A few weeks ago David and I found ourselves at home with only our three adopted children. During dinner we started to talk about Ethiopia and this led to a discussion about the years that they spent in the orphanage. We had a great time as they shared fun memories from life before they came home to us. Garrett was talking and he said, "There was this one lady at the orphanage, who did our laundry, and she was so nice. Every day she would pull me aside and tell me that I was very special and that God had His hand on me." He continued. "She only said this to me and not to the other kids." As Garrett finished these words tears poured from my eyes. As usual, Garrett rolled his eyes and smiled at my tears. I was overwhelmed to hear God's answer to a prayer I prayed daily while waiting for my children to come home. Every single morning I would cry driving home from dropping Lindsay and Jacob off at school and I would pray for God to have someone make them feel loved and special until they were able to be with us. I had no idea that every morning in Ethiopia this sweet lady was speaking words of love and truth to my Garrett. Years have gone by and I had no idea how God daily was answering my prayer. I then shared with Garrett how each day I had prayed that God would send someone to let him know that he was loved.
After dinner we got out some photos from those years in Addis and it was fun to watch the three of them remember their friends, the room they slept in, and workers that had cared for (or had been mean to) them. We got to one particular photo and Garrett got so excited. He said, "Hey, that is her! That is the lady that pulled me aside and talked to me each day." (See below the lady in red) What an amazing gift to me to see the lady that God used to answer my daily prayer. A sweet reminder of how much He cares for me and the desires of my heart.
We continued to look at the pictures and it was also amazing to hear the boys talk about one guy named Nebu. Nebu would come every evening and read the Bible with the boys. They had spoken about him before and they just light up when talking about the fun they would have with him each night learning from God's word. As they were turning through the photos they also found a picture of him. A guy that I hope to get to meet one day and thank for planting God's word in my son's hearts long before they became mine. As I sat and stared at that picture I was overwhelmed again by the blessing of His love and perfect plan for the lives of my boys. The fact that each night while we waited for them to become ours God had someone there to share His truth with them in a fun and relevant way made me stop again and give thanks for His faithfulness. (See Nebu below- notice Garrett on the far right)
A few days later I picked up these same photos again and started to flip through them alone. I stopped on one particular photo that I had seen a thousand times and noticed something that I had never noticed before. It is a photo of all three of our kids playing soccer together, long before they knew that they would one day be siblings. I have always loved this photo and it has always seemed special to me but today I noticed something new........Tia's pants. I noticed that Tia has on these cute, stylish pants in the photo. As I stared at them I started to cry. If you know our Tia you know just how stylish and fashionable she loves to be. You will rarely see her without a cute scarf, earrings and an outfit that is just perfect on her. In an Ethiopian orphanage there is very little style. You wear what you can find and usually it doesn't fit very well and it is far from fashionable. In this photo Tia has on these super cute pants that I am sure made her feel like a Princess. Again, God reminded me that He was there. Long before she knew what fashion was, He was there helping her to feel pretty. He provided a pair of pants in just her size with ruffles around the ankles just for my Tia. My God is an amazing God that goes above and beyond to love His children well. So may times I overlook or I am so unaware of the simple ways that He loves me and my family. He is so faithful and I am so thankful for these simple reminders the past few weeks of His goodness to me even when I had no idea what He was up to! Stop and think about His love for you- He cares more than you know and does so many things for you and your family that go unnoticed. Notice them today..........