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Walking by Faith is a Tough Road

The last three days have been some of the most difficult and exhilirating of my entire adult life.  They were full of joy, fear, sadness, doubt to name just a few of the emotions that gripped my heart while I was with our daughter in Asuncion.

I took an overnight bus to be with her when she got up in the morning.  In order to see her beautiful morning smile I needed to face my fears of walking in the same terminal where I was assaulted in 2008- my purse knifed by three thugs.  I arrived safely and I walked into her foster caregivers home at 6:00 a.m. and saw her there sleeping and in perfect peace.  Thank you God for this amazing gift! 

I spent the next days learning about our daughter's daily life and routine with the family that so graciously cared for her  and helped her to understand the love of a family, a real home.  I was so humbled by their hospitality.  They are a modest family yet they gave me their bed, and their bedroom while the children slept in the living room.  They would not let me pay them for the food I consumed, I was their guest and I as Anahi's mother am the most important person to them, they told me.  Such loving people. 

I learned so much about my daughter in the past few days.  She loves music, she loves nature and children. She greets everyone who walks in the door with sweet coos and ahs.  She needs her time after waking up to just breathe in life. She knows what she wants and what she doesn't want and she knows how to communicate through grunting which toy she wants to play with. Her skin is ultra sensitive and even the slightest wind chaps her little cheeks. Totally focused time with her was God's grace to me.

When I went to her 11 month doctor's check up is when I broke down.  The doctor told me that when she was little she wouldn't keep her tongue inside of her mouth.  They checked her thyroid and ruled out an issue there.  She suspected she could have a mild case of Down Syndrome.  I froze inside.  I was paralyzed and I wanted to burst into tears, to scream.  NO.  There is no way that the beautiful little child that God brought into our lives has a special condition.  I couldn't sleep that night.  Every time I felt her breath on mine in the bed we shared, I let the fear of a possible diagnosis paralyze my thoughts.  The "what if" questions that took hold of my night were endless.  All I wanted to do was call off the adoption and take the next bus home.  I wasn't ready for the implications of a special needs child in a nation where there is NO infrastructure for children who have DS.

God, what are you doing??  I asked him as I held her in my arms.   I began to doubt my capacity to care for her, to love her, to give her the future that God wanted for her abundant living.  I called Norberto and had him research DS and what type of mental and emotional delays she might have.  I called our lawyer and told her I was thinking to cancel our interview on Tuesday that took so long for us to get. I called the doctor and had her order me the Trisomy 21 chromosome test.  I told myself we were crazy to even think of adopting in the first place.

Walk by faith, and not by sight.  

That's what I heard Him whisper into my heart.

Just an hour before leaving on the bus to the capital, our Bible study talked about the 12 spies of Israel.  Remember, the ones that were to bring back a report on Canaan (the Promised Land) to Israel.  Regardless of the bounty that they discovered there...including grapes so large that three men had to carry the clusters...  they couldn't get over the size of the giants.  Having forgotten how God had always provided for them and always delivered them from their enemies to that point, they let the possibilities of defeat control what they knew all along. 

God is bigger than the giants.

For 24 hours I dealt with a fear so crippling and so real that I was THAT close to throwing in the towel on our adoption process.  There was a very intense battle going on in my mind and I am quite sure that my Enemy wanted to see me walk away from Anahi during those dark hours.  I am convinced that those fears and doubts did not come from the God who answered our prayers of many years to build our family, to allow us to love and raise children who call Him by name.  They weren't from the One who chose this beauty for us from a long list of 90 waiting families.  They weren't from the Father who loves the orphan and who has grafted us in as His own in spite of our flawed genetic material.

I prayed and cried out to God and asked Him to renew my faith and guide me through the desert.  I know that God's plans for us are to prosper us and to give us HOPE and a FUTURE.  After that long night, I opened up to Anahi's foster mom and told her that I was more than a little scared to hear the doctor's words.  Without my knowing, she called the social worker and she came to talk to me and show me all the rigorous testing that our little girl has already endured and she helped put my mind at ease.  She ordered the Trisomy 21 test to be done and she listened and told me my fears were normal.  I am grateful for those listening, non-judgmental ears.

I hate to admit how fragile I am.  It shocks me to admit how one person's possible diagnosis could strike a blow to bring me crashing to the ground.  I scared me to see how I cower at the giants instead of seeing the abundant fruit right in front of me.  I am grateful for the prayers of those around me that were interceding while I was battling my own fears and inadequacies and lack of trust.

Yesterday as I looked into her eyes and saw her joy and her innocence, I knew God was growing my faith in Him.  As I got into the taxi and waved yet another painful goodbye, I felt physically ill.  The truth is I can't live without her.

I don't know the results of her test, but we are going into Promised Land, dear friends.  We are going forward because this is what God has called us to.  He has called us to rest in Him and walk in faith.  It's a harder road than I anticipated, with many bumps and detours, but He's going before us and we're not going to let someone else enjoy the delicious grapes that were meant for us.


  1. I appreciate how transparent this post is. We are praying fro you guys. These types of fear and second guessing go to prove that you are traveling a road elected by God for you. If you were on your own path the self-reliance would kick in and you would feel these. Know that by design He has brought you to the end of self so He can deliver.

  2. I am a bit behind on the blogs, but was very blessed to read this post today as I am catching up...first of all, it blesses my heart to know that you have gotten to spend this special time with Anahi and to hear how much you have bonded. Thank you so much for your openness about your struggles to have faith in God's plan for your family...bendiciones!

  3. Thank you Julie for sharing this heart wrenching stuff. I wish I had a word for you, an assurance, a promise and a detailed plan of what lies ahead for you as a family but the words that keep coming to mind are - "GOD IS GOOD"
    Praying for you amiga mia. His peace in the storm and His strength for the battles and His joy filling your hearts.
    abrazos - marion x


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