“The most happiest girl of all!”
That is how the orphanage’s pastor referred to our daughter after their lengthy interviews last week with the probation officer in Uganda.
How I wish we could’ve seen her face!
A “probation officer” there is like what we would call a government social worker here — or maybe more of a guardian ad litem? Every child up for international adoption has a probation officer assigned to his or her case, to determine whether the child is indeed an orphan, and to objectively examine the overall family situation in detail. Then the officer makes a determination as to what should happen, in the best interest of the child. There can be significant problems and delays that arise at this point in the adoption process, so we were more than a little nervous as we prayed over this meeting. We knew that essentially, our fate was in the officer’s hands, and it could go either way.
We are relieved to report that Pearl’s probation officer agreed that adoption is in her best interest!
Though, of course, the best situation for any child is to be raised in her own loving, biological family, we are honored to be “Plan B”. Is it weird to say that? I don’t know. I’m fully aware that my goofy, pale-white American family is not the first best option for her. But I pray that with God’s help, we will be the next-best solution to provide her with the life she deserves.
They emailed me a copy of the form and one line in it brought tears to my eyes:
Seeing the word “wasted” on that form just slapped me in the face. Because that terrible word has no place being paired with this gorgeous, sweet girl we’ve fallen in love with.
That word should never be used in reference to children, period.
And that is what slays me as a mother, when I look at this beautiful girl, when I look at the precious faces of all her peers at the orphanage — the terrible thought of even one of these little lives being misspent.
Because God didn’t say when he made them, “Oh, this one will end up an orphan — I won’t waste my time placing any special gifts or talents in this child.”
Oh no, He graced them with just as many lovely qualities and abilities as everyone else. And it breaks my heart to think of any boy or girl having no hope of a better or fruitful future, their talents and gifts and callings never surfacing because difficult life circumstances buried them away.
I can’t even express what an honor it is for God to have given my husband and I the task of nurturing and uncovering what beautiful things lie within this child — within ALL of our children that He’s so graciously loaned to us. It’s the biggest, most humbling privilege that a human being can ever be handed and it’s hard not to fear messing up this parenting thing.
Because if we don’t get this right, not much else in life matters.
There are two final hurdles, legal-wise: for the judge to grant us legal guardianship, and for the American embassy in Kampala to approve her visa.
It feels so incredible to have made it to this point.
Dear Father God, you see our hearts, ours and Pearl’s…you know how much we all long to be together as a family. All that stands between us now are the decisions of a few people, and a few thousand dollars. I know you wouldn’t have brought us this far without completing this good work you’ve begun, and I trust your mighty hand to attend to all the remaining details. Thank you so much for all the beautiful people who’ve supported us with their gifts and with their prayers and please bless them multiple times over for their kindness. May our girl feel this net of support that you have woven beneath her, beneath us, and may we never forget to honor you for this amazing thing you have done. Protect our sweet girl’s heart and reward her patience in waiting. Thank you for the gift of hope that you planted in her, for the inspiration she is to me and to everyone who knows her. May her life always be a blessing and I ask now that you help us to be the family that she needs, so that in your precious Holy Name, she can become everything you intend for her to be. I pray for your sweet favor, for your provision to bring the fundraising to a close, for setting the perfect court date with the most compassionate judge, for traveling mercies and safety, for my precious boys at home to be well-cared-for in my absence and their hearts prepared for all that lies ahead. Thank you for the desires you place into our hearts, and for fulfilling them. Thank you for your love, your never-ending, always-enduring, sweeter-than-honey, all-powerful, mighty, mighty love. Amen.