Fourteen years ago this week, Kevin and I flew to Bulgaria to pick up our daughter. This was the week we stepped foot into her orphanage and first laid eyes on the one who was laid on our hearts by God.
When we brought her home. So many things were new to her. Likewise for us. We were learning about our precious daughter every day.
She knew very little English, but we were told not to worry. We were taught a few words in Bulgarian. What we did not know was that in the Bulgarian language, when you shook your head from side to side in a gesture that we know as “No” this meant “Yes”. And when you shook your head up and down as we know for “Yes”, this meant “No”! We still laugh about this today when we think back in communicating with Maria. She took it all in stride, as our heads continued to rotate around!
We faced many challenges when we first brought her home, as we still do today. Maria fell from a flight of steps when she was 3 1/2 and placed in the orphanage shortly afterwards. We knew that this road would not be easy, but God let us know in his word, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Hebrews 13:5-6 NIV Kevin and I both continue to cling to this verse with our daughter. Maria is Traumatic Brain Injured with Cerebral Palsy.
“How has your life changed since you adopted Maria, for you and your family?’
This was the question asked for our final interview from our case worker, a few months after coming home. My answer:
“It is as if we have always had her with us.” As tears rolled down my face, I added, “I can’t remember what it is like without her.” Only our Papa God can make us feel this way. A love like no other.
The past fourteen years has flown by. So many memories when she was little. I love to think back and reflect when we first brought her home and all the new experiences for her. I will never forget the first time we took Maria to Disney World. She really had no clue who Mickey Mouse was, but that didn’t matter one bit. She loved every minute, and so did we. Watching the excitement unfold before her eyes, we were wondering what she was thinking, what was going through her little mind.
That girl loved to go when she was little and she still does today!
Before we adopted Maria, and really before the whole process began, God had a word for Kevin and I both. We had doubts before we said yes, she was the one. But God in his loving kindness spoke to me through his word.
“He has shown you, O man, (and woman) what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8 NIV
I circled this verse in my bible and wrote Maria 6/17/99.
God will call us to do many things in our lifetime, whether it’s adopting, or anything else He lays on our heart to do. When he does, He will never leave or for sake us on the journey.
And what does He require of us?
Act justly. Love Mercy. Walk humbly with your God