Sometimes we can be walking along the road we’re certain God called us down, when He suddenly takes us on a detour that doesn’t make any sense.
That’s how I felt three years ago when He clearly asked us to leave the Ethiopia program. He told us to close our file after we’d been on the wait list for 10 months. I had spent many nights lying in bed dreaming of what it would be like to get on a plane, fly across the ocean, and become a Forever Family. I even dreamt one night of a little Ethiopian boy.
But deep in my spirit, I knew we were supposed to walk away. But that didn’t make it any less painful.
Why had He led us to Ethiopia? Had the past 2 years been a complete waste of time?
This week I learned that the agency we were with closed their Ethiopia program. Had we still been on the wait list, we’d most likely still be waiting for a referral.
That’s exactly what we feared would happen when we were faced with the decision to walk or stay back in 2012.
My heart aches for the families who will never see the faces of the Ethiopian children they prayed and longed for.
But I am confident (maybe even for the first time) that we heard God correctly.
Obedience isn’t always easy, especially when you’ve dreamed of what your family would look like. It’s not easy when people criticize your decision and walk away.
But now, three years later, I can look back and see that our unfulfilled journey to Ethiopia was a part of a bigger plan.
Because His ways are higher than mine. (Isaiah 55:9)
Ethiopia took me out of my comfort zone.
Ethiopia caused me to pray a crazy prayer, which landed me a job at the local homeless shelter.
Ethiopia gave me a heart for orphans and taught me that I could love any child – regardless of the color of their skin – as my own.
Ethiopia taught me that every child deserves a Forever Family – an orphan in Africa, the baby born to a teenage mother, the 6 year old in foster care, the child with special needs.
Ethiopia taught me who my true friends were.
Ethiopia taught me that money really can be the root of all kinds of evil
Had it not been for Ethiopia, I wouldn’t have been able to say yes to the young girl in search of a Forever Family for her son.
Every piece of paperwork was complete, background checks and fingerprints done, allowing us to bring our son home from the hospital on that December day, only 24 hours old.
We never stepped foot on African soil, but Ethiopia will always have a piece of my heart, because ultimately it was my journey to motherhood.
***To read our complete adoption story, check out my book Bringing Home the Missing Linck: A Journey of Faith to Family available on Amazon.***