Joy in the Waiting
October 4, 2014 is a day that I will never forget. This was the day that I was introduced to a room full of beautiful, silly, resilient, fun and incredibly strong little girls that I would call my foster daughters. I can remember so vividly walking down the long, grey hallway passing room after room until I got to room 9. When we arrived to their room, Sarah and I stood in the doorway while she introduced me to the girls in Telugu, their native language. The girls listened keenly to every word that Sarah said, while making glances at me to connect all the dots. The only words I understood of Sarah were “house mummy”. The girls didn’t hesitate for a minute to invite me in, sit me on the floor with them and tell me everything they possibly could in Telugu while they played with my hair. So quickly, the girls made me feel at home in their small, humble room and I was hooked. It was love at first sight. For the next month and a half, I spent my days preparing our home for their arrival. Because the government had not yet approved for me to take the girls under the care of SCH, I called the orphanage every day to see if they had made any progress on a single piece of paper that needed a signature in order to bring them home. I went back and forth to the orphanage to see the girls often while I waited for this signature. Every time I came to see them, they grew more familiar with my face and frequently asked me in Telugu and series of charades (they spoke no English and I spoke very little Telugu) when they would be able to come home with me. It crushed me not be able to give them an answer. When I wasn’t at the orphanage seeing the girls, I was at our home, going over every space that someday they would occupy, praying that it would come time soon for them fill our eerily quiet house with the best sounds of childhood. Circumstances could have predicted that it could be several months until I was able to bring the girls home. On the hard days, my faith became a fight to hold onto. But hope gave me a reason to keep calling, keep visiting, keep waiting with belief that God would be faithful to bring these girls home in his perfect time. And that He did. On November 17, I walked into Sarah’s office with defeated tears in my eyes. My heart felt sick knowing where my girls were living and at the same time feeling so out of control to change their circumstances. We prayed together and within 15 minutes, Sarah was talking to the director of the government orphanage gaining the approval to take the oldest 5 school girls to SCH. Within an hour, I was on my way to pick them up. That evening, I was tucking 5 sweet little girls into their beds and kissing them goodnight for the first time. By the following week, I was able to go back and take the remaining girls and finally, we were all together. Overnight, a once empty and silent home was now filled with the most joyful chaos. God heard the prayers of many pleading for these girls to come into the loving care of SCH and he was faithful to answer in His most perfect time. For the next year, I witnessed miracles in our home every day. Girls who were once scared, timid, sick, neglected and traumatized were becoming confident, trusting, healthy, adored, thriving and filled with hope. Right before my eyes, I watched the girls step farther away from darkness and enter closer into light, becoming more and more of who God created them to be. We experienced many “firsts” together- first time celebrating their birthdays, first time sleeping in a bed of their own, first time going to the movies, first time going to church, first time having 3-hour dance parties in our living room, first time going to school (for the littles), first time hearing the gospel. As I learned how to be a mother, they learned how to be a daughter. I navigated parenthood and the immense responsibility it takes to raise young girls to become strong young women who know the truth about who they are, who God is and how they play a part in His kingdom work. They taught me Telugu and I taught them English. We shared our worlds with each other as we created one together. The girls learned new structure, new habits and new routines in the context of home and family. A lot of times, it was messy and our days were filled with many imperfect moments. But at the end of the day, we all experienced a greater and deeper love than what we had known before. Today, I have the joy of witnessing these girls continue to thrive under the care of SCH from afar. They continue to receive an education, learn and grow more in Jesus and are surrounded by caregivers who are committed to seeing them loved and cared for like daughters. I have been able to return to Joy Home since my departure to find that God has surely been the Sustainer of these girls lives, providing every need and bringing many people into their lives to take part in being the hands and feet of Jesus to them. Within the last year, I have been able to see more than half of my nine foster girls get matched and adopted to forever families. This has been, without a doubt, the most overwhelming answered prayer I have witnessed over these girls. It was always God’s clear call that I was to simply be a forerunner and advocate for these girls. As much as it hurt to realize that they were not going to be my kids forever, God allowed my heart the capacity to love them like my own while praying big prayers for their adoptive mothers and fathers to come. I have been given the honor to look back at the prayers of many pleading and interceding for these girls and see now the fruits of those prayers being answered in full. I am without words to the feelings that come with being able to watch such a miracle and divine work of God on behalf of these precious lives. He is so faithful.