~For I know the plans I have for you”, declares The Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”~ Jeremiah 29:11
As I look back on the events that led to Sayer coming into our family, It’s overwhelming to think about all of the ways God has revealed himself to me. I would say the biggest lesson if you will, in these past two years has been my completely letting go and completely trusting God in the tiniest of details. I am one who kind of likes to have things ‘in order’. Well the adoption journey is definitely a path of dis-order. It’s been a real test of strength and faith and most of all trust, as I have leaned on God and sought Him every step of the way. As one door would close I would ask for clarity and EVERY SINGLE TIME I would receive the most reassuring calm, and know that simply trusting God and His timing was all I needed to do. As many of you know we started this adoption journey on the other side of the world, in hopes of a little girl from Ethiopia. Little did we know that God would burst open a door right here in our own backyard in Illinois and had for us, a precious little boy. All along the way I had been praying for God to make clear to us His Hand in this process. I was desperate to see His Hand in all of this. On the days when I felt like the waiting was just too much to take, I would trust. On the days when I felt so alone in this journey with no one to understand how I was feeling, I would trust. On the days when I questioned if this was even the right thing to do, I would trust. Eventually I was just surrounded by a peace I cannot explain, and the urgency I had been feeling for a baby turned into the daily need for God’s Direction in it all, no matter how it all turned out, even if it turned out that this wasn’t meant to be. As the Ethiopia option had come to a grinding halt with longer and longer wait times, it was becoming clearer to me that path was not to be. I was really sad about that and it took time for Steve to come to that same realization. This was June. In the meantime we began working with various agencies domestically, and assumed that once we decided to do that, that our wait would be short as we were open to any race. In October one of agencies called finally, and wondered if we would be open to twin girls? That was a new thought and we considered it and ultimately passed on being considered for that situation due to some health concerns in the background, but it was a good circumstance for us to be faced with because as we sought Him, we felt a clear leading of ‘NO’ but also recognized that maybe God was preparing us for something we hadn’t planned on through this. The very next day another set of twins came about and we felt much better about that situation. We decided to submit our profile and see what happens. This was for a boy and a girl and they were to be delivered in 3 days. WOW. So we got busy thinking of boy names and were stuck. We could not agree on anything. I went to bed that night and had a dream about SAER (We changed the spelling). I had never heard of that name before and I quickly looked it up in my baby name book. It means ‘Carpenter’. I had an overwhelming sense that this name was from God and that He had a specific plan for a specific child and again I was just so at peace at however this situation turned out and whatever happened. It might sound strange but its things just like this all along the way, that were our little reassurances from God in a process that is so uncertain. When the situation for these twins didn’t happen, we felt a little disappointed but I was sure that this whole thing came about as just another step in our story. I wasn’t sure where we were heading and where it would all end up, or if it would even end up with a baby for us, but I was sure of God’s plan in it all as never before. As Thanksgiving approached, life was busier than ever with Steve’s work schedule and how it was impacting the whole family. I was really looking forward to the downtime of the holiday weekend. I was looking forward to having some time with my husband and have some real conversations about things. I was more and more sure we needed to pull out if Ethiopia and he just wanted to take a little more time to pray about it and feel comfortable with letting that dream go. So after a week of serious prayer, on Sunday Dec 3rd, Steve gave the go ahead to contact our family coordinator in Virginia and let her know we were pulling out of the program. It was a sad decision to have to come to, but the emotional toll from the uncertainty of the Ethiopian government was just becoming too much and we felt our focus needed to be in a domestic program. First thing on Monday morning Dec 4th I sent out the email to our agency for Ethiopia. I told her of our decision and thanked them for their help and support in our adoption journey. Around 12 noon that very same day I received a call out of the blue from our Illinois social worker who had a ‘situation’ she wanted to share with us. All I heard her say was that, and I burst into tears. I cannot explain any other reason for it than I KNEW as sure as I knew anything, that this was the call we had been waiting for. After months of agonizing over what to do in regard to Ethiopia, we finally took a step and that very same day God opened the door that would change our lives and our family forever. This situation was for a baby of unknown gender and she wondered if that was ok with us as we had wanted a girl. I couldn’t even talk to her. Sobbing, I just handed the phone to Steve. He had to be wondering what the heck was wrong with me and who on earth was on the other end of that phone. We gave her the go ahead to present us to this Birth Mother and she picked us. I wasn’t surprised. God blessed me so beautifully when our social worker Maria told me that upon choosing us to parent her child she specifically called me by name. She said ‘I want Jennifer’. God knew I needed clear direction and He provided it by literally having me called out by name. Over the next couple of weeks, as we got the limited details that were available, what stood out to me was that Birth Mom specifically made the decision to not name the baby in the hospital and allow us to give him a name. In an instant I understood the dream I had previously about Sayer. I knew that the ultra sound planned for the following week was going to show that this baby was a boy. God had named this child before we even knew this child was going to be. Obviously there is so much more to this whole story and I could go on and on about all of the ways that God has revealed Himself to us in this, but the main thing is the realization for me and us, as a family, and someday Sayer to know, that God’s Design IS in our lives and the seemingly tiny details reflect His Plans for our lives, we just have to take notice. We are so excited to watch Sayer grow up knowing how His Father loved him and planned for him before he was even born, of how He was preparing his family for him through this adoption journey, before he was even conceived. What an Awesome God we have.
~Psalms 139:13-18~ 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.My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts,God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand-when I awake, I am still with you.