I spent the last summer of my college years on a mission trip to China. Witnessing firsthand a culture where the girls are undervalued, and even abandoned in the hopes of having a baby boy, the Lord gave me a heart and vision for adoption.
A few years later, my fiance didn’t share my same passion. He was willing to consider adoption if we couldn’t have children. For all practical purposes, I set my dream on the shelf and didn’t plan to take it down again. I didn’t want to “lead” or “manipulate” my husband into adopting. I trusted God would redirect my desire.
Now married, and two daughters later, we were trying for our third child. Somehow, trying wasn’t as successful as the first two times, so we prayed and waited. While waiting, my husband and the Lord had a conversation. My husband told Him if we weren’t pregnant in 6 more months, we would consider adoption. During that 6-month period, some friends invited us to a Steven Curtis Chapman concert (where the adoption flag was raised high) and Russ led a mission trip to China, but still no pregnancy.
Russ brought me in on the conversation he and the Lord were having. WOW, I had no idea that Jesus would ask me to re-engage my passion and dream for adopting a little girl from China! We excitedly started the adoption process right away. By our youngest daughter’s 2nd birthday, we were approved by our adoption agency and prepared to wait a year for paperwork and placement…just a little longer than a pregnancy, not bad!
One year passed, then two, then three. With paperwork expiring and needing to be resubmitted, no placement in sight, and our two little girls growing bigger every day, we began to doubt whether our littlest girl would ever come home.
During this “desert” season, the Lord began to encourage me with verse after verse about water, streams, rivers…reminding me that He quenches thirst and He gives life. Those verses began to flood my soul, and a list in the front cover of my Bible began to grow. I still struggled with the long wait. As other international adoption programs shut their doors, I wondered if the same would happen to us.
The Lord reminded me of His plan, His path which was being carried out:
Jeremiah 31:9 With weeping they shall come, and with pleas of mercy I will lead them back, I will make them walk by brooks of water, in a straight path in which they shall not stumble.
He continued to quench the dryness in my soul with verse upon verse about His life-giving water. Still waiting, now for 4 years, we named our daughter who we didn’t even know. Her name would be Evian, meaning a spring of water. The wilderness of waiting continued. And then we got a phone call.
Evian was waiting for us to bring her home. Five weeks later, we were in China, meeting our 8-month-old little girl. Four and a half years of hope, anticipation and love were fulfilled as we wrapped our arms around our daughter. Just as the Lord led us, met us, and provided for us as we waited, we now pray for Evian to allow the Lord to be the One who truly quenches her thirst with Life-giving Water.
*The author’s name is a pseudonym.