We knew the waters of International Adoption were troubled and stormy. We knew they would be difficult to navigate. We knew we would need help. So we interviewed lots of people. Families, agencies, friends of friends, anyone we thought that might have a different viewpoint or a better way to jump in. Then armed with every fact and opinion we could find, we strapped on our life jackets, said another prayer and jumped in. We should have asked God to send us a U.S. Naval destroyer instead. To say that what we have heard and learned since we became a waiting family is overwhelming is not even an understatement; it’s a gross misrepresentation of the truth. So many stories, so many families, so many details of adoptions that almost didn’t happen and children whose histories may or may not be accurate that my mind keeps racing and my heart keeps praying for their comfort and safety around the clock. Obviously, we, as a family are at a crossroads right now; one that quite honestly, I cannot fully divulge. There are more questions to be asked and choices to be made; hard questions and hard choices, both of which could cost us, but the truth is always worth the cost. We did our very best to choose the people we believed to be ethical and honest to represent us to our son and his country but now we are uncertain. We can leave at any time. We can walk away in a heartbeat and almost no one would blame us. We have three children and a busy enough life, right? All it would take is one phone call and every difficult thing about this would go away except the Isaiah shaped hole in our hearts. People close to us have suggested it. Perhaps this is God’s way of saying you should turn back, they have told me. I wanted to tell them that perhaps this is Satan’s way of fighting back against us. Another suggested that maybe this was God’s way of making me a better servant to him. Sometimes it’s about the process of learning to submit to his will, they described. Seriously? I cannot believe that. My God is many things; jealous, righteous, omnipotent, loving, generous, but cruel? Never. He would never create in me this love for my child and then snatch it away as a test. So I have cried and I have prayed and I have thrown accusations at a God big enough to handle them and me. And I have waited and pondered other mothers in the bible and what they would do right here, right now in this very moment. I thought about what they have done for their children. And that prompted me to ask God not, What do you want me to do, because I’ve been asking that for weeks, but this,
What do you want me to do for my son?
And in my heart, through the stories of these faithful women, my God answered me,
I want you to fight for him.
I reread Jochebed’s story and how her son, Moses, was predestined to die by Pharaoh’s command. She defied that command. She did not give up her son. She fought back the only way she knew how when she hid him in that basket in the bulrushes. She was cunning, she was skillful, and she persevered. She fought for her son and God’s covenant with his chosen people was fulfilled. Exodus 2:1-10
I thought of Mary, the mother of our Lord, sweet, young, frightened Mary. Her son too was born with a price upon his head, placed there by the prelate, King Herod. But Mary obeyed God and fled her homeland. She left everyone and everything she knew to protect our Jesus. She fought for her son so that he might live to fulfill his purpose for us. Matthew 2:13-23
These women were just women, mommas just like me. Wanting only the best for their children and longing to serve their God. I am no different. I am a simple woman, there is nothing special about me, but I am one of Isaiah’s mothers. If I do not fight for him, if I do not speak for him, for his history, then who will? If I do not begin his family story with us with honesty and truth and transparency then nothing much else I do will matter. How can I teach him to be a man of character if he cannot trust the content of my own?
Though others may not understand the depth of my conviction, my Father does. I have asked many times for him to make this process as easy as possible and he has chosen a different course and though I am unsure of my next step I am committed to taking it. I do not know how long it will take, I do not know what will happen along the way but I know that I have a son somewhere waiting on me. I know his name is Isaiah. And that is enough for me to keep fighting for him and for the answers we need.
So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.