Two years ago next month, a chance to adopt a baby girl was placed in our lap. We weren't ready to adopt, and honestly I wasn't even ready for another baby because Sawyer was just barely over a year old, the thought terrified me. We'd always said if we had another child it would be through adoption, but never seriously looked into it. Some friends of ours were foster parents and had kids in and out of their homes that we got to know... but I couldn't bear to think of doing foster care with all the unknowns.
I kind of have an all or nothing personality and my husband loves to go ALL IN with things... so when this opportunity was presented He was all in, so I cautiously okayed looking into it. It wasn't but a week or two later that we got a very clear no- a no about this adoption and a no about adopting at that time.
To say I was heartbroken is an understatement.
My mind had gone there, adding a baby girl to our crew of boys, I'd gotten excited about the thought of bows and pink. We'd gone through hell and back with some other family things and I had seen this as a way for God to redeem what he'd put us through, finally a reason or a silver lining for the pain.
I took the boys to the park the day we got the "No"... it is a snap shot in my mind I will never forget. I got the kids happy meals and got a salad and they forgot my fork. Of course they did. So I picked at my salad with my fingers while the boys played and I talked to Bryan on the phone.
I was sobbing. Why? Why wouldn't God allow this thing that I saw as a perfect fit for our family? Why the firm no? Why wouldn't he give us this ONE good thing? I think I said all of the above to Bryan through my sobs.
... and Bryan gently said to me, "Jen, if God never did one good thing for us ever again, it would be okay. He sent Jesus to die on the cross for us. If that's all He ever does, that's enough."
And he was right. The pity party I'd been having for myself ended. I sucked it up, forgot that dream and moved on.
Until October, when I got a phone call and God gave us our "Yes". If you know our story, you know that that "yes" was a phone call to go and pick up Remi in Virginia.
I've never heard God more clearly in my life than during that trip. He promised us nothing for the future, but to trust him and bring home this three month old baby girl and love her for as long as he gave her to us.
A lot happened in the 508 days that we had Remi until she was officially ours. A lot that's not mine to share yet but about a month after we got her home and got Arkansas guardianship over her, the state of Virginia ordered us to give her to our friends, and for about six weeks she lived with them and only visited us, my heart was so shattered. I remember going home after court that morning and just sobbing on my bed with Bryan. Why? After a clear yes, why another hurdle? Why another no?
After the six weeks, the state of Virginia and specifically the judge over her case, apologized to us for the misunderstanding and she came back home to us... and then 508 days after the day I flew to Virginia, she became ours forever.
God gave us the "Yes", officially, in March 2020 when we finalized her adoption... We'd gotten the firm "No" in June 2018. The "No" we'd gotten then, the dream I'd seen for our family, that day I had gone to the park and cried, that "No" was also about Remi.
As I sit here and type this, my almost 2 year old daughter is sitting across the counter from me playing with a toy phone. She is happy, healthy and so very loved. God has written the most beautiful story for her, some of which we will be able to share with her one day, and some of which I am glad she'll never know. God brought that dream I'd had, that I thought was gone forever that day in the park, to fruition.
2018 was an incredibly painful year for our family. I still don't know why God didn't allow us to get Remi at birth, but I do know that after so much pain and some of the most heart breaking "No's" of my life, two years later, we got the best "Yes" with her. In the mundane day to day, I forget so much of this and of how far he has brought us. He was so faithful and answered our prayers... He saw us through very very dark days but yet today, I am still so quick to doubt and worry. He gave us this gift, even though he didn't HAVE to. God took all of my "I can't" and "I could never" and said... "Yes, you can, with ME you can". I don't know why we were in limbo for 508 days, but I do know that God closed the door on this chapter on March 10 when the judge granted us our adoption... an entire THREE days before the entire country shut down for Covid19.
I sit here now rocking Remi and praising God for the blessing of giving me this gift. I've been overcome with anxiety about the future in the midst of the virus that's hit our country. What God did for us with Remi was very quickly forgotten as I became anxious about the virus and my kids and school and... and... and...
Bryan was reminding me this week (again) of Remi's story and God's faithfulness to us, man, am I glad I have him. We've been loving the song "The Blessing"... and as I am listening to the lyrics and rocking my sweet girl, I remember I'm not alone, He is FOR me and He is WITH me.
May His favor be upon you
And a thousand generations
And your family and your children
And their children, and their children
May His presence go before you
And behind you, and beside you
All around you, and within you
He is with you, He is with you
In the morning, in the evening
In your coming, and your going
In your weeping, and rejoicing
He is for you, He is for you
Dear friends, may you know HE is FOR you today.
In the midst of the unknowns, in the crazy, in the "No's" of life...
Thanks to what He did on the cross, the best "Yes" is coming.