Thursday, December 9, 2010

A year ago today...

One year ago today my life changed forever. My heart raced. My breath got caught in my throat. My eyes filled with tears. Time finally quit crawling by and actually froze. And I knew that I knew that I knew. Child #909-33 was mine.

We had been on the waiting list for one year. Waiting for a little baby boy from Ethiopia. But then God stepped in and changed our hearts. He shattered them with the eyes of older kids we had looked into in Uganda. He pounded on our heart’s door with their precious hands slipping into ours and squeezing so hard. He broke them as we watched them carry their brothers and sisters on their backs all day long. And so we gave in. We threw up our hands and gave God all the fear we had about adopting an older child and extended our requested age from an infant to a five year old. It was up to Him. The paperwork to change the age range went through on December 7, 2009. We were told that maybe by March we would get a referral.

Then came December 10th. Just three days after the age change was processed we got THE call. The call that every adoptive family on the planet agonizes over and waits for. It came.

I remember hearing Tariku’s heart breaking story. I remember scouring the information in the referral document. We got three attachments in the email…the first one was all the information about him, but I just wanted to see a picture him. I clicked on the second attachment and all that was there were pictures of the burns on his hand. I didn’t need to see the burn pictures – they didn’t matter in that moment. I just wanted to see his face!! Then finally I opened the last attachment. It seemed to take an eternity to load. My body was shaking. I just wanted to see his face. I just wanted to know the moment I saw him that he belonged in our family. I was so nervous…what if I didn’t feel a connection? Can you even feel a connection through a picture?? Then his face filled the screen.  His tentative, sweet, precious little face.

I remember drinking him in instantly. I can still feel my heart exploding. I can remember my sobs as I smiled like someone who’s crazy in love. I knew in a matter of two seconds. It was meant to be. God had moved heaven and earth for this moment. It was no mistake. Tariku was ours.

This little boy who was alone now had a family.  My heart soared.  That empty space inside of me that was missing my little boy somewhere on the other side of the world was instantly full.  God had fulfilled his promise to both of us.

And now, this beautiful little boy is thriving and growing and happy. 

There's nothing like the moments I spend tucking him in bed at night.  He tells me about Ethiopia. About his history.  All while his sweet little hand rests gently on my face.  He goes on and on about what he remembers...what he felt.  The good and the bad.  The pain and the happiness.  Often, I can't help but let the tears roll down my face as I realize all my little one has been through.  Other times, I just lay there in wonder and smile until it hurts.  The little one I dreamed of for so long lays beside me.  Safe and happy and loved.

I can't imagine my life without him.  I am just so thankful.  I am so in awe of what adoption has meant to our family and how it has transformed our lives and the way we want to spend them. I can't help but think...what if we never pursued adoption?  What if the obstacles scared us off?  What if the fact that we only had $1,000 of the $20,000 needed had kept us from starting the process?  What if???

We wouldn't have gotten to see God provide every penny of what we needed.  We would still be stuck in our safe little lives, numb to the 147 million orphans in the world.  We never would have gone to Uganda and seen first hand how orphans like our son struggle to live day in and day out.  We never would have felt moved to spend our lives on behalf of vulerable children.  We never would have moved across the country and accepted a job with Children's HopeChest advocating for orphans.  We never would have had the life altering encounter with God that we have had.  And we never would have experienced the joy of having Tariku as our son. 

Fear stinks.  Plain and simple.  It robs us of the depth of life we are meant to have.  It steals our joy.  The reality of living in safety, risking nothing actually ends up suffocating us.  Adoption is scary.  Lots of things in life are scary.  But none are scarier than missing out on what CAN be if we would just take even one little step or one big, bold, blind leap of faith. 


  1. Oh this brought me to tears and tore at my heart. What a beautiful story. Adoption is on my heart and is something we have been praying about. Thank you for sharing your story.

  2. This is a beautifully-written post. Thank you so much for sharing.

  3. Amy, keep lovin' on Tariku and give him a big kiss from me too. glad he is home with you!

  4. Amy. Beautiful. Thank you so much.

  5. Amy, you don't know how much your journey has blessed my life. The faith to keep moving forward, trusting God to work...that's where I want to be when I grow up! Love!

  6. I know this story by heart and was actually living it with you on that day, but re-reading it again still brings me to tears. I love you my friend. Your strength, courage, love and true obedience to our Father is just pure beauty and your little man is pure bliss. I cannot wait to throw my arms around you again.

  7. This post brought tears to my eyes. I am still so in awe of what God has done in your and Ben's life.

  8. Your story, God's story, is so beautiful. How my heart leaps to see God alive in people such as you! I am so happy to have found your blog. May blessing be showered upon you through out the New Year to come!

  9. I added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit mine and become a follower if you want to.

    God Bless You :-)