I wasn't going to write, because I have already been gushing all over facebook all day long. I am obnoxious like that. But I couldn't stay away from here either. The place where so much of this story has tumbled out of my heart. The space where I shared my hopes, dreams, and prayers with you all. I feel like shouting to the world this story, and what God did. This morning in a little courtroom in NY state, with some of the people who love us best, our family made history, and God did what we were told over and over and over could never happen. He did what we had been told for three years was impossible. He did what has never been done before in the United States. He pulled out all of the stops, and showed His power in a way that will leave me breathless for the rest of my life. Today Habi became our legal, official son through the miracle (and it truly was that) of adoption.
There are so many details that we have hidden away to protect our Habi. While what we have shared of this story is miraculous enough, all of the other little details added in, the huge hurdles that God had to break down to get us to this point, the number of doors He had to crash open that had been tightly shut, it is all more than I can even comprehend. I know that for the past three years we have stood inside of a move of God, and it was HUGE, supernatural, and mind-boggling. As I sit here in the quiet, my mind flipping through all of the events that have taken place to get here, it doesn't seem real. Everything that had to happen was so perfectly timed out and orchestrated by a loving, creative, Author. There is no way that we could have scripted this. I told Jim that it feels as if we are in a movie. And it does, because this just does not happen in real life. BUT it did happen!
The most powerful lesson that I have learned in all of this, and what I hope people see when they hear of this is that God writes the best stories. Shortly before we decided to adopt from Ethiopia, God began to work in our hearts and lives in a brand new way. A more real way, but a way in which I had to intentionally surrender the pen to Him, and allow Him to write my story. It wasn't easy for me to give up the sense of control that comforted me. None of it has been easy - not one paragraph, one page, one chapter. I haven't always done it right. I have faltered along the way, and I have questioned the story so many times. Sometimes I have not appreciated His plot line, and I have thought that I could have written it better. But God in His mercy allowed me just enough strength to not yank the pen back, and God kept scratching out this story over my life. While I do believe that if I had held on to the pen, my story would have been easier, I also know that it would not have been nearly as beautiful. I would have under-written my story. The beauty needed to be sharpened by the pain that can only come with surrender. He is strong in our weakness, and that is why I believe he chose my family for this story, because we are weak and ordinary.
Today is a huge 'ta da' life-changing moment in our story. A chapter closed with a big reveal - a movie-style ending. But what you need to know is that there has been a lot of middle to this story, and that today is not the whole story. What I want you to know is that God wants to write your story, too. Perhaps you have not yet handed Him the pen, and I want to encourage you to give it a try. Or perhaps you have, but you are inside the middle, and it is hard and lonely and painful, and it feels like it must be the end. But friend, it's not the end. He is still writing your story. He hasn't left you and closed the manuscript. The pen is still hovered over you, and He is still writing. The hard times, the moments when God is silent, the painful pages that seem to suck the life from you, they all have a purpose in your story. Don't read my ending of this chapter of my story and be discouraged thinking that God only writes stories like this for some people. The story God has for you is unique and beautiful and YOURS. Sometimes God is just writing further into the story than you have read. Be patient, wait with hope and expectation, because God writes the best stories. Trust the Author of your story. What He is writing is better than you can ever imagine.
Today this chapter in my story came to a beautiful close, but tomorrow a new chapter looms before me blank and white and ready for His pen. I am ready for the story to continue.
Here we are just after the judge declared the adoption to be final. This is our son Habtamu (his given name in Ethiopia which means "rich") Theo (which comes from the Greek word theophany which means "in the image of God" - my name Tiffany is also from this same Greek word) Byron (a family name that has been passed down through generations - all of our sons have this name).