**october 21 from 4-7pm. mark your calendars. it’s going to be good.**

i get to spend a lot of time capturing the sweet, intimate moments of so many lives around me.  they may make us laugh or they may make us cry but one thing is constant…the stories i’m blessed to share are always personal and emotional.  over the next few days, though, i’m turning the figurative lens on myself and sharing a story that many of you don’t know…but you should.

the year was 2007. my husband and i had two small children, ages two and new, when we began to feel it. it should have come as no surprise, though, as we’d been praying a line from one of our favorite songs for a while at that point – break my heart for what breaks yours. we wrestled with the ache until we realized that the lord was doing just what we had asked. he was slowly forming cracks in our hearts, our comforts, and our way of life. two pink lines threw our plans for a delightful loop, but finally in late 2008 we dove headfirst into an international adoption. if you’ve walked the path of adoption yourself or with a family member or friend, you don’t need me to tell you how logistically and emotionally grueling of a process it is. you don’t need me to tell you how the offices of the child and family service agency, police or sheriff’s department, state bureau of investigation, federal bureau of investigation, department of state, homeland security, and federal immigration department all know the inner workings of your home, your finances, and your marriage.

and you certainly don’t need me to tell you of the sheer euphoria your family will feel when that phone call finally comes. it’s finished. he’s ready for you.

from my journal on the day of his referral:
i’ve said from day one of this process that as hard as the paperchase and the early waiting are, i was guessing that the waiting that comes after a referral — after there is a precious face connected to the baby you’ve prayed for for so long — would be so much harder. and i had honestly been a little surprised throughout the day today that i didn’t have that huge rush of needing to have him in my arms.

but then we sat down for our time of prayer tonight.

josh had asked me months ago when we quietly decided on what the baby’s name would be to not refer to him by it but to stick with calling him “little man” or “the baby”. after some of the bumps and bruises we’ve felt over the past year in trying desperately to get to “the baby”, it was just too real to call him by his name. it felt too possible that he might slip away from us.

but as josh sat tonight with me on his right arm and every other square inch covered in little people, he began praying, “lord, we ask you to please protect judah tonight. give him enough to eat and please provide him with someone to hold him and rock him. father, please comfort our son, judah, and help him to know that we love him and that we’re coming to get him soon.”

judah alexander lewis.

in following with the same way we’ve named our other children, his first name means something special to us (“to praise”) and his middle name is after someone in our family (“alexander” is josh’s middle name).

once i finally stopped — stepped away from the delightful madness of 493 phone calls, emails, and facebook messages — it became real. hearing josh pray for judah by name for the very first time in 20 months crumbled the wall i had gradually built up to protect my heart from the pain of not having him and the fear of not ever getting him. in the utterance of a single name, my mind flooded with pictures of his face as my heart crumbled with a longing to tuck him in tonight.

we have a son in ethiopia. be still, my heart.

judah

to be continued…

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4 Responses to giving back

  1. teah bowen says:

    Beautiful story so far! Can’t wait to read the rest of Judah’s story!

  2. […] was born.  he got sick and our hearts broke as he died.  time went by and the lord began to heal us […]

  3. […] to take my breath away. i won’t tell the story here since i’ve shared it before but a prayer changed our lives then our baby’s death wrecked our hearts.  before long, though, the lord began to create […]

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