“The effects of the mission trip continue.”
This was said recently when we announced that we would be adopting a daughter from South Africa. Earlier this year we took 16 of our youth group kids to South Africa. We spent two weeks at a primary school. Loving kids who have literally nothing. Their joy and affection touched our hearts. The people who run this school are some of the most incredible people I’ve ever met. As we came home I was grieved. It was true. It had affected us both greatly.
Months later, we agreed on an international adoption.
My husband and I met with our case worker to discuss country specifics and get clarification. We were able to pursue Hong Kong, Albania, Bulgaria, China and South Africa. My hands throbbed as we sat down. I am not very good at waiting quietly. With each decision, we felt closer and closer to her. And I was ready to take another leap of love. Our caseworker confirmed some countries were out, we did not meet their requirements. She wouldn’t be from China, or Albania. Hong Kong and Bulgaria were not an option. These two countries required things we weren’t comfortable with presently.
South Africa was staring me in the face.
I looked at the paperwork – our caseworker answered our very detailed questions. She clarified her answers, then answered them again. I wanted to make sure this was a fit. I didn’t want to make it fit simply because all other countries were out of reach. With each answer another blossom of hope grew. It was reasonable to hope for fairly healthy. It was reasonable to hope for under four. It was reasonable to wait 1-2 years.
My husband confirmed it.
Before we left that meeting, without talking to me in private, he said “Well, I guess it’s South Africa!” It was South Africa! I joined in easily and confirmed with all my heart that she was in South Africa! We would join the South Africa program. Another choice made. Another step closer. Another bit about her known to us. So much joy!
God is SO in the details.
Isn’t our God great? Our caseworker started to wrap up out meeting. It had been successful on all fronts. I smiled and said “God is in the details. Because we already love those kids. Our hearts are already there!” We serve a Father who loves to give gifts to his children.
I hugged my husband in the parking lot.
More like I threw myself at him. I felt like I had just gotten engaged. We had a plan. We were pushing forward. We decided to go out for lunch before we split for the day. I got a massive cappuccino which was stupid at best because I was already jittery from my excitement. I just wanted to revel in the joy of knowing this. She’s in South Africa somewhere.
So God choose our country for us.
He is telling us to run to South Africa. The effects of the trip? Yes. For sure. I was broken by the trip. I stopped thinking of impoverished children as someone else’s responsibility. My heart was torn out and stitched back in while we were there. But did we choose South Africa because of our trip? No. That was just God tossing an additional blessing our way.