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.
*Our court date this Friday
*Our petition for Naomi
*That God would watch over, protect and love on Naomi while we wait