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When God Writes the Story

Many years ago and in a far-off land, a young couple celebrated their marriage. God had given them both the idea to adopt a child, and they looked forward to the day when that would happen. “We’ll have children first, and then adopt,” they told each other. So, after about a year of marriage, they asked God to grant them a child. They waited. And prayed. And waited. And visited doctors. And prayed. And waited some more. Because God had a story to write. And then, through an amazing series of events, He brought them just the right daughter at just the right time. She was born in a hospital a few miles from their home, and they were able to hold her when she was only hours old. They brought her home from the hospital the next day. A few months later, they finalized her adoption. Ten months later, after more prayers and waiting, God, like all good writers, added a twist to the story. He gave the couple another little girl, but not through adoption. The two sisters grew up as best friends. And they both rejoiced when first one, then two, then three more siblings were born into the family. The oldest daughter always knew she was adopted. She always knew she was special, too, and that God had chosen her for the family who loved her so much. They celebrated “Adoption Day” every year, when she received special presents, including her favorite, the one she called “’doption Mickey Mouse.” As that daughter grew, she developed a love for anyone who felt left out or abandoned. As a twelve-year-old, she raised more than $1200 for a local crisis pregnancy center, wanting to help others give the gift she and her parents had received. Even during her time in college, she considered adopting a teen but decided to wait. Not so many years ago, that grown-up daughter celebrated her own marriage. Like her parents, she and her husband also dreamed of adopting one day, although they didn’t know how or when. After almost six years of marriage, they began the process to become foster parents. “We’ll get a sibling group,” they told their parents. “And we’ll only get children who are available to adopt.” They waited. And prayed. And went through training. And waited. And prayed some more. Several months later, God, like all good writers, added a twist to their story, too. One special girl was already a part of their lives. A student at the school where the grown-up little girl taught, she wasn’t available for adoption. She wasn’t part of a sibling group. But she did have a need—several of them, in fact. As the young couple...

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A Different Kind of Grandma (Letter to my almost-grandchild)

Dear Grandchild-to-be, What can I say? What can I say to you who have endured pain I can’t begin to imagine and lived a life I can’t possibly understand? What do I say to you for whom we wait? I want to hold you close, to call you my very own grandson or granddaughter. You’re the first one (and firsts are always special). I want to see you taken away from wherever it is you need to leave. I want to promise you safety. I want to say you’ll never hurt again. But I can’t do or promise any of those things. I’m a different kind of grandma, and this is our story. Yours and mine. More than 400,000 children throughout the United States wait in foster care, some of them (for all sorts of reasons) ineligible for adoption. Many have suffered abuse. Many have PTSD or other types of emotional trauma because of the life they’ve endured. Sweet grandchild, you know you’re in this group. But you’re so much more. You’re a person. You’re someone with hopes and dreams and needs and desires. You care about the people in your past—even (and maybe especially) the ones who have hurt you. You don’t know what to expect from the future, but you press toward it anyway. You accept help from many who want to give it and some who don’t. You push against rules even when you know they’re right. You don’t always understand what you do or how you feel. And, deep down inside, you wait. You wait for that moment when you know you’re home. You’re right. I’m not your grandma yet, and you may never choose to call me that anyway. But I can tell you this: you are loved. Your almost-parents have endured paperwork and more paperwork and red tape and training and inspections and lectures and self-doubt and more paperwork and more red tape and awkwardness and questions and paperwork and more paperwork and more red tape, all in pursuit of you. I hear the longing in their voices. They can’t wait to bring you home. They know the road ahead will have plenty of bumps, maybe huge potholes or lengthy detours. But they want to travel it with you. For you, they don’t want to be just one more stop, one more waystation. For you, they want to be Mom and Dad—no matter what the legal system calls them. As your almost-mom, my precious daughter, told me, “Even if we can only have this child at home a few years, at least we’ll give them a family to come home to.” That family is ours. And we’re waiting—   with so much love,...

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PRAY: Waiting on His Answer

Most of us don’t like to wait. We live in a day of instant everything. If we can’t have it right away, we figure out how to have it virtually. Can’t spend an evening with friends? Enter Skype or FaceTime. Can’t make the high school reunion? Create a Facebook group and catch up the new-fashioned way. Growing up near Cincinnati, Ohio, I watched as my next-door neighbors waited on the answer to a passel of prayers. Jim and Sharon Eyrich had adopted their son, Jamie, as a newborn.  Sharon was tall, glamorous, and (best of all in my pre-teen eyes) the owner of a beautiful quarter horse, Hickory.  When the Eyrichs adopted Jamie, I fell in love. I spent hours with Sharon and the baby I deemed “the cutest in the world.” Before long, I had the privilege of watching him while she did house- or yard-work. Soon, I graduated to true babysitting. But something was wrong, and Jamie’s mother knew it. Sometime after his first birthday, her son was diagnosed with congenital hearing loss. I remember Sharon repeating the doctor’s words: the little boy was so smart he fooled everyone except his mother into believing he could hear. Jamie’s diagnosis initiated a long season of prayer. Sharon didn’t know it, but as she waited on God to heal her son, she showed me the power of true faith. But Jim and Sharon did more than wait. They pursued any treatment they thought would help their little boy. By the time he was three, they made a big decision: Jim would change jobs so the family could move to St. Louis and a school that would best meet their son’s needs.  By this time, Jamie and I were so close that he cried whenever I left to go home. And I still looked up to Sharon, whose faith moved me to examine my own. Jim moved first. Before Sharon and Jamie could follow, she had to transport Hickory, and asked me to go along. I loved every moment, from dining at Steak ‘n Shake for the first time ever, to caring for a very active Jamie, to helping settle Hickory into his new digs. You can guess the next part of the story. Sharon and Jamie joined Jim in St. Louis. Years passed. I went to college. Married. Moved. And lost touch. For a while, my parents received the Eyrichs’ Christmas cards. I knew they adopted another baby—this time, a little girl. But before long, I had no contact. I prayed for my special friend on his birthday each year and wondered what kind of man he became. I wondered about those prayers for healing, too. One day, his name...

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PRAY: Prayer for Those Waiting to Bring Their Children Home

Do the words God speaks in the quiet ever scream? More and more, He’s reminded me about the thousands of children across the world who have no home. But He’s also burdened my heart for the many parents awaiting those children—parents with open arms, homes, and hearts. Parents who, for now, are waiting. I pray this prayer today (and many other days) for them. Join me? Lord God, I know You care about little ones. Your Son—who came to earth as a little one—told us that in Your kingdom, they matter. You honor the ones who honor them. For this and more, I praise You. Today, Jesus, I pray for these precious little ones by lifting up their parents-in-waiting. So many of them have watched as You worked to move them toward a specific child: a child who’s never lived with them, who wouldn’t recognize them but is already someone with a name, a purpose, a plan, and a destiny—someone these precious parents already call their own. Lord, when we knew You not, You called us Your own. When we turned away, You drew us toward Yourself in love. And when we were yet a long ways off, You ran to embrace us. Almighty King, we ask You now to allow these mommies and daddies to embrace their little ones. We ask You in Your abundant mercy to break the bonds, replenish the bank accounts, circumvent the red tape, and overcome the system. Great Redeemer, we ask You to buy back the time that has been lost to the enemy, to fill it and fuel it as only You can. Smooth out the rough places. Make the paths straight. Direct each detail. And God, I ask You to go before these parents. I know You as a Father to the fatherless. Touch these children with Your love. Hold them when their parents cannot. Wipe their tears before their parents can. And—because I know You’re never too busy—will you wipe the tears of the parents, too? Help each one, in the waiting, to know You more and to grow more like You. For each hour of waiting, make the resulting celebration sweeter. In Your Holy name I pray, AMEN.  Do you have an adoption story to share or someone who needs prayer regarding adoption? I’d love to have your comment.Bonus: Enjoy this precious video by my friend, worship artist, and adoptive mom-now-and-in-waiting Cindy Foote (and check out her No Double Yellow Line EP written for the adoption community).  And visit One Child Campaign‘s orphan initiative, too—a great place to learn more about the least of...

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PEARL GIRLS SPECIAL: Adoption, a Mother’s Greatest Gift by Tricia Goyer

During this Mother’s Day week, as I find my way back out of the land of deadlines, I have a special blog to share. It’s written by an author who, like me, has an adopted daughter and who, like me, prays for her adopted daughter’s birth mom especially at this time.  I hope you’ll enjoy Tricia’s insightful words and check out the Pearl Girls™ contest information as well. Blessings! Welcome to Pearl Girls™ Mother of Pearl Mother’s Day blog series. The series is a weeklong celebration of moms and mothering. Each day will feature a new post by some of today’s best writers (Tricia Goyer, Megan Alexander, Suzanne Woods Fisher, Beth Engelman, Holley Gerth, Shellie Rushing Tomlinson, and more). I hope you’ll join us each day for another unique perspective on Mother’s Day. AND … do enter the contest for a chance to win a beautiful hand crafted pearl necklace. To enter, just {CLICK THIS LINK} and fill out the short form. Contest runs 5/1-5/8 and the winner will be announced on 5/11. Contest is only open to US and Canadian residents. If you are unfamiliar with Pearl Girls™, please visit and see what we’re all about. In short, we exist to support the work of charities that help women and children in the US and around the globe. Consider purchasing a copy of Pearl Girls: Encountering Grit, Experiencing Grace or one of the Pearl Girls™ products (all GREAT Mother’s Day gifts!) to help support Pearl Girls. And to all you MOMS out there! Happy Mother’s Day! Adoption, a Mother’s Greatest Gift by Tricia Goyer I held the small baby in my arms, wrapped up in a receiving blanket to keep her warm from the chill of the delivery room, and a voice spoke to me. “Congratulations, Mom.” The congratulations came from an unlikely source—the grandmother of this child, the mother of the sweet birth mother who chose adoption for her baby girl. To say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. Thankfulness filled my heart—to God who’d answered my prayers and to the birth mom who’d chosen our family for her daughter. I also ached that my joy would be another’s heartache. Working with teen moms for ten years, I was often an advocate for the young mother. I knew that while the weeks and months ahead would be a time of celebration for our family, they would be ones of heartache and grieving for this woman. Adoption is a wonder and the beauty, and the sacrifice of it is never so clear as on Mother’s Day. My new daughter is one year old now, and she is a huge part of my heart. Her life is a...

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