It's the kind of story that brings me to my knees--realizing the sheer wonder of a God who does all things well.
For those of you who have followed our journey since we were in Ukraine adopting Hailee and Harper, you may remember I shared this post.
I was very blessed to hear a lot of Harper's story while I visited the orphanage. In a way it was wonderful to know where she came from--but also very heartbreaking. It's hard hearing the truth about what drives people to abandon their own flesh and blood. Truly, my heart aches for parents who give up a child. I just cannot imagine the agony of it. Oh goodness, so desperately painful.
Can you even imagine giving this up?
Nope, me neither.
I was told that Harper's dad visited the orphanage for the two years that she was there. He gave financially to help out. He went by regularly to pay them the amount he promised.
Sadly though, he never ever visited his daughter while she was there. Maybe it would be too painful? I would think so. I honestly don't think he could bring himself to go and see her. I think it would have ripped his heart out.
And then one day he got word that Sophia (Harper) was being adopted by an American family. He was curious and [with the help of orphanage staff] came by the orphanage to see who I was. He hid in the distant bushes as I walked the girls in a stroller up and down the road alongside the orphanage gates. He wanted to see who was taking his girly home.
If the roles were reversed and it were my daughter, I know I would have done the same thing. I would desperately want to know.
The biological family had ten days oppose the adoption. By Ukrainian law there is a 10-day waiting period after a family goes to court to adopt a child. That gives the biological family time to change their minds and come and legally claim their child back.
They could have come to take her home.
They could have changed their minds.
But they never did.
They never came to take their beautiful Sophia home.
Through the social worker who brought Harper from the hospital to the orphanage after she was born, I was able to pass along information about who we were and [hopefully] reassure the dad that Harper would be loved like there was no tomorrow. That she would be treasured beyond words.
And then we left the country with our new darlings. Ready for them to begin their new life in America.
He was not done yet. He was busy writing a beautiful, redemptive story--something so amazing.
A story of healing. A story of forgiveness.
Not only in the life of one little girl who they chose not to take home from the hospital...
But also in the lives of the family who gave her up.
You see, when the Almighty Father writes a story--it truly is a masterpiece. One that only He can put together. Though the road to get to the end of the story may be filled with pain, heartache and sorrow--the end is always simply glorious--one we sometimes never see coming our way.
After Harper left the orphanage, her family realized something devastating. They had made a terrible mistake. Their daughter was gone. Forever. And there was absolutely nothing they could do about it now. It was too late.
They had given her away.
They realized that someone had actually chosen to love the daughter they believed was less-than-perfect. Someone saw through any disability and only saw ABILITY. Someone made the decision to pay a whole lot of money, get on a airplane, and cross the sea for the sake of their little girl, their own flesh and blood.
The scales fell from their eyes--and they suddenly realized their loss. And their mistake.
Oh, the agony of it all is something my human heart can never fully comprehend.
The mighty Redeemer Himself reached down from heaven and touched that family's heart in such a profound and incredible way--something only HE could do.
In their brokenness, God has revealed Himself big time to Harper's bio family.
A miracle is about to unfold.
Because they have decided......
To go and ADOPT a little girl who has Down syndrome!
Crazy, huh? God has softened them and they have finally realized that Down syndrome is a blessing, not a curse. Their hearts are open. They want to start over and try and make things right by giving another child HOPE--the same hope that their sweet Sophia now has.
Even as I write this, the family is looking for a daughter that they can call their own...in their own country. And just like their biological little girl who now lives on the opposite side of the world--she will be three years old and have the beautiful extra chromosome.
Is that just incredible?
Only God can write a story like this. It sure is NOT something that happens in that country. Adoption is extremely rare--and is usually only for the healthiest of children. Never those with special needs.
Our prayer is that as they step out and adopt a little girl with Down syndrome, that many, many will be touched by their testimony and also go and adopt children from the orphanages in their own country. That would be amazing.
Nothing is impossible for God! He loves the fatherless passionately and will move heaven and earth to put them in a family.
Oh, also...we are arranging for our facilitator in Ukraine to pass pictures of Harper on to her biological family. What a blessing that as she grows, they will be able to see their daughter blossom and know that she is loved. We are so happy to be able to give them the gift of updates and photos.
There are no words to describe how much we love our Harper and how thankful we are that God sent us! I look at my angel today and am reminded of something--God can use anyone to fulfill His plans and purposes on the earth. Even a little child. A little girl written off at birth as being "cursed" with special needs. It's ALL for His glory, really. His ways leave me speechless.
( I have been told that many of the photos are not showing on previous posts...I'm trying to figure out why they have just disappeared. Strange. Thanks to all of you who have let me know.)