It is Friday night and we just got back from home group. I am sitting here thinking what an amazing group of people we have to call our friends. Everyone was genuinely interested in the latest news and asking questions about when we would get to meet Abigail and hold her for the first time. After a devotion specifically selected with us in mind, our dear friends gathered around us to offer prayers for a safe journey. I smiled as I listened to them pray that Abigail would influence kings and princes and walk in corridors of power all as a woman of God. I have prayed many prayers for her, but it was soothing to listen to these prayers. I thought as I stood in the middle of that circle how very blessed we are to have so much love and encouragement. We are not alone in this adoption journey. Abigail has already impacted so many lives and she has yet to say her first word or take her first step. Her birth was not meticulously planned and celebrated. Yet a continent away, we have been anxiously waiting for news of her existence and tracking every step in the process that will lead us to her. We have not been alone with this anxiety. We have been surrounded by extraordinary people who have listened to our frustrations, shared our setbacks and rejoiced in our good news. Our friends formed a physical hedge around us and I listened to a man pray with an eloquent (and very proper British accent). I listened to his beautiful wife whisper prayers of agreement. I could hear our Cajun friends, the boisterous petitions of our friends who came from out West, and the unmistakable twang of our friends from back home. Others stood around us silently, but they were showing solidarity and I could feel their support. In the background I heard the laughter and happy chatter of our children as they played oblivious to our prayers. It was a little glimpse of heaven. This must be what it will be like to listen to the saints praising with their different dialects and accents. It was perfect harmony and like so many times before it was a balm for my soul. As we welcome this little one into our home we also welcome her into our little community. These people will touch her life and help shape her. They will hold her in the nursery and teach her in Sunday School. They will minister to her when she needs someone other than mom and dad to affirm her. Maybe not exactly these same people, but people just like them in the family of God. As parents, Shawn and I have the primary responsibility to raise Abigail in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, but He did not mean for us to walk alone.
Lord, thank you for the village that will help us raise Joshua & Aaron & Abigail!
You all know who you are and we love you so very much. I cannot find the words.