In 1999 Don and I attended a one day FamilyLife marriage conference called I Still Do. As much as the conference impacted us that day, only God knew how it would begin a chain of events that would impact one little life for eternity.
From attending the event we moved on to leading HomeBuilders Bible studies and volunteering at the conference the following year. This led to us hearing and, in an uncharacteristic moment of obedience, following God's call on our lives to leave Maryland, raise our own financial support and move to Little Rock, Arkansas and work with the ministry of FamilyLife for 5 years.
During our time with FamilyLife I felt led to participated in a FamilyLife sponsored mission trip to Guatemala where I visited orphanages and my heart was quite literally broken for the 100 million orphans in our world.
This led to the beginning of our adoption journey. A journey that would stretch our faith and finances and take us to the very limits of ourselves. As we waited the 3 1/2 years to bring our precious Maria home, watching her grow up in pictures without her family, we often questioned God's purposes. I don't think we will ever know the why for our wait.
During one of the lowest points of our wait, plagued by concerns of whether or not her adoption could be completed, someone asked what would be the worst outcome from this experience. Without hesitation I answered that Maria would never come home. I pondered and prayed over my answer and realized the worst that could happen would be if Maria never met her Savior and spent eternity separated from him. From then on my attitude changed and I began praying first for Maria's salvation and secondly that we would be blessed to be the family that would lead her to Him.
It's been 17 months since Maria joined our family and today our prayers were answered with Maria's baptism. Not only will we have the blessing of sharing this life with her, but eternity as well.
9 years of putting plans into motion, a move halfway across the United States, thousands of dollars, 4 trips to Guatemala, a family changed forever. The list goes.
I'm in awe of a God who loves so deeply that He would go to such great lengths for one life. That before Maria's life even began God knew that this would be her story. That we would be her family. That she would be His child.
I'm blessed that He would use someone as flawed as me as His tool.
I'm sobered by the thought that we could have disobeyed.
Simply Stated: The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9