One year ago today, we saw sweet Elizabeth’s face for the first time. The day was unusual from the start, as Matt was unexpectedly off work for the morning. This seldom occurs and was a rare treat for all of us. I remember I was upstairs getting dressed when I started hearing Matt yell for me to come downstairs. I initially ignored him (because I’m a stellar wife like that), completely oblivious to what he had just seen land in my inbox. When I finally sensed his urgency, I made my way downstairs to the news for which we had waited for two years- an email with the subject line of “possible referral”. Our hearts pounded with excitement, and we laughed and beamed with joy as we read that there was a 15 month old little girl in remote eastern Congo who needed a home.
You see, for two years, we had been praying about and planning for a baby boy from Rwanda. However, mere days prior to this life-changing email, we had submitted our request to USCIS to have the country from which we’d adopt changed and our parameters of age and gender widened. Though we had been praying for our Rwandan baby boy, “Wyatt”, for years, this is something that we felt God was prompting us to do.
And in that moment in which we opened the email, it all was made clear. Once again, despite our best intentions and plans, God had something else in mind. That in His perfect and redemptive plan, our imperfect family would have the amazing privilege of being the “second family” to a beautiful little toddler girl from Congo.
This is the first picture we saw of our little Elizabeth Francine. Beautiful. Melancholy. Joyful. Heartbreaking. Ours. Theirs. Adoption is a juxtaposition on so many levels.
A year later, we lift our praises to Elizabeth Francine’s Creator, Protector, and Defender. To the One who sustained us and refined us throughout the entirety of our sometimes brutal adoption process. To our heavenly Father whose perfect love no biological or adoptive parent could ever replicate. To the One who makes beauty from ashes. Thank you, Jesus.