I sat down on the plastic chair in front of the table, and the man placed a form in front of me.
I couldn’t read it, my eyes swimming with tears.
Setting down the pen, I buried face in hands and cried win-the-lottery, can’t-believe-I’m-finally-doing-this, dream-coming true tears.
Months ago God put this in front of me, the same months when the checkbook balance started showing a minus in front of it and the words unemployed where how I defined myself. I sighed every time I sat down with the budget and bought clothes I needed at the thrift store instead of Herberger’s.
Still God put it in front of me.
And I said, Yes. Yes, I will. Just make a way. As soon as you make a way.
Then came August, and I found myself filling out a W-4 and hearing the word “salary”. In September, the first paycheck showed up as direct deposit, and all of a sudden I was feeling filthy rich, after months of no margin.
First paycheck and hope for more.
This was the week I walked into church and God put it in front of me again, like it was just for me. Like getting handed the keys to a new car or the plane tickets to an island get-away or a credit card shopping spree.
A plastic table with a sign that said “Compassion International”.
And while everyone else was singing through worship songs all I could do was cry. You orchestrated this, Lord. You made a way.
“The Lord works righteousness and justice for all the oppressed.” (Psalm 103:6 NIV)
I always sit in the front row to support my preacher husband, and behind me are all these families with kids they didn’t give birth to. Babies, toddlers, gradeschoolers, and teenagers –foster kids and adopted kids throughout the sanctuary, like generous sprinkles on a cupcake.
I’ve always wanted me one of them, to have one of those kids –to do justice the way Jesus says. Now was my chance.
Tonight was the night.
My preacher husband knew. As soon as the Compassion video and announcement finished, he leaned over and whispered to me, Pick one.
Glory. This was marriage at its best, its very best. When he knows the deep inside of me and that I have to obey this longing God has put on my heart or I’m going to be crushed underneath it. And he just says, Pick one.
Except he didn’t let me.
He didn’t let me pick. Church ended, and we stood over the table. He rifled through the faces.
It has to be someone from a Spanish-speaking country, since you’re a Spanish teacher.
Then he picked up a packet containing the picture of a 3-year-old girl. All round cheeks and still-dimpled fingers.
This one, he said.
Her name is Haydy. Like the English “Heidi”. She lives in Colombia.
He picked, and all the swoony, chick-flick feelings I’ve ever had for him were right there in that moment. Him loving Jesus and loving this new little girl and loving who I am and what makes me happy.
We can have her for 15 years, he said. Him as happy as me.
Our adoption story.
Fifteen years to partner with a family living in poverty, helping them with a few bucks every month so their little girl can eat and learn ABCs and hear about Jesus. Fifteen years of hugging their family all the way from North America and letting them know they’re not alone. Someone cares.
Fifteen years. God help us provide for her for fifteen years.
It’s the joy and the hope and the doing-justice life I’ve always wanted.
Her name is Haydy, and I love her.