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Thursday, December 2, 2010


TIA -- this is Africa. There are no straight paths, no easy answers, no quick solutions. I am exhausted. I keep trying to find the words but I'm not even sure how to describe the past couple of days.

Yesterday, I met Hannah and Joseph for the first time. Our time together was amazing. Since July our two little ones have been staying with Mama Catherine and Pastor Ernest. Their home is very simple and modest and overflowing with love. It is situated on perhaps the most breath taking piece of property I have ever seen in my life. Truly, the most exotic Ritz Carlton property you can think of has nothing on this place.

We arrived at Mama Catherine's home yesterday morning. I hopped out of the car and stood around just taking everything in. And out of nowhere, this chubby little boy with a huge smile came walking around the corner. He walked right up to me, dazzled me with that amazing grin, and then let me scoop him up in my arms. Simple as that. That's my Joseph. Hannah took a bit more convincing but she eventually came around and then I think I spent the rest of the afternoon carrying her or sitting with her on my lap. She is absolutely stunning. Her beautiful eyelashes are so long that they curl.That was a great day.

On the other hand, today was not so great. My court appointment was at 11am this morning. The children and I went out to breakfast and then headed over to the courthouse. And there we sat. And sat. And sat. And sat some more. Hannah and Joseph behaved so beautifully and handled it all so well. And finally our case was heard. The judge did not say no -- but he did not say yes either. He told our attorney to come back on December 16th for his ruling on our case and that was that. He had nothing more to say to us. I was so, so bitterly disappointed. God bless poor Joy who had to deal with me all day today. From the judge I had expected a "yes." I had somewhat prepared myself to hear a "no." But an "I don't know about this, come back in a couple of weeks and we'll let you know" I did not expect at all.

So now, we wait some more. Because the courts will not rule on our case for the next two weeks, I am coming home with Joy on Sunday. If the judge's ruling is positive, Dan will return after the 16th to bring Hannah & Joseph home. If it's negative, it's all over. I am sad and scared and worn out but I fully trust in God's plan for our family and know that He is in control.

Overall, it's just been exhausting to be here -- mentally, spiritually and physically. It's hard because now I've seen the poverty here first hand... and because I know of the wealth and abundance on the other side. It is so hard to reconcile the two. Today I saw two toddlers walking alone down the side of a busy rode with heavy water buckets, I saw several young fathers carrying tiny babies through a slum, I saw a girl no older than my 7 year old daughter with a baby tied on her back. I've seen the pictures and heard all the stories but in real life, it's not the same. I have no words for most of it.

Thank you so much for praying. Thank you for the emails of encouragement, the text messages, the comments on the blog. I've been savoring each one of them. Thank you for standing with us. We feel "pressed on every side yet not crushed; perplexed but not to despair." (2 Corin 4:8)


Jennie said...

Oh, sweet friend. What a hard thing at court. But thank you for sharing the love of Christ with your newest children. I just KNOW they saw Christ in you. We continue to lift you up in prayer. And now we will add a prayer that your love for your children will soften the heart of the judge and that he will rule in your favor in a couple of weeks.

Nancy said...

Have been praying for you and receive this with a heavy heart. Praying for favor from the judge. May God bless the rest of your time there and give you a safe and peace-filled journey home.

The E's said...

Hi this is Shannon, we met in court yesterday. Just hoping to encourage you that everyone has to wait 1-3 weeks before receiving the court ruling. Our ruling is also on the 16th, and the other 2 families here are on the 21st I believe. I'm sorry your lawyer did not prepare you for that! We are praying for you guys!

Tracy B said...

Hey Shelley,
Don't know if you remember meeting me a few weeks ago at ChristChurch choir/dance practice or not, but just wanted to let you know that I've been following your posts and praying for you guys as you step out in faith to adopt sweet Hannah and Joseph. I so enjoyed meeting you and talking with you.

I've recently been listening to a sermon series on Nehemiah and his prayer seems to be a good one for me to pray for your family: "O Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of your servant, and to the prayer of your servants who delight to fear your name, and give success to your servant today, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man." Nehemiah 1:11

Praying earnestly for favor from this judge and trusting with you for God's perfect will to be done.

In Christ,
Tracy Bunch

steph said...

praying for you girl!!

Chasity said...

Oh Shelly. What a hard, tremendously hard thing. Y'all have been in my prayers since I first found your journey and you remain there. Stand firm in His love.