We all long to have some confirmation in our lives that what we are doing matters, and that we are on the path we are meant to be on. I am a facts girl, better at analyzing what’s in front of me rather than assuming things based on feelings or expectations. This often finds me in tension, wanting that sure-fire sign that I’m headed in the right direction. I don’t always find the evlidence that I’ve been headed the right way, but here’s a little story that gave me one of those goosebump, teary-eyed, heart-twisting, wide-smile grins that in this great big world of decisions and directions, I was standing right where I should be.
Our journey into foster care and desire for adoption has had some twists and turns that weren’t part of our plan, so as we wait we have continued to look for ways we can make a difference in the lives of the fatherless. About a year and a half ago, we decided we wanted to sponsor a child who needed it. There are several organizations that provide the opportunity where you can choose a child who is orphaned or just living with their family in poverty, and you can help with their food/shelter/education/medical expenses and expectantly make their hardship a little less crushing. Because of our sweet Ellie, we are always looking for ways to be involved with children with special needs, so when we found Morning Star Foundation, an organization who specifically cares for orphaned or impoverished children with serious medical conditions, we knew that was where we wanted to help.
Morning Star’s website has a list of all the children they are caring for that are need of sponsorship. You can read a little biography about each of them and choose a child who you would like your financial support to go to. You are helping pay to feed and clothe them, as well as help them get the medical intervention that all of them are needing. I looked over the list, overwhelmed at the precious small faces of each of these young ones, each with a hard, hard story at such a young age. As I searched through the faces and the stories, there was one tiny face that quickly grabbed my heartstrings. When I stared at her innocent eyes and her delicate, girly features, my heart pulsed with the memories of my own dark-haired little girl. I scanned through the rest of the bios, and while I ached to make a difference for each one of them, none of them captured my attention quite like the little baby named Kate.
I decided not to tell Mark who I picked, and instead just handed him the list pulled up, and told him to look through it and see who he thought we should choose. A few minutes later he said, “This one. She reminds me of Ellie.” He was pointing at the picture of little Kate. “Aha” moment… yes, she’s definitely the one then. So began our relationship with this tiny little miracle a couple of oceans away. We got to help provide for her, and support her through her second open-heart surgery. We enjoyed shopping for her, and sewing a soft blanket that would be the closest we would come to wrapping our arms around her. We were sent frequent updates on how she was doing, and photos of her adorable smile as she grew and thrived.
As much as we would have loved to bring this little sweetling home forever, we were thankful to get to be a part of her story however we could. Not long ago, we received news that she had been matched with an adoptive family. Bittersweet in a way, but overjoyed to know that she would have a home and a family forever to love on her and walk her through the rest of her story.
I opened my last email update about our Kate, a little sad that it would be our last, and wondering what the rest of her journey would hold. I smiled at the picture of her held by her new, forever family, and as I scrolled down, there was that final evidence that she was exactly the little one we were meant to intercede for. There, her new name chosen by her adoptive family: Ellie Kate. Goosebump, teary-eyed, heart-twisting, smile. Yep. Right where we were supposed to be.
Don’t you love it when that happens? So much of the time we are seeking, and using our best judgement, and hoping we are doing the right thing; it’s just so good when you feel that hand on your shoulder, that peace in your soul, confirmation that yes, I can use you, and you are part of a big, big story.
Once baby Kate was off to her new adventure, we scanned the list again for a new little life we could be a part of. I’m not even kidding… bright eyes, dark pigtails, meet Ellie Hope.