“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Our journey on this side of the looking-glass nears the portal that will propel us into another season. The end of one chapter segues into the beginning of another.
The stage grows dim, the curtain falls. Our hearts swell with anticipation as we await the “next act”. Fifteen months have passed since God opened our eyes to the very real possibility of adoption. Fifteen months of Kelel and Senait living in an Ethiopian orphanage, half a world away. My goodness! If I have a mind swirling with a thousand questions, they must have ten-thousand more.
Over these past 15 months we have learned bits and pieces of their story while contributing virtually nothing of ours. Their understanding is relegated to snap shots of a brother and a sister and a home they will soon call their own. The promise of family resides in a photo taped to a concrete wall in the ‘home’ they have come to know. A photo hand delivered by gracious “strangers” arriving to meet their sweet baby who will soon reside in China.
This week marks the next great adventure for our family. Traveling to Africa as a family of four, returning as a team of six – bursting with color and flavor of all kinds! These past fifteen months encapsulate a journey penned by our Father God. An astounding story best told in a fireside chat over a peppermint mocha or two. Rest assured His hand is ever-present, unearthing glimpses of a greater story than we could ever begin to script ourselves.
God orchestrated one such gem just nine days ago. My cousin and his wife were in Addis Ababa finalizing the adoption of their new African princess, Hadi Genet! She is an absolute doll, but I digress… After five months of waiting between court and embassy, they finally got the green light to finalize their adoption at the US Embassy on November 17th. Just moments after hearing the great news of their impending travel, the embassy emailed us word they had scheduled a birth mother interview for our adoption. For all intents and purposes this would likely be the final step for us as well! As I hastily scanned the email, the date of the scheduled interview stopped me in my tracks. November 17th! Could it be?
I woke early that morning, the sun still hidden by the darkness of night. I couldn’t help clicking on my email just to see if there would possibly be any news from across the sea. Lo and behold, these were the words I received from my cousin’s dear wife:
“Right now we are at the Embassy and your sweet birth mother is sitting behind me as I type. We have been praying all day for her. The driver came by to pick us up for our Embassy appointment. We got in the car and they said they had one more stop. We would be picking up a birth mother. We instantly knew it was her. She is beautiful beyond words. Looks just like her picture. My eyes got teary as she got into the car with us and sat next to me. We are still in awe. We said Kelel and Senait’s names and she smiled. Our guide explained the ‘cousin’ relation between Hadi and Kelel and Senait and she smiled… We are waiting for her to go in for her interview… she seems very peaceful. Talk to you soon.”
A prayer for peace answered in real-time. Believe me those prayers keep coming. I would be lying if I said our hearts don’t flutter with anxious anticipation over this upcoming transition. But, I will become prey to the father of lies if I choose to stay in that anxious state. We continually surrender our hearts and our minds on this journey into unchartered waters. We see Jesus walking towards us on the water, beckoning us to get out of the boat.
Comfort abounds on this side of the looking-glass. The “known” is a strong and ever-present force of nature, like gravity, holding us close. But God’s heart beats even louder as we attempt to sync our rhythm with His. These faces, crafted by His hand, open our hearts to new possibilities…
On the outset of this journey, my good friend (another adoptive Mom!) made me a CD of songs upon which I might meditate as I asked God to grant discernment of vision. Unfortunately, I never got past the first track! (No doubt there was ulterior motive here 🙂 )This song captured my heart and would not let me go. I am transfixed by its lyrics and often find it at the forefront of my mind as God continues to beckon us out of the boat, to walk on the water with Him.
Take a listen… But, be forewarned: You just might find yourself journeying towards the other side of the looking-glass. 🙂