When we were in the midst of adoption paperwork and were planning for Jonathan to join our family, I could think of innumerable reasons why God should speed the process. After all, the little guy had already been in an institution for over 8 years.... I wanted him home for his 9th birthday. His birthday would be May 27th, and we were still months away from that date. I looked at the calendar, and thought it might just work out!! That seemed like absolute perfect timing to me..... we'd be finished with a school year, and could spend the summer letting Jonathan settle in, getting to know us, learning to adapt as a family of 8, etc.
All of these thoughts were going through my mind at the end of 2010.... and 2011 rolled on, and things just weren't working out like I'd thought God would orchestrate it all. Where was His hand in all of the delays? I knew His timing was perfect in my head, but I was having a hard time having that knowledge get to my heart.... where was HIS heart in this? I often thought about "all the desires of my heart" as mentioned on the title of this blog!! I was trying to trust in Him, to delight myself in Him.... but it was months later that He would let me see how those very delays were going to bring about the very desires of my heart! At that point in time, I didn't even even know a very special girl in another Eastern European country who needed to come home, too.... who had lived in an institution even longer than our little boy had.... an incredibly sweet teenager that God -- in His perfect orchestration that I didn't understand -- was weaving into my life.
You actually know the beginning of the story -- if you were a blog reader here back in the summer of 2011 --- We had cleared the summer schedule hoping to go to Bulgaria to pick up Jonathan, only to realize that it wasn't going to happen at that point in time. So, God in His amazing ways brought our attention to a summer orphan hosting program and -- next thing we knew, we had 5 incredible weeks with that special girl from Ukraine!! They were full weeks, busy weeks, challenging weeks, times of "practicing" for life with a child who didn't know English.... and by the end of the summer, we loved our special girl!! Not long ago, I pulled up pictures from July of last year, and all the fun memories came flooding back. It was by far, our most favorite (as well as 'stretching') summer ever. But, the incredible miracle of the summer was that, before those weeks were over, the Lord had unfolded more of His plan in the whole process.... that sweet girl had not just our hearts, but another couple's as well.... and they were moving quickly to adopt her!! All of us spent lots of time together, and while we couldn't use the "A" word (adoption!) while we were around our guest, we were all making plans for her coming to Alabama.
So, are you wondering yet what all of this has to do with the here and now? Wasn't I just catching everyone up on Spring Break? Aren't we talking about 2012 here? Yes, actually.
The REST of the story started the day after our Spring Break ended. Another orphan had been set free!! Ally Kate's adoption was final, and she had arrived back in Alabama with her new parents. Spring Break had given me much needed time to re-vamp our school schedule, because, you see --- Ally Kate joined our home school. At the beginning of the school year, I had gone from teaching 5 kids to 6 when we added Jonathan. Here we were, starting our last nine weeks, and we added yet another!! Not just another, but another that didn't speak or understand English. It made for some VERY crazy days.... very long days, and tiring ones, too. In fact, when this past May rolled around, I was much more excited about summer break than the kids--- and, you know how excited kids can be!! :) I was exhausted. BUT, it never failed that each time Ally Kate walked through our back door and gave me a bear hug, I realized.....
He knew it all along. THIS WAS the desire of my heart. He had given abundantly.