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Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Story

Remember this picture?

That’s Laura and me last month at the Christian Alliance for Orphans annual Summit. I don’t know if anyone remembers but when I came home from Summit last month, I told y’all that I had a story to share. And it’s finally time. Here’s "The Story" from Summit…

Laura and I flew into Kentucky a day early because we were helping host a pre-Summit event for adoptive moms. Of the two of us, I’m the adoptive mom. I was at the pre-Summit event to lead a discussion group, sit on a panel and generally encourage other adoptive and soon-to-be adoptive mothers. Because she’s a sweet friend, Laura came along to help out wherever she was needed.

Laura and her husband, Garry, have talked about adopting for years. They’ve actually done more than talk – they’ve prayed and researched and even inquired about various waiting children. They’ve had every intention of adopting at some point. But for various reasons and circumstances, they’ve never been able to put those plans into action.

So, there we were at the pre-Summit event – Laura and I were knee deep in logistical details, SixtyFeet t-shirts, pre-Summit name tags and sharpie pens – and Laura received an urgent message from one of our friends back home in Atlanta.

The message was this: There’s a baby girl just abandoned at a local hospital. She was born extremely premature – at only 25 weeks and weighing less than 2 pounds. This tiny girl was in the hospital fighting for her life – all alone. She had a tear in her intestines and was leaking fluid, she was breathing on a ventilator, and if she lived, she was likely facing lifelong health issues.

The agency handling her case was desperately seeking an adoptive family. There was very little health history on the birth parents and so far, no one was interested in Baby Girl. She was just too much of a risk for most families to take on. It was imperative that a family come forth immediately or the child would be handed over to social services.

Laura heard this news and reacted in the most incredible way… she wanted to DO SOMETHING. She wanted to take action. Rather than praying that someone else would come forward for this little girl, Laura wanted to come forward herself.

I’m all for praying. I treasure the hearts of the prayer warriors I know and I’ve been the blessed recipient of many, many prayers –especially over the last year. But at some point, we have to accept some responsibility for the prayers we offer up and to consider that we might be God’s vehicle in answering those prayers.

The book of James exhorts us... "do not merely listen to the Word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says." At the end of the day, good intentions are just that. They're intentions. And if those intentions are not eventually put into action, they're useless.

So with tears streaming down her face, Laura excused herself from the session we were working in. She stepped out in the hall and called Garry. They talked and prayed and after about 5 short minutes, they’d made a decision.

They knew there were many unknowns and a very long road ahead. There were hoops to jump through and details to figure out. There were many perfectly good reasons for saying no. But Garry and Laura stepped out in faith and obedience and said yes.

This is a long one, so I’ll finish it in a post later this week. This story has a happy ending but probably not the one you’d imagine. When we step out in faith, God never promises that it will be easy or comfortable or that things will turn out the way we think they will.

What He promises is this: help for now and hope for the future. And for those of us who love Jesus, His grace and His promises are enough.

See y'all on Tuesday (or maybe Wednesday) and I'll finish it up.


Lara said...

What an awesome story!

Audrey @ The Brown Brigade said...

Wow, I love it so far!

Chasity said...

Wonderful words Shelly, and a wonderful story!

the_blissful_mommy said...

No fair!!! xoxox

Courtney said...

How encouraging!

The Fruitful Family said...

Okay - even though I know this story (heck, I was with y'all through this whole thing!), I'm still sitting here with tears streaming down my face. I love each of your and your heart for God and His children!

Anonymous said...

I want to hear the rest!!! (May your kids all go to bed early tonight so you can finish!)
Carrie Andersson

Counting it all JOY! said...

Beautiful...now for the ending!!!

Ash said...

Wonderful story and can't wait to hear the rest! I'm staying at the same guest house as Garry so maybe I'll get it out of him before it's officially published :) Ashlee