Back in June, Jeff and I picked up a couple of outfits for A in anticipation of our visit to Congo in July. We have held out on sending anything over to him for one, because we didn’t know of other families traveling until they had returned, but also because we wanted to make it through the court process and know he was “ours” before making any further moves. I’ve written about our thoughts on that a few times. In short we were guarding our hearts, but also protecting his from learning of and then possibly losing a family he never met. When our trip was canceled we tucked the bag of clothes away and thought about sending it on to him once we received our documents. Well, we received our documents (finally!) but had renewed doubts about the success of our adoption. It took a while to restore our trust that he would join our family or at the very least that God would guide our moves until then. I emailed our organization probably back in July and heard that they were expecting to have a family travel in September and that they would be happy to take not only our things over, but also the items that were sent to us for us to take on our trip. It had been on my “to do” list for weeks to put together a few more things to send over to A.
I decided that yesterday was the day to pick up A’s goodies and finally send them on their way to the traveling family. I figured Sunday is the first of September so I had plenty of time to get it to them. I came home from the store and asked Odette if she wanted to make him a picture and talked with Jeff about sending a photo of our family. Before ordering the print, I emailed the family to double-check that their trip was still on for September. Yes, their trip was on and they were, in fact, leaving on Sunday! Call it mommy instinct maybe, but I was so glad that I had finally gone and picked out his stuff. I quick hopped on the computer and ordered a family photo and got Odette to work on her drawing. I was so happy about selecting his little toys and imagining the smiles they might bring. I pictured him in his bright, soft new clothes and thought about when the last time might have been when he got new clothes.
By the time we were finished with dinner, I had an email that my prints were ready (Odette needed a family picture for her hook at school and since neither I nor Jeff have a recent family picture at work I got a few extras.). While Jeff gave Odette a bath I headed off to CVS. I didn’t expect the emotion that flooded me as I made the 4 minute drive down the street. Sending him shirts, shorts, and toys was so easy. There was no promise in a care package from the other side of the world. But slipping in the picture of the three of us was a big deal. Was I ready for that? Was he ready for that? Should we be doing this? I cried out to God. He was the only one who could give me direction in that moment. Wouldn’t you know it that it wasn’t 15 seconds later and Lift My Life Up (that my LAST blog post referenced) came on the radio. Call it KLOVE playing the same 5 songs if you want, I call it an answer from God. If you could have seen my smile as I walked up to the counter to ask for my pictures you would know the reassurance I so strongly felt.
That family picture belonged in our care package!
I carefully folded the clothes, opened the toys, and slid them into an ordinary Ziploc bag along with Odette’s drawing and our family picture. I’m surprised that the bag even closed. Not because of the size of our stuff, but because of the amount of love that I stuffed inside.
Then Jeff and I sat together and prayed over that bag and A’s picture in a way that we have never prayed before. Tears streamed down my cheeks. I have so much hope that that little boy, my son, sitting in an orphanage in a far off country will be overcome with love from that Ziploc bag.