I Promised

Something wonderful and unexpected happened today!

First, we had a meeting with the birth mother. We hired a translator and prepared a list of questions. Then we had someone come to video tape our entire conversation. Our purpose for this meeting was two-fold. We wanted to hear her story first-hand – what had happened in her life to bring her to the point of having to relinquish her children to the government orphanage. And secondly, we wanted a video for our children to watch as they grow. Something tangible to keep of their mother. Her words and gestures and smiles and tears forever saved for them. We asked many questions that we thought they might want to hear the answers to someday.

“What is a special memory you have of your children?”

“What do you hope for their future?”

“What is one thing you would want them to know about you?”

But my favorite answer was to a question that we had to ask for our legal proceedings. We asked….

“What circumstances caused you to give up your children?”

And her response, full of grace and love, was something that I needed to hear.

“I did not give up my children. I will never give up my children. They will always be my children. But now they are your children too. And I want to give them the chance to have a better life with you. I pray that you will now be my brother and sister and we can all love these children together.”

Talk about making me take a step back and reassess my perception of the whole situation. Oh what a selfish American I can be! How can I even think that I understand how this woman feels?

We finished our meeting with photographs. We took many, many pictures of the children with their mother.

And that wonderful, unexpected thing? We walked into the Transition Home to visit and Abigail grabs my hand and pulls me over to a young girl. “Sister, Mama! This is my sister!”


With no warning – no one had mentioned that she would be here today – I got to meet my other daughter.


Tears immediately filled my eyes as she reached up and hugged me, kissed my cheeks, and excitedly starting calling me Mama.

Our kids spent the next hour running around and playing. All 6 of our kids. Laughing, playing squirt guns, blowing up long balloons and using them as swords. I was so overwhelmed with the unexpectedness of the situation, that I didn’t even take a family picture! Oh, how I wish I had. All too soon, it was time for us to leave. Naomi was going back to her hometown with her mother. And then the heartbreak.

As we were hugging and kissing everyone and saying goodbye, Naomi pulls me aside and asks, “I go home with you? Today, Mama?”

Can you physically feel a pain in your heart? I think so.

We had to explain to her that we wanted to take her home. We want her to be a part of our family. But as of right now, the courts won’t allow it. We told her that we were trying our best to convince the courts to let us keep her forever.

We told her, “We will come back for you.”

We will come back for you Naomi.

I promised.




*Our court date this Friday

*Our petition for Naomi

*That God would watch over, protect and love on Naomi while we wait

14 thoughts on “I Promised

  1. barbara harrison

    This was a tear jerker to read, but to read your beautiful words were as special and caring as could be. Thank you for sharing it all.

  2. Vicki Aday

    Oh man, sobbing at my desk at work. Praying that you will indeed be a family of 8 and that your petition for Naomi goes through. Every day I look for a new blog entry from you, I am so enjoying “following” you on this journey. Wow, we have an awesome God!

  3. Christy

    So glad that you were able to have such a sweet conversation with their birth mother – I’m know it was medicine for your heart to hear that she will “never give up her children and that her desire is for you all to love the children together!” Amazing! The kids will treasure that knowledge forever! I have a million questions for you, but I’ll wait till we’re in the same town and we have time to sit and chat over coffee… (while our 8 kids climb all around us!) 🙂 My heart hurts too, hearing that Naomi is longing to be with you now, but has to wait for all the legal stuff. I will be praying that she trusts your love for her and understands that the reason she isn’t with you right now is because of the legal circumstance, and not because you don’t want her to be with you!
    … and now that I can hardly see through my tears to type anymore, I will say goodbye for now. Sending lots of love and prayers!!!

  4. Summer

    Beautiful! My heart leaped & tears started selling up when I read “sister, mama”. Oh what a beautiful moment that must have been to witness. Praying do hard for that moment when you get to tell Naomi yes, you can come home with me today! Praising the Lord for a beautiful meeting with your sweet kiddos birth mom. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  5. Liesje

    More prayers! Lots of prayers!
    Thank you for sharing your joy. What a gift to talk to your new children’s mother and meet your new little one. Must take pictures! I can’t wait to see all of your children’s smiling faces, instead of their backs.
    Peace to you Natalie.

  6. Ellen Pfeiffer

    My dear sweet love, I have been gone alot and just read all your blogs. This was the last and very best.
    You all are in my heart and prayers every minute. I have put all my trust in knowing God is watching over you and that he knows best. That said, I will continue my prayers that Naomi will come home with you this time. I love you and miss you incredibly.

  7. Nana & Bestafar

    Answer to prayers! Answer to prayers! Answer to prayers…we continue to pray. What a Joy & Blessing to read your journey of faith.
    We all belong to Christ Jesus, HE sets us on our path that will lead ultimately to HIM.
    Love & prayers,

  8. Janet

    That was a tear jerker for sure. Thank you for sharing. So thankful for the heart for God of the mother. Thanks again.

  9. Janet

    Oh, Natalie…praying for you all and especially for Naomi and the kids’ birth mother. I cannot imagine what’s going through her mind. I just know God loves her and the kids and you…and He is good.

  10. Kelsey

    What a tear jerker this one was! I can’t imagine how blessed it must have been to meet her. I pray that she will be yours forever! Miss you all. Blessings.

  11. Amy

    Praying for you guys with tears rolling down my cheeks. I love that you were able to record the north mother’s answers. Cannot wait to meet your entire family in person!!!

  12. Nicole Huber

    Oh wow!!!! Tears of pain falling from my eyes for their birth mother. To never know the pain she must feel and yet the joy that an amazing man, woman and family will love and cherish her children and provide things she never will be able to. You are a blessing Natalie, all of you are! We are still praying for you! You are incredible! God shines through you love!
    Nicole & Family!

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