To which I had to reply, "Honey, the way things are looking, it's going to be a few Christmases before he can come home."
A sobering reality, combined with bad news now that Russia is instituting its ban on U.S. adoptions for its children, can make for one sad parent here in Tennessee.
But I'm not writing about that tonight. At least not now, anyway. We embraced our new direction this Christmas season. Ornaments of Africa were added to our tree, our children received coloring books about the country in which their brother resides, "Santa" left sweet dolls with chocolate skin, which they have lovingly embraced as their own. I received a wonderful necklace with the words "Mother" written in Amharic, the main language in Ethiopia. Everywhere I look in our house, our son is there. He even received his very own ornaments this year.
No longer is our son just a figment of my imagination. No, he is real. Very real. I had a dream last week. My very first dream about him. The memories are so fuzzy now, but what a delightful feeling to wake up and for a moment, to imagine what he looks like. Do I sound weird, because I've dreamed about him? I dreamed about each of our girls while I was pregnant, so maybe what's happening to me is the same thing?
Drew and I have decided on a name for our son. I've kept it somewhat close to my heart, telling a few friends and family, but not announcing it to the world. I'm not quite sure why I've felt this way, but the more I share his name, the more I desire to shout it from the mountaintops, because it means he is real. He is out there. I am calling him by name. I am praying for him. I am praying for his birth mother. This isn't a figment of my imagination, or just a dream. His name is written on my heart, and is breathed into my daily life.
Precious, sweet Micah. His name actually has an interesting story. Early on in the process, I hadn't thought too much about his name. I was afraid that by naming him, it would make it incredibly personal, incredibly too quick for me. It would add way too many emotions to what I was already experiencing. It was easy to pray for "our son," but it completely changed it by adding a physical name to it.
And then, one day this fall, my mom felt it pressed upon her heart to tell me of this name. That she had been praying about it for weeks, nervous to even bring it up, but that she simply had to tell me. Is that not a gift straight from God or what?
As Drew and I spoke it, I simply fell at peace. That is his name, how can I even deny it? A prophet, who fights for those who are poor. Or in the notes of my Bible, "The prophecy attests to Micah's deep sensitivity to the social ills of his day, especially as they affected the small towns and villages of his homeland."
I can't explain why, but this name fits him. How can I know this, when I don't even know who he is?
Because I just do.
Just like I know we are called to follow God down this path. This difficult, unknowing path, in which we're told our wait time is increasing one day, and then the next we're told maybe, just maybe, our trips *might* be condensed into one by the time we receive our referral. But the constant change is increasing my faith in God, and reminding me that this is His plan, and that I am to follow Him down this path, no matter how many turns it might take.
In the Bible, Micah 6:8 reminds us what God requires of us: "Act Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with your God."
It is a big name, with big shoes to fill. But something tells me, he will fill those shoes. And then some.
If you have a moment in the coming days, I humbly ask you to pray for Micah, our son. Pray for him, and pray for orphans everywhere, who need a home. Pray for leadership in every country, that they will seek first to do what's best for the child at hand. It's not about us. It's not about what we need. May we all be reminded that God is at work. I love what Embracing Hope Ethiopia's Christmas devotional had to say, and it's something I hope I can always remember.
Let us remember that Jesus is with us in the ordinary. He is setting the stage. He is preparing us and watching to see if we will partner with Him. And then, in His timing and as He sees fit, He invites us to participate with Him in seeing His name known throughout the earth. May we bring Him glory and point the way to Jesus.
Amen. He is setting the stage. I want to be ready. How about you?