We asked you to pray for us that God's will would be done regarding the adoption of a little boy from Malawi (yep, Malawi. No need now to keep it a secret). We know with confidence that God has heard and answered our prayers. We made our plans but it is now clear that God has redirected our paths.
Wednesday morning we had the privilege of visiting and playing with Ernest, the boy we intended to adopt. Though he was sweet and affectionate, it quickly became clear to us, as well as my parents who had accompanied us, that Ernest has significant mental disabilities. After consulting with his nannies and school teacher, and my dad, Chris, who was a physician, we came to the conclusion that Ernest likely has Cerebral Palsy, and is likely older than the 3 years of age we had been told. He does not speak, does not engage with his peers and would likely require lifelong personal care. Though we were prepared for the normal challenges of bringing home an institutionalized child, and even open to parenting a host of special needs, neurological disabilities were not something we feel comfortable choosing for our family. The director of Ernest’s orphanage had represented him over the course of the entire adoption process to be a very healthy normal boy – a “leader” in his school. Needless to say, we were then shocked by the challenges we faced upon meeting him, and came to question other details we had been told, including his HIV status. Through much prayer and counsel, we decided Ernest and our family would be best served by leaving him in his current loving home and expert care.
The Judge who sits on His throne in heaven has ordained before the beginning of the world that we would travel to Malawi, but apparently not that we would adopt a little boy. We don't know why God would have us travel and have our hearts broken, but we hold tightly to the truth that God has caused ALL things to work together for His good. We are reminded that our time on earth is intended to bring glory to His name.
The past 48 hours has been the longest of our entire lives, but as we were lying in bed last night thinking of all of the events that had occurred, we noticed a consistent theme: God provided the perfect amount of grace for each moment. We left Blantyre yesterday and traveled 400km to the home of our dear friends, the Biedebachs, in Lilongwe where we are being loved on. This morning we attended African Bible College chapel service where we sang "Blessed be the name of the Lord." We have sung that song numerous times at home, but we were all in tears as we were reminded of the truth that the Lord gives and takes away. We are blessed to be able to trust in His plans and His ways.
Please pray for our children that they will be comforted as they learn that Ernest isn't coming home. Pray that we will be able to arrange to travel home earlier than planned without significant extra cost. Pray that God will continue to comfort our broken hearts. Praise God that Danny and I are united in this trial. Praise God for his goodness to provide a multitude of graces at the perfect moment to assist us in this trial. Thanks friends!