Battle Cry: Part 4 (Happy Birthday)
Today is our baby boy’s first birthday. 1 year ago, he was born to a woman & man who cared enough about him to give him LIFE. I don’t know what that day was like for them. I don’t know where they were. I don’t know who celebrated this precious little life with them. I will never meet them, but today, I am thankful for our little one’s birth mother & father. Today I mourn their loss and empty arms, while simultaneously being grateful that I have the opportunity to step into a tragic gap. Today, I pray over the circumstances that led this baby boy to where he currently resides. Today, I remember a quote by Jody Landers, “A child born to another woman calls me Mommy. The magnitude of that tragedy and the depth of that privilege are not lost on me.”
After we were matched, I searched through my calendar, hoping to find something, ANYTHING that let me know where I was and what I was doing on the day my 3rd child entered the world. There was nothing listed on my calendar, so I opened Google photos and scrolled to April 2017. What I found took my breath away and brought tears to my eyes. The Lord is so sweet, you guys.
There are so many things I will never know about the day our baby boy was born. But there is one thing I do know. I know what his daddy and I were doing on the day he was born. We were celebrating a birthday.
It was a Wednesday night at church and we needed a youth group activity for the last of our First Wednesdays events that we held last year. After talking about it, Marcus and I decided to throw a “random” birthday party, complete with balloons, party hats, and cake. The cakes simply said Happy Birthday, with no name on them. As our middle school and high school students arrived, their first question, naturally, was “Whose Birthday is it today?”
Our answer, laughing, was, “I don’t know!” or “No one.” or “We just felt like celebrating.”
But, do you know whose birthday it really was? It was our son’s actual BIRTH day in India.
We snapped this picture around 7 PM on April 5th, which would have been around 5:30 AM on April 6th in India. Happy Birthday, baby boy! We may not have been aware at that moment that our lives were forever changed that day, but I will always praise God that we were really celebrating YOU on the day you were born.
I pray today that he is celebrated. I pray that he is held and hugged. I pray that he smiles and laughs and plays with his little friends. We will be celebrating from this side of the ocean, but OH how I long to celebrate with him! Next year, baby boy...and every year after.
Today, we are launching a t-shirt fundraiser to help celebrate our little one’s first birthday. You can’t give him a present today, but you can help his parents purchase a plane ticket to India (to be used very soon!) and get a shirt in return. Plus, I have this silly dream of “our village” showing up at the Kansas City airport within the next few months, wearing matching t-shirts, and celebrating the fact that our baby boy is finally HOME. On that day, unfortunately, there will still be approximately 140,000,000 orphans in the world. However, on that day, there will also be one less orphan than the day before.
Click this link to get your shirt: 140,000,000 MINUS ONE.
We will only take orders for 2 weeks. Then shirts should be in your hands 2 weeks after that. Hopefully only a few weeks after that, he will be in our arms! (Feel free to share this link with others.)
Other praises this month include:
We have our Visas to go to India! They were processed in record speeds, and we were both granted 10 year, multiple entry Visas, which we were told was pretty much impossible because Marcus is a Pastor.
We received 4 new photos of our little one and some updated measurements. It’s hard knowing we missed some of his “firsts”, but we were thrilled to see that he met more developmental milestones and gained some weight over the last few months. Continue praying for his health and development. (P.S. You guys, he is so precious! I really wish I could share his photos with you.)
Our Court Petition arrived at our house on March 29. We edited and signed and notarized it and prayerfully sent it back to India. This document was from our attorney in India, and it is the official request that will allow us to get a court date...hopefully very, very SOON!
Our updated I800a (immigration approval) was also granted on March 29. I know this seems minor in light of everything else, but we are thankful that mess is now behind us!
1. We are still begging God for a court date this month. We are running out of time because his courts close 4 weeks from today and our court petition is still on its way to India. (Its scheduled to arrive on Monday!) It’s still *slightly* possible to get a court date THIS month, so please keep praying!
If we don’t get a court date this month, God is still good. He has still moved the process at record speeds, even if we don’t make it to court until this summer. But.....I may still need you to console me with chocolate throughout the entire month of May while things are at a screeching halt.
2. Our agency had some transitions last week. The India Program Director (who also happens to be our family coordinator and point of contact for our adoption) left to pursue another opportunity in post adoption support, counseling, and training. She is amazing, and she will forever be the person who matched us with our baby boy and helped our process move so quickly over these last few months. Now, we have TWO NEW people overseeing our adoption process. Change is hard and sometimes scary, especially at this pivotal point in our adoption process, but God saw this coming. We are praying this transition and these new changes will not slow down our case at all. We are still hopeful to have our baby boy HOME early this summer.
Here is our checklist, unfortunately it looks EXACTLY the same as it did last month, but things have definitely been happening behind the scenes. I still can’t believe it’s only been 3.5 months since we’ve seen our little one’s face and allllll these steps are already crossed off. God is a God of miracles. Keep praying, friends.