A sweet time in the evenings in our family is when the youngest 4 sit with me around my laptop and view pictures of children in Ethiopia. We are learning about their culture and Mere will often point to a child and say, "Aww, is that one our baby?"
She is also quick to notice children of color in our local market and will often pull on my shirt and whisper, "Is that one ours?" It's all such a mystery that even the little ones are excited to move forward and get introduced to who our next baby will be.
So, I trudge on. I printed the formal application to our new homestudy this week. The frustration mounts in my chest as I survey the whole process beginning again, and I try to reason myself out of the tedious, but needful, paperwork.
After all, we have another grandchild on the way. We are planning a vacation to the east coast to visit our two grandsons in July, and hope to go back in October for the new baby.
And our oldest daughter is getting married in August. Busy time for our family to make new memories.
And my parents are facing a tough decision with my youngest brother who will need to be transitioned into a new living facility that can meet his mental, social and emotional needs. They need our support right now, and they are not getting any younger.
My brother just had a heart attack and 4 bypasses. I have nieces having babies, other nieces going on mission trips, and cousins getting married. I have a son that is going to hit his first teen year in October, and he's already needing more attention and alot of help if he's going to be successful in Junior high in the fall.
Plus, I have a daughter who's 11 going on 16, not to mention the younger 5 sibs that keep us on our toes.
So, who needs Ethiopia??? Why are we driven to follow our heart there??
As the evening sun sets and little hands began rubbing sleepy eyes, the littlest ones gather around and want to snuggle as we look at pictures of children that resemble the ones implanted in our hearts many months ago. The children that God impressed us with who are waiting for us so many miles away.
Because of Mere, who tells anyone who will listen that we have a new baby brother or sister waiting for us in AFRIOPIA - and as it warms my heart, it also gives me the next push to grab that pen, finish the paperwork and send it off to the ones who are responsible to get us going in the right direction.
God implanted the desire in our hearts, and the little hands and eyes around us remind us that someone is missing from our clan, and soon, very soon, all the setbacks will be over and we will be with the child who is meant to be a part of our family forever.
Keep searching, Mere. Afriopia, as she says, is not so very far away if you can believe in the plan God gave us with the simple faith of a child.