Last year at this time, I was in Manila, staying at a guest house with a precious 10-month-old baby girl, waiting for the legally-required 5 days to pass before I could fly her home to meet the rest of her new family. A couple of years earlier, my wife asked me to pray about applying to adopt a little girl– something that has been on her heart for years. We dearly love our three boys, mind you, but this desire was strong in Lori. I was, to be honest, ambivalent. Raising a child is a big responsibility, and lots of work. Nevertheless, I promised to pray about it. I did. The Lord directed me to apply. Since I knew it was Him, we did. After much paperwork and waiting, we got a notice in August 2005 that we had been matched with a baby girl who needed a loving home. Due to some miscommunication and misunderstandings between the relevant agencies in the Philippines and Papua New Guinea (where we lived at the time), nothing happened after September, because both offices were waiting for the other. While the people in their offices were content with this situation, I was not. Our daughter was in an orphanage instead of with her family.
In December, after it was abundantly clear that nothing was going on or likely to go on to bring the release of our daughter to us, I prayed about it and the Lord told me to go to Manila via Port Moresby and meet with the appropriate people in person. The ICAB representatives told me not to come, because they weren’t ready. I obeyed God, and went. At both places, breakthroughs happened that would not have happened with telephone, mail, email, or fax communication, and the process was in motion again. It still took a while for the paperwork required to release Rachel to be completed, but it was completed on the last working day before Christmas. Rachel was released to her family well before other people told us it was possible for the paperwork to be done, and in shorter time than was experienced by others in similar situations.
We aren’t totally done with the adoption paperwork, yet, but at least the rest of it can be done with Rachel living with her family. Praise God!
Every month is significant in the life of a developing baby or toddler. We prayed for health and healing for Rachel since before we were notified of the match, even. When I was finally able to pick Rachel up to go home, they sheepishly gave me an update on Rachel’s health records. The revealed little details like “primary complex” (infant TB) and that they were treating her for breathing troubles as if she had asthma. She also showed signs of malnutrition when our pediatrician examined her. No matter. We got the right medicine for the “primary complex” and finished it, since it is really just a very long course of antibiotics and vitamins, and finished those. They tasted nasty, but did no harm, even though the doctor couldn’t find any evidence of TB. (Sugar helped the medicine go down.) We never saw any evidence of asthma, so didn’t treat for it. God delivered a healthy girl to us– healthier than what the orphanage thought they had. To God be the glory!
What is amazing that I didn’t expect was not only how good being in our family was for Rachel, but how good Rachel has been for our family. She has won the hearts of her big brothers, and given them a better outlook on life. I believe that God has even more good plans for this miracle baby.
I’m really glad that Rachel was born in a country with a strong Christian influence on their laws; a country where abortion is illegal. I wonder how we can eradicate the kind of depravity that makes people think that it is OK to murder babies in their mother’s womb, especially if the child was conceived in the act of rape or incest. The sins of a biological parent should not result in a death penalty for an innocent baby– a baby that could be accepted into a loving family and grow to do great things for God.