I have so many thoughts running through my head that there is no way I can put them into a cohesive post. We were at the point of accepting God’s decision for us and being okay with it. We knew that despite our grief, God was still good and still answering our prayers. We never thought He had abandoned us, just that we obviously couldn’t yet see what He had in mind for us. We had told the story of God’s provisions through our church family when we were in need and the scores of people who rejoiced as we rejoiced. Then we told the story of God’s sustenance during our grief as the same people wept with us. We knew that God was faithful even when we didn’t understand, and we were carried along by God through His people.

One of the things that has really struck me this week has to do with the many many people who prayed for Will to come back to us even when I couldn’t/wouldn’t pray for that. I don’t know if that makes my faith weak – I hope not. It isn’t that I didn’t think God could do it. I just wanted God’s will to be done. Maybe I didn’t want to admit that I wanted that, maybe I was trying to protect myself and my family by not hoping for that, but for whatever reason I didn’t pray for a specific outcome. However, through the last week or so I have found out that many people were praying for that very thing. They wanted this for us. They weren’t afraid to ask God boldly for this outcome when I wasn’t able or willing to. They had the courage to hope when I was afraid to.

One thing happened today that illustrates this perfectly, but first a little background. I never got around to telling about all of this, but several weeks ago our small church family presented us with a check for $10,000 to cover our adoption costs. $10,000! We were stunned and amazed and humbled and many other emotions that have no words for them. In addition, they presented us with a money tree to cover monthly expenses for the next few months. In their bold way, they collected this and presented it even before we knew if the adoption would go through.

One of the first things we did when Will went back to his birth family was to return all of the money. One of the elders came to the house that afternoon, and we gave it back. I think this was an attempt at closure on our part, similar to our putting the car seat and bassinet in the garage. When we got the call on Friday, this is one of the things that made us laugh, this and the fact that just that morning I had returned an unopened package of diapers. We never worried about this money, but I did feel bad that there would be a hassle on their part. What did they do with it? Did they give it all back to the people who had given it? Would they just go back to them and ask them to re-gift? Surely they would have the good sense to wait a few weeks just to make sure.

This morning the church treasurer walked up to Ashley and handed her an envelope – but not just any envelope. It was the same envelope that we had returned two weeks ago. It had the same check for $10,000, and the same cash that was given in our money tree. They had just kept it, unopened, trusting that we would need it, believing that God wasn’t through with this situation yet. I have to say that I was not surprised about this, but I was amazed.

I have so many questions that I think I should make them into a separate post altogether. They are mostly about prayer and how God works and if this worked out the way it did because so many people prayed for it on our behalf or was this God’s plan all along…ad infinitum. But for now I want to thank those people who prayed for us when we were too fragile even to hope. I want to praise God for surrounding us with so many people who are traveling this path with us, holding our hand when we need it, walking ahead of us to show us the way, and carrying us when we are too tired to go any more. I want you all to know that, like Aaron and Hur held Moses’ hands up when he grew tired, you have sustained us more than you will ever know.

One final thought. I know that this is not over, and just because this would seem to be the perfect ending doesn’t mean that it is going to happen. There are too many people who are in much more pain than we are, who pray more fervently and have greater needs, who don’t get the outcome they want. I know that there is nothing special about me or my prayers that would make me deserve this. We have been blessed through joy and through sorrow, and because of this are willing to face whatever may come. Then, despite our outcome, we will recommit ourselves to being the church to others – rejoicing when they rejoice and weeping when they weep.