Wow…what a journey. We’ve now spent our last full day in China (at least this time around), we’re packed, and we’re ready to spend hours in an airplane with three kids! As we reflect back over the last two weeks, our hearts are filled with inexpressible gratitude for God’s sovereign grace that has overwhelmed us, sustained us, filled us, guided us, and now leads us home. We can’t help but to look back at what has truly been a life-altering, family-changing time together. These are some of our favorite moments from start to finish (all of which have been included in previous posts)…

I mentioned in the first blog post on this journey that Heather and I had started a process of adoption from Nepal approximately 3 years ago. Due to Nepal being shut down to adoptions, we kept our adoption paperwork there while we started the process from China. Now, having finished this process in China, unless the Lord does something totally unexpected (which is obviously not beyond His power or prerogative to do), we will likely not be able to adopt from Nepal. I wrote a poem last year for Heather from the perspective of a waiting child in Nepal, still thinking that we might be able to adopt from there. Even though that no longer looks like a possibility, we trust that God will open up other avenues beyond adoption for us to minister to children there. I don’t claim that these words illustrate any kind of poetic skill, but they do express our family’s desire to continue praying and working on behalf of orphans, specifically in Nepal.

As a baby girl in Nepal, I’m not sure what to do,
I have no family to speak of, yet my thoughts are drawn to you.

Two years ago, you prayed and then decided to start,
An adoption process during which God would lead your heart…

To focus on Nepal, rich with culture yet great in need,
Where children face both poverty and high mortality.

So you started the paperwork and began to complete different tasks,
A home study and fingerprints, whatever our governments asked…

Until that paperwork was finally complete,
And you officially mailed it off for me.

Along the way you were praying that God would lead in perfect time,
For He is sovereign above all things, and His is the grand design.

Yet one month passed, then two, then three,
Then more and more…what could the delay be?

I was waiting and you were working,
Yet unknown to us, the circumstances were lurking…

Behind the scenes, where evil and corruption, disorder and chaos,
Led to the day when you finally came across…

A man from the Secretary of State who said, “Get out now,
Nepal is unstable, and probably won’t be open anyhow.”

You were distressed, discouraged, and disheartened at this news,
And as time went on, you became only more confused.

Did we do the right thing? Should we now back out?
Adopting from Nepal was immersed in doubt.

And it’s into this doubt that I now wish to speak,
For I want to encourage you during the times when you’re weak.

I’ve heard of a God who can accomplish the great,
To whom kings bow down and before whom mountains quake.

He holds my times and yours in His hands,
He is the strength on which you and I stand.

And He says that love always perseveres and hopes,
So when it comes to giving up, the only answer is, “Nope…”

We can trust that our Father in heaven is wise,
And He will never turn a deaf ear to our cries.

Now obviously we don’t know how this story will end,
But it’s certainly possible that Nepal will open again.

After all, God is God over Nepal and all nations,
He holds the hearts of leaders in His sovereign administration.

So let love hope and let love plead,
To God on behalf of a prospective little daughter-to-be.

And regardless of whether or not my parents one day you’ll be,
Please promise that your family will never stop praying for me.

As we prepare to head home with our new daughter, we are keenly aware of the number of orphans in Nepal, China, America, and around the world who still have no home. Amidst such massive need, I praise God for growing numbers of His children who are choosing to care for these children. Without question, God has not called every family to adopt; but He has called His family to love orphans. As the church, we have a unique responsibility and joyful privilege to care for the abandoned and provide for the forsaken…in many different ways. Maybe the Lord is leading you to adopt. Maybe the Lord is leading you to provide foster care. Maybe the Lord is leading you to support those who are adopting or fostering. Maybe the Lord is leading you and/or your church to start an adoption or foster care ministry. Regardless of how this looks in each of our lives, as a people captivated by the love of the Father in heaven, we are compelled to show His love to the fatherless on earth. May God give each of us as families and all of us as His family grace to look after the orphan.