It's been interesting the remarks I've gotten. So many of you have written emails, left messages of encouragement and hope. I haven't had the energy to reply. But I feel your prayers. It's not just M, there's some other things going on, but M is our primary heartache right now.
But there are other responses:
I told you this would happen.
She was never yours to begin with.
I told you you're destroying your children.
You have your hands full anyway. It's a gift she's gone.
You really don't need to do this again. I won't let you do this again.
There are others. Honestly, some are too painful to write. It is true that I expected this to happen. It is true that she was never mine. It's true my hands are full and there are five more in my house, two not mine. It's true that logically speaking we shouldn't do this again.
My God doesn't follow logic.
I loved what Jamie said in the previous post that if orphan care was easy, all Christians would be doing it. That's not to say this is a higher calling. I believe it goes for all ministry. Ministry is sacrifice. It's the sacrifice of our time, our money, our home, our hearts. It's the laying down of our expectations, our lifestyle, our dreams of what success looks like.
It's the taking up of a cross, where a forsaken, materially impoverished, beaten, rejected, homeless Savior died, so that we will die to ourselves.
Yes, God does bless, and yes, God provides good things, and yes, we should rejoice in those good things. But they are not for or about us; they are for the kingdom to be expanded as we enjoy and distribute them.
The truth in light of those hard responses we've received is this:
Even if I had known for certain this would be the outcome, I would do it again in a heartbeat. We were called to take Baby M in, and I will not live in fear of what may happen, because I have been promised everything I need in life and godliness in response to the calling the Father has given.
She was ours for that time. Each child that comes into our home we are called to be a steward of. She is worthy of being grieved. God called her to transform our hearts, and for us to be the incarnation of Christ to her family for a season. That season is worthy of being grieved for a time.
My children are hurting, both the girls and the boys. Even Mattie grieved with us as we told her over the phone. But, what a gift to address godly grief with my children in the home. What a gift that my sons used it to share the gospel - no - to be the gospel to our next door neighbor. What if the very thing I'm sheltering my children from, is the one thing God will use most to form them into the image of His Son.
My hands are full. I rise at 3, to go to bed at 10, with a four page to-do list left. I meet and talk with social workers, parents, counselors - all multiple times a day. BUT, I've never been more alive. I've never tasted more deeply of the Father, and never needed my Savior more.
The world would say we shouldn't do this again. But we're not of the world. In fact, we're strangers, aliens to this world, so we're going in, headstrong, no regrets, with broken hearts that are ready to be broken again for the sake of Christ.