So I'm going to cheat a bit and steal a blog off of Jen's blog. Since she had spent FOREVER typing up the story I figured people could read it on her blog. However, I find myself desiring to share the news with those of you that may be connected to me and may not read her blog. I want to say that the story still gives me goose bumps and makes me want to cry every time I hear it or think about how awesome our God is.
As I begin to share with you let me tell you that this is the first time that I remember feeling as though God was answering my prayers the moment I spoke them. He didn't ask me to wait and grow (as we're all familiar with that one), He didn't tell me the timing wasn't best, He didn't say no, He just went ahead of me by a step and prepared the way. It was beautiful and I am just now getting to fully reflect on how it happened and how tender it was that He took such beautiful care of my heart.So many details to share...please bear with me, I promise you'll be reminded of the faithfulness of God. Look past my inadequate words and please see a Father who loves His children, every one of them no matter where they are!So you might remember several months ago my post on two precious little guys that we had met one night while we were going through the pharmacy drive thru. They had come up to my window to ask for some lempira's and had coke bottles under their shirts and eyes that were cloudy from the effects of the frequent sniff's. As I looked down into their little eyes, my heart was caught and I remember thinking oh Heavens I want to take you home, give you a bath, cut that hair, and sit down and hold you and remind you how much you're loved. They asked for some food that first night that I met them and we were headed to Pizza Hut and so I said well meet us over at Pizza Hut in 5 minutes and yes I'll buy you some food. I am ashamed to say that my thought initially was that we would go into Pizza Hut and eat and I'd either get them some food to give to them or we'd give them our leftovers. (I still shudder at the fact that my brain in the moment was malfunctioning.) Their idea when I said I'd feed them was that they were going in with us and before I even had time to think about it, my 5 boys and these sweet little dirty guys with barefeet just trucked right through the door and into the play area at Pizza Hut. We all sat down at the big long table and they all played together and we had soooooooooo much fun. They ate so many pieces of pizza I was scared to get the bill and delighted to pay it all the same. :) As we said goodbye that night I wrote my number down on a piece of paper and handed it to one of them and told them to come back tomorrow with their mom and that I would help them file the proper paperwork and get them help and that they could come and live with us. We left with hugs and a prayer.We went back the next day and couldn't find them anywhere. Over the course of the next month we drove through that same part of the city and looked for them sooooo many times. Our boys prayed for them every single night and asked me every day when they were coming to live with us. I didn't have any answers, I had felt so sure that God had led us to them and couldn't figure out why it wasn't working out. Felt so hopeless in some ways because we were here had a home and couldn't find a way to get these sweet boys in it.When we were in town a few months later when Kay and Joyce were here we were driving by the Mariott and these two little guys came up to my window and they were way familiar faces.
(This was the day they picked me up from the airport. I met these boys and felt my heartstrings being pulled before I even met our kids)
I stopped at the light and got super excited to see them and asked how they were and told them to come on we were going for ice cream. Had a ball. That was January 18 and the next day was my birthday. Told them to come back to the same place in the morning and that we'd buy them breakfast and bring them some things. Once again they were barefoot and in ragged clothes. So there they came early the next morning and we all sat down and ate breakfast and I loved on them and AGAIN I wrote down my name and number and I said put this in your pocket, don't lose it, and tell your mommy to call me, I WILL HELP YOU!!! Didn't hear anything from them again and I am still thinking, what in the world??!! God I don't get it, we have a place to help them, I want to help them, I feel called to these two boys so strongly for some reason and I have to believe that's from you, why is this not working?? No answers.So we went to visitation on the last Friday of March to take the kids to visit their mothers and as soon as I stepped out of the van I saw this little guy running and I couldn't make out who it was until he threw his arms around me and yelled TIA and I looked into a little face that made me want to bawl. It was Brian, one of the brothers that I'd met so many months ago and had prayed for nearly every day since. One of the ladies that was sitting with him walked up to me and she said, you need to know that he has cried every day since he got here because he said some lady promised to help him but he couldn't find her phone number but he wanted to go live with her. She said when you drove up and he saw you get out of the car he said, that's her. Awwwwwwww...ok so I was smitten with this little heart all over again. So I went inside to talk with the social workers and told them about the fact that we'd built a relationship with this boys and that I really wanted to take them to live with me. They told me that that wasn't going to be able to happen, that Rudy (his brother) had already been court ordered to another children's home and that Brian was to go there tomorrow. I wanted to bawl. I said, but he doesn't want to go there, he wants to live with me, and I want them to live with us and our boys have prayed for them nearly every night, and it was a futile effort, they weren't budging. I left feeling very defeated...but praying that God would protect those boys and draw them to him.This past week the group had a visit scheduled to Casitas on Tuesday and I was running late because I had a meeting that I had to go to between the blind school and Casitas and so was an hour or two late. When I pulled up in the car Ashley was sitting beside this sweet little face that I love and I recognized immediately as Brian.
(He came running up to me when we got there and stayed by my side the entire time and kept asking when Jen was coming!)
My mouth dropped open because he was supposed to have left a week ago to go to the other center. I got out of my car and asked lots of questions about what happened and he said, I didn't want to go I want to live with you. Ok tears!!!!!!!!!!So my feet went trucking back into that office and said to the women in there, what do I need to do to take this little guy with me...I will do whatever it takes. I asked for the name of the center where Rudy is because they refuse to separate the brothers which I completely understand and so I said I'd take them both...they still wouldn't do the paperwork required to change the orders. I was getting way frustrated by this point and felt like we weren't doing what was best for the kiddo's which certainly was getting my feathers ruffled. Left the office way upset and so I went back out to face Brian and tell him there was nothing I could do. I couldn't ever get those words out of my mouth though. So instead I looked at him and I said, I want you to know that I want you to live with me. You are such a special little boy. So you pray and I'm gonna pray and I'm gonna go talk to some people tomorrow and see what I can do ok??!! All of this was said with serious tears in my eyes praying that I wasn't doing the wrong thing by giving him false hope. He just kept sitting beside me putting my hand up to his little mouth and kissing it. Broke my heart. It was time to board the bus and I hugged this little guy with all I had in me, and his eyes filled up with tears. I said hey don't be sad, God is great big and you pray tonight really hard ok, and I'll have all my friends that are here with me pray too ok. Let's just pray. Then I said let's pray right now and so I knelt down there in the dirt on these knees with this precious little guy and I put my head against his and I just basically said ok God we just are gonna trust you and we need your help. I got on the bus and I put my head on the seat in front of me and I cried like I haven't cried in a LONG time!!! I was heartbroken and didn't have a clue what to do and wanted to help rescue this little guy soooooooooooooooooo bad!!We had a devo at the Jesus statue that night and after devo was over I just explained the story and told them that I wouldn't be with them because I had to go fight for a little boy because I promised him that I would and I begged for their prayers. So we all prayed together for two little boys and for God to work all of this out in the very best way whatever that was because we just weren't sure what to pray for exactly.After I shared, this sweet gal, Iris, that was with my dear friend Gina that night came up to me and asked for more details and said that her mother worked for IHNFA and worked with adoptions and that possibly she could help me. Gave me just an ounce of hope at least and God used her in that moment. Didn't have any idea how much He was about to use her. The only thing I had to go on at this point was that Rudy was at some center called Amor Y Esperanza and that possibly Iris's mom could help me the next day. I knew though that I only had until about 2 pm because the other center was coming to get Brian then. So I needed a plan and fast.We were headed back down the mountain to take Gina home and I wanted to take donut's up to the team for a treat and so I asked Gina and Iris if they'd like to grab a donut or would rather just go home. They said yeah they'd like to go with us. (Which is a rare deal as well, because Gina never eats junk food so the fact that she said yes to a donut is worth noting.) There were two other people in the Dunkin Donuts besides us and when we pulled up Iris said hey I know that lady, she's a doctor with the Baptist mission in a village out of the city. So we walked up to the counter to order and Iris went over to talk to them and she came over a few minutes later grabbed me by the arm with enthusiasm and said hey you need to come over here right now this guy is the director of Amor Y Esperanza. WHAT??????????????????????????? I had to pick my jaw up. So I walked over introduced myself, told him the story of Rudy and Brian and just asked him if there was anyway we could work together to help them and do what's best. He said, well I'll tell you what we have 3 centers, let me give you the name of the one where Rudy is and the name of the director there, and you'll need to call her in the morning and explain the situation to her, and we'll go from there. I could not believe it. Out of 1.6 million people in this city, God allowed us to be in the same place at the same time, and I couldn't decide if I wanted to do cartwheels or cry at His tenderness and relentless love.
(Jen returned to the Mission House with some great news AND doughnuts. The crazy part was that while she was in the city doing all this I had taken a few minutes to slip away and sit on the side of the mountain begging God for a way to make the boys ours. When I returned to the Mission House you would have thought it was in the middle of the afternoon as loud as everyone was being. As soon as I entered Jen found me and shared the news!! Only minutes after my prayers. Talk about some fast answers!)
So Gina agreed to go with me to speak to the director the next morning and so we went early in the morning to meet with this sweet lady named Claudia. She was a delight and if for no other reason than getting to meet her it would have been so worth it. She agreed to let me shadow her and learn from her and she is obviously a woman who is in love with her Lord. I am looking forward to that. When I explained the situation to her, the one thing that stands out is her saying, "if you feel this strongly about being called to these two little boys and the bond you've formed with them I have to believe that's from God and I want to help you." And she did. She gave us a copy of the entrance papers with their full names on them and their id numbers and gave us the judge's name and said that we'd have to go talk with her.So we went from the director's office to attempt to go to the office of a lady we have some affiliation with from when Tim worked with her with Dona Aguas (the prior first lady). She is what we would call the D.A. over the children's courts and we attempted to call her several times and couldn't get ahold of her and so Gina said well let's just stop by. So we went into her office and she recognized Gina and said well come in. It was crazy, she was crazy busy, and she is normally not in her office but she just "happened" to be this morning. She listened to the story, she looked at the papers we had, she said oh yeah I know this lady she's one of my best friends I work with her often, I'll call her right now. So she got her on the phone explained the situation, told her she thought this was in the best interest of the children and I only heard her end of the conversation so all I could hear was, yes I know we'll need to do an inspection first, so how about tomorrow at 1:30?? I looked at Gina like yeah right, you wait for a month for things like this, they are not going to come tomorrow, and then I heard her say, tomorrow at 1:30 ok I'll see you then. WHAT?????????????????????????And so the meeting was in place and in a 24 hour period of time God had blown me away. I went from hopeless to hopeful and remembered that if God could create the world, part the seas, calm the ocean, He could certainly bring a couple little boys to this home if He so chose.The ladies came out the next day to do an inspection and everything went well and the judge walked into my office and said, well I do believe this is best for the children. I will be changing the orders next week. Congratulations you have 2 new boys!!I am floored and humbled and touched to my toes that God would wait until the perfect time. That He would nestle two boys in my heart long ago and teach me so much through this process. That He would allow me to learn that they were worth fighting for and that the battle will never be mine but His and that He will walk ahead of me and prepare the way. That He would love me and these two little guys so much that He would work this all out in the beautiful ways that He did.SO I HAVE AN ANNOUNCEMENT...Rudy and Brian are coming home...home to Casa...home to this heart...home to these brother's and sister's in this family that God had prepared for them before the beginning of time. I am honored to be a small part of all of this...thank you for you prayers. It was such a sweet gift to be able to share the moments of all of this while the team was here. I will never forget the ways you all encouraged and prayed hurt and rejoiced with me through the events of this week. You are precious!!