Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Weight of Glory

Dearest family and friends:

We are home at last with our son.  After years of anticipation and longing, we now hold the son who was placed so heavily on our hearts 3 years ago, before he was even conceived.

The past one month has been a whirlwind of triumphs.  We have known during this wait that our Father was fighting a battle for the life of our Jude Mengistu, but we never knew it would end so gloriously.  Exodus 14:14 tells us that "The Lord will fight for you.  You need only to be still."  On the days our hands were tied, it was comforting to know that the battle continued in our absence:  in His strong hands.  Some days were indescribably painful.  We were shown time and again how weak we are and how strong and mighty He is.  We have been carried by Him through friends and family.  He has been ever-present throughout the fight for our son.  

After waiting so long for even one victory, we had so many in such a short amount of time.  We passed court October 15, and were cleared to travel November 15.  In case you need perspective, it takes most families 3 months to get cleared to travel after passing court.  After being submitted to the US Embassy for Jude's visa, they cleared him in only 2 days, when it usually takes 4 weeks.  What a surprise it was to hear that we could travel!  We packed quickly and got out of the country within 48 hours---not a small miracle.  We could not have done it alone.   Our support system stepped up in a big way.

Since leaving and returning to the US, God has shown so much of His glory in the life of Jude.  Sometimes it is overwhelming.  Like when I'm driving down the road and Jude is right behind me singing a song in his sweet angel voice and I realize it's not my imagination.  And when we rock him to sleep in his room, where we spent countless nights desperately crying out to God to bring our son home.  And when he clings to us and calls us "Momma" and "Pappa."  And when I look at his scars--the places where I did not get to kiss and bandage--and I have no idea what happened in those places, but I know my Father held him then.   Glory.

People:  Time and again I prayed specifically for God to allow Jude to feel a sense of lonely, a longing for a family.  When I say it outloud, it sounds cruel, but I know that He created us for family
(Psalm 68:6--God places the lonely in families.)  Praise God that He placed the lonely in our family 3 years ago, even with the chaos that 3 young children under age 5 brings.  Praise God.

The day we picked Jude up from his orphanage home, he was understandably terrified (in fact, you might say panicked).  I can't tell you with words how much it hurt us to see him so confused.  We watched a terrified little boy over the next 24 hours begin to develop a trust for us that is beyond comprehension and beyond reason.  Only 24 hours after taking him from his home, we were invited back for a Farewell Ceremony for him, where his nannies and former roommates would greet him and hug him.  We were concerned about a set-back with his new-found trust in us.  We would never have believed that he would cling to us and refuse to go to the nannies who fed, bathed, and cared for him since he was 3 months old.  It defies any kind of reason, except that we prayed for this specifically.  We prayed that he would understand quickly that we are his forever and we will love him unconditionally and we will provide him something his orphanage home can't.  God's glory has been all over this quick adjustment.

If you could be a fly on the wall and watch our little boy run and play and kiss and cry here in his home, you would think he'd always lived here.  If he would let you hold him and rock him, you would feel the weight of God's glory resting in your arms, and trust me:  it's heavy.

So humbled by all of this.  So humbled to be the parents of 4 children.  So humbled by the strength of family and friends who have held us up for so long and now rejoice, as if their own child has come home.

If you feel starved for a glimpse of glory today, just take a look at this boy, who has spilled it all over our lives.

Thank you to all of the prayers lifted up to bring Jude home.  We are eternally thankful.