One year ago this weekend there was nothing notable going on in our family. A cursory glance at July 11, 2007 on my calendar shows blank squares. No appointments, nothing in particular to keep track of. I did not post anything on my blog that day. My July blog archives for 2007 show that we had just gotten back from a family trip to San Antonio, so I'm sure the days following our return involved laundry, unpacking, picking up mail, returning phone calls, resting, setting the house back in order. Nothing earth-shattering... the usual. I'm sure the kids and I spent time reading books and maybe going swimming, enjoying our summer and trying to stay cool in the typical triple-digit Texas heat.
While we were living our ordinary life, across the world something extraordinary was happening. How could we have known that what happened on July 11, 2007 in a sub-city of an African capitol would change our family forever? For it was on that day that a little 8-year-old boy arrived at an orphanage. It is hard to wrap my mind around what his little soul had been through in the years leading up to that day. There is much I do not know about him... yet... but I do know that on that day last summer, he arrived at a place with the word "Hope" in its name. In the midst of a journey marked with loss and pain, someone took him by the hand, he crossed the threshold of Hope and started a new chapter in his life.
As I imagine that day in his life, I have so many questions: Did he cry? If he did, did anyone wrap their arms around him and tell him it would be okay? Were they tender with him as they brought him there? Was he able to sleep that night, or the first few nights? Was the boy who is now his best friend already there, or was he the only boy his age? Did he bring anything with him? Was he scared? Did he have any idea his life would never be the same?
I don't know what he did last Friday, one year later. I do know that on the one year anniversary of his arrival at the orphanage, by God's grace, he had in his possession a book of pictures of a family who is eagerly waiting to come for him. That precious little boy who just a few months ago told someone he really wants a family because he "wants to belong," should receive in the coming days a DVD with messages from his new family telling him how precious he is and that he belongs with us. Sometime this week he should receive his care package, filled with as many goodies and as much love as I could fit in it, along with notes from each of us telling him what an important part of our family he already is. And that beautiful boy, living in a place called "Hope," can begin catching glimpses of what hope looks like.
Of course, I have been praying about our upcoming court date, July 25. As I have been praying about it, I have continued to have the phrase "Prepare your heart" go through my mind. Every time I pray about our court date, I "hear" the words: Prepare your heart. Prepare your heart. To be honest, I don't know what that means. Prepare my heart for what? A positive outcome? A negative one? Something devastating? Something joyful? And how, exactly do I prepare it?
SO...the next two weeks - the weeks between the anniversary of his arrival at the orphanage and our July 25 court date - I will be spending some time preparing my heart. Or, more accurately, laying my heart before the Lord and letting Him prepare it. I will be taking a break from this blog (and the computer in general) to spend more time seeking Him and praying for our upcoming court proceedings. Our family covets your prayers during this time as well. If you feel led, please pray that God would prepare all of our hearts, and prepare M's as well, for whatever is in store.
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog, and for your prayers!