If you haven't yet read it, you should read the previous post before this one. In both posts, I have shared minimal information due not only to our adoption process, but because I believe parts of it are her story to share, not mine.
I had been praying about our meeting all day. I prayed that she wouldn't forget and that she would come. I prayed that I would be bold in my faith. I wanted to be able to share with her how Jesus Christ had forever changed me.
She decided on Chai tea and I ordered hot chocolate and we both settled at a table in the corner. As we sat across from one another, I began to ask her about her life story and how she came from Africa to the United States. I loved hearing her speak. Her words carried a beautiful accent but the story of her family's plight was anything but. She did not share great detail--she said the story was too long--but she shared a little and I couldn't muster a response. It would have been foolish for me to attempt to. Their plight was something that I could not fathom.
She changed the subject to our two adoptions. She wanted to know more. She wanted to know why we decided to adopt two little boys--specifically from her home country. She and her family did not know that adoptions were even happening out of that country. They were amazed.
It was for that moment I had prayed--the moment to share my love for Jesus. I am ashamed to say that I have at times passed this moment up with others--I've been too scared to share. I've wondered what someone will think of me, ya know, Bible thumping crazy lady. But lately, I realize that I do want to be crazy for Him--I want to be crazy in love with Him. God is showing me the truth that I cannot afford to be silent. It might be the only time that that one person hears about His love.
So, I began telling her our adoption story. I shared about the peace we felt after totally surrendering our decision to the Lord. I told her about all of the families in our church who were traveling the same adoption road with us. I told her that we were doing it because of our love for God and our desire to be obedient to Him. I shared with her that the most wonderful part of it all is seeing God's goodness in various ways...and that I counted her as being one of those blessings. She smiled and I shifted the attention back to her. I was eager to know how she ultimately ended up "here" of all places.
She leaned forward on the table and began...
They met in the refugee camp. They both came to the U.S. but lived in different places and although miles separated them, they kept in contact as friends. He knew that he would one day marry her. He pursued her...his persuasion led her to Iowa...they married and had two beautiful children. They are happy and they are grateful...for they know how blessed they are.
She turned the questions back to me and asked about the church we attend.
I replied, "Cornerstone."
"Oh, yes. I know the church. We visited there a couple of times...as well as the Baptist church beside it."
"So, do you attend church somewhere regularly?"
She answered. I smiled and told her that I knew her church well. Years ago, we had visited there and it was where I used to attend Bible Study Fellowship. Then, I asked, "Are you a believer? Have you accepted Christ as your personal Savior?"
"Yes, oh, yes."
"Tell me about the time that you made that decision in your life."
She began her answer with, "It was when I was in the camp........"
She shared about how so many people are angry or upset for things in their life that seem hard or unfair, but she knows that she must choose to be thankful. She talked about glorifying God and wanting to know Him more. I knew she spoke truthfully from her heart. It was so evident. After hearing her incredible story I was about brought to tears when she said, "It is because of difficult times like those that I am here today...and I am grateful."
Time went soooooo quickly. We were oblivious to everyone coming and going. For that entire time, our tiny table in the corner was our own little world and I felt God sitting at the head of it. We could have talked on for hours but employees were mopping up and we noticed that we were the only customers left. We asked about closing time. It was past. "You're fine", they said. So we talked a bit more....
As I drove home, I reflected on the evening. I was in awe of the goodness of God once again. He truly has the whole world in His hands....He is the God of the Universe. He orchestrates everything. He knew that some 15 years ago, this young woman would endure hardship on the other side of the world which would one day bring her here...and that Kurt and I would step into adoption from that very same country...and that I would SEE her for several years but NEVER speak to her UNTIL GOD whispered, "Talk to her." And then, to find out that we are bound at heart because she is my sister-in-Christ, yes, I am overwhelmed by His love.