I sent another video to Africa yesterday.

A video of sweet Elizabeth, proudly showing off her newest- her favoritest- shirt.  Chatting about dress-up clothes and birthday parties, stopping mid-sentence to ask, “Hey mom, can you send this to my Congo family?”  And, without waiting for my answer, she launched into singing.

“Jesus loves me, this I know…”

When we started the international adoption process six years ago, I never would have dreamed that we’d have an open adoption.  Never in a million years.  I had a lot of assumptions going into adoption.  I studied up.  Read tons.  Listened hard.  And still, I never even had a category for this whole open international adoption concept.  I didn’t even know this was a thing.  And if it was, it was just too scary to consider.

I didn’t know a lot of things back then.  Still don’t.

And yet, God works all things for good, even the prayers I never prayed.  He can make beauty out of my ignorance.

He can weave the lives of two families- families on opposite ends of the globe, with contexts and experiences so dissimilar it’s laughable- together into one.

We call them her “first family”.  Her “Congo family”.  They just call us family.  They call me mother.  

Few things in my life have been more humbling than to feel the undeserved love of a family I’ve never met.  The love of a family who is watching in from afar as we raise our Elizabeth- and their Elizabeth.  While we get the hugs and the “I love you”s, they watch in the still frames I email.  While we are active participants in the jam-packed days, they catch tiny glimpses in the choppy videos I send.  And as I silently wonder, “Am I enough?  Do I have what it takes to raise this precious child well?”, another email comes through: “God bless you.  We are praying.”  As if God Himself knew.

Of course He does.  He knows.  He sees.  And he continues to wind this thread.  A thread from one family in suburban North Carolina to another family in remote eastern Congo, all the while gently tugging us all back to Himself.  Reminding us of His grace that abounds in even the most unexpected of situations.