Friday, April 15, 2011

Aleksandra Elise: (5) Counting Lions

34 1st Tverskaya - Yamskaya · Moscow, 125047 Russian Federation, in a standard room, several levels above the street, we were at a crossroad that would forever alter who we were at our deepest core. For us this was a lion's den moment. This was never a question of whether or not this little girl would be healthy. It was a much more serious question. 

We had prayed for this moment and we had leveraged everything we had to get here. We had looked into the eyes of a small human child that had been abandoned because her birth mother was faced with impossible circumstances. We had felt the love of this child, cradled her in our arms and nestled our noses in her sweet baby embrace. We had promised her a future with our hearts and committed a trust with our deep gaze into her eyes.

We could have walked away. 

We watched another couple faced with similar circumstances tearfully make that choice and return home empty. We watched as that small infant was carried by the caregiver back into the recesses of the orphanage. We saw the haunted look in their eyes as they quietly abandoned hope and walked away.

We wanted to be strong, and yet we felt deep despair. How could we come so far, only to be met with such potential disaster?  But, this was not a question of the fairness of God. No. This was a matter of whether or not we were to be the children of God. We had originally embraced James 1:27 that claims that the purest religion in the care of orphans in distress, leaning on this scripture as a foundation for what we desired to do. 

Did we really believe that? Did we believe that if it meant adopting a child that was dying, or that could live with prolonged, complicated illness? What about the instability this could cause to our family, our financial state, or even the future of our son? We did not plan for this. We were not prepared for this. We could say no. We could walk away. Maybe we should? How much risk does one take until it crosses the line of foolishness?

We prayed. We journaled. We read our Bibles. And we decided we would come up with our own individual answer. After several hours we sat in the middle of the bed in that dark hotel room and at the count of three we would simultaneously announce our answer.

We looked into each other's eyes and counted, "one, two... three" and said, "yes."

This was real. We were still fearful of the outcome, but we understood that this was not a question of whether God was loving and fair... it was a question of whether we were. 

From my journal, April 30, 2004 11:36 P.M.
"By faith--we accept this child as our daughter. We do so with tears, scripture, and prayers. We pray that you bless our decision and cleanse her body of Hepatitis C and the cause of this illness. You have given her to us and we will not pass her by. We have known what is good and we will do it. By your strength, we go by your blessings and protection in your outstretched palm."
I also wrote down, "For you have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear: but you have received the spirit of adoption..." -Romans 8:15

We pressed our clothes for the next morning, laid our heads on the pillows, and fell asleep with something I had heard of, but never quite understood... a peace beyond understanding.  We would not walk away. 

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