow website, as well as other waiting child photolistings, while we prayed, pondered, talked late into the night over and over again, got our finances in order, studied God's word, and waited for circumstances in our life to align just right. During that time we fell in love with so many little ones. How can you not love each and every one of them? They are cute. They are full of potential. They are hopeful. They are waiting. They are so so needy. And most of all, God says to love them. So we do.
But at this point, we had to pick a child. Well, many kids caught our attention, and I printed out their photos and prayed over them daily. (Some of those are the children I advocate for on this blog.) But we waited on the Lord, and prayed for clarity, and He showed us one particular little boy.
God used another lovely family, a family who was adopting from the same orphanage and happened to see this little boy there. In the midst of the excitement and busyness and challenges of their own adoption, God nudged them to notice another little one who was still waiting. He was not the orphanage favorite. He was not right in the middle of everything. In fact, most of the time he lay in his crib, sad and lonely. And when he was allowed out, he was not treated very well by the orphanage workers. He was a lost little boy, stuck in a crib. That family took pictures of him. They came home and talked about him. Their sweet twelve-year-old daughter wrote about him. They did not forget what the Lord had laid upon their hearts. And Derek and I saw those pictures. We read those few details that were available about this little one. We read about what his life was like in Orphanage 9. And we knew. "This is your son," the Lord told us. We just knew. We could not turn away from this darling little boy. It was love at first sight.
So why Gideon? Because he is the one that the Lord has chosen to bless us with. And we are already so in love with him. If that family had not advocated for sweet Gideon (who is known by the name Eddie on the Reece's Rainbow website, although that is not actually his name), then we wonder if we would have noticed him. Before the new pictures were taken, this was his profile photo:
Sad sad little guy. But would we have noticed him in a sea of waiting children? Would we have been brave enough to say yes to this face? It is seriously just not the most flattering picture. And neither is this:
I hope that we would have, but the new pictures:
certainly helped! There is no mistaking the spark of life in that glowing little boy!
And speaking of what helped us to make our decision, there was also the issue of finances. I felt the call to adopt burning in my heart, and every day that went by that I was not following this call, I felt like I was disobeying God. I saw the need. I heard the call. But the money. Wow. We just don't have $25,000. And Derek is the money guy. He's the guy that has to have all the numbers lined up in the columns in his little blue book. He has charts and lists and plans for budgeting our money. The money. That's where he got stuck. He was in total agreement that we should adopt, but he kept saying, "Maybe in two years we can have enough saved up." He made charts to show me how long it would take. Ugh. Two years? There are kids who need a mommy and daddy right now! God said to do this! Are we really going to let MONEY get in the way of this? Have some faith!
But Derek really worried. REALLY worried. I'm talking about still being up at 5 am with worry. Night after night. He's the sole provider for this family. He's the breadwinner. He's responsible for making sure we all have everything we need, all the time. The stress of worrying if he was going to run us into financial ruin was a heavy burden for him. He was just stuck on the money issue. He figured we could come up with a few thousand, but not twenty five thousand! One day Derek said, "The only way we are going to be able to do this any sooner than two years from now is if God just comes up with about fifteen or twenty thousand dollars for us to use." He was being sarcastic, of course. God doesn't write checks.
Or does he? Just days after that comment was the day we saw Gideon's photos. The day that God said, "This is your son." And next to Gideon's picture do you know what was written? It said, $16136.50 is available towards the cost of my adoption! How's that for a confirmation? God is the provider, the giver of all good things. And God pointed us to our son and provided Derek with just what he needed to make the leap of faith. Oh, our God is so good! That generous grant will be available for us to use to pay for our airline tickets, facilitator fees while we are in country, to pay for Gideon's passport, visa, medical exam, and his airline ticket home. What a blessing that grant is for us! And we do not know who exactly the Lord worked through to provide that grant. We do know that there are people who love our little guy very much, and they listened to the Lord and obeyed. I pray that He blesses them richly and mightily. For their obedience one more little child will be rescued.
God is orchestrating a beautiful thing. He created this child. He has sustained this child and been his Strength for five long years while the child has waited. He has brought together the funds to provide him a generous grant, because he knew that Derek would get stuck otherwise. He put the burning desire to adopt in our hearts, and He brought Gideon to our attention at just the right time. He has done all of this, because he loves Gideon so much! He cherishes him. This is God's rescue plan for him. And we are so very blessed to be a part of God's plan!
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.