a fine line

There’s a fine line between joy and despair, laughter and tears, the truth and a lie, life and even death.  We should’ve seen it coming, we already knew we were on very thin ice. Especially after our agency was shut down by the U.S. State Department in December, but still, we had hope.  Looking back now, that shutting down was the beginning of the end for us, the end of the possibility that we’d ever bring Ludomira home.  It was confirmed last Monday night that her adoption into our family isn’t going to happen.

My head always tells me in situations like these that there are many, many people in the world worse off.  I tell myself that it’s not so bad and that I have no reason to cry. But still – my body ignores my brain and does it’s own thing.  Eyes spilling over at the most inopportune times, a mind that can’t focus for anything, legs that feel like they’re walking underwater, and my usual stamina nowhere to be found.

I can’t deny that it’s a painful blow.  It hurts to breath.  You can’t prepare for a year, your heart and your mind and your home, for a child you’re ready to love for the rest of your life and then have it all taken away without being unscathed.

Craig and I and the boys have experienced enough loss to have a few protective calluses around our emotions, but telling Marina was terrible.  She has been praying earnestly and passionately, every single day, with her family, her teachers, her youth group leaders and friends.  So hard to see her heart broken and hear her anguished cries that God ignored her prayers.

I should be furious with the ones truly responsible, the ones responsible for the misconduct that caused our agency to be shut down. I don’t have the strength for anger right now though – too sad to be angry. However, every person’s decision to not follow rules and to break laws always affects others, and in this case our family along with three hundred other families were affected. Three hundred or more children that were set to go to loving homes and now, very likely, many may not.

At risk of sounding dramatic, the course of hundreds of peoples lives and generations to come have been altered because of the poor decisions of just a few.  But this is just how it goes.

We were only INCHES from leaving the U.S. to be with Luda, and to bringing her back. After months last summer of medical tests, fingerprints, interviews, parenting classes, home studies and mountains of paperwork, we spent all fall just waiting and waiting. Certainly we’ll have her home by Thanksgiving, we thought.  Definitely by Christmas, we were told. Then the phone call on December 18th, thinking it was the call to go, but no, our adoption agency forced to lock up it’s doors and no information for us whatsoever … and our hearts crashed to our toes.  Such a fine line between dreams fulfilled and dreams shattered.

It feels like a death, but it’s not a death because Luda’s life will go on, just not with us.  She will stay in her country and be adopted by a family there.  We’re so thankful that this family came around at just the right time and pray that it’s a great situation for her, but we’ll never know. Well, we won’t know for a very long time.

I believe that someday God will let our paths cross again.  We were absolutely positive since we first learned about Luda that she was meant for our family.  That God was calling us to her.  I’m not sure what this all means and why it had to end like this, but God does.  He sees the big picture that we’re not privy to yet and He always knows what’s best.

God is good and we will not stop trusting Him.

If anything, I pray that when Rina and Luda are adults, that the two of them can get together and talk or Skype or write letters, and maybe they can have a special friendship in their adults lives.  I’ve envisioned many times in this last year, the two of them being middle-aged women and laughing and talking at a wedding. Somehow and some way, years and years from now, I can imagine that scene playing out.

Even though our opportunity to parent Luda has been taken away, we’ll always feel like she’s “ours” and we’ll pray for her until the day we die.  Her visa to come to the U.S., the one we’d just applied for, said “Ludomira Emma Prather.”  A beautiful name for a delightful, precious girl.

There’s a narrow but unyielding thread between loss and love.  Even though we lost you, Luda, this family will always love you.

Psalm 34 : 18  “The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

6 thoughts on “a fine line

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  1. So sorry for your loss. I’m sure it hurts intensely to not have her spot there in your home. I believe you will one day see your vision come to pass. God gives us those little future glimpses to believe Him for what we can’t see now. One of my favorite scriptures is Rom 4:17 “who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.” He has called you to believe Him to make the impossible happen. Those two middle aged women at a wedding. I’m sure God gave you as a sign of hope and for His glory as you believe Him to do great things. I’ve had a few of those “moments” and they always give me hope and joy. One has been fulfilled. And two are in the wings. But I love knowing God has prepared ahead of time the rest of the story. Blessings upon blessings to your aching hearts.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words, Suzy. I love that, too, and it gives such comfort to know that God HAS prepared ahead of time the rest of the story. Even though we never dreamed it would end this way, we’re thankful for what we’ve learned on this journey and can’t wait to see what else God has planned. Blessings to you and yours too, we pray for you and Will often and your ministry in China, much love to you!

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  2. Debbie, thank you for sharing your heart and that of your family so openly. God does have a plan although on this side of heaven we cannot see it. I am so glad you aren’t bitter just bewildered and battle-weary! May the Good Lord continue to bless you and your family richly!

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    1. Cherie, thank you for your love and support! It’s my greatest desire that by using these words and opening up our lives, that God will be glorified. I’m so thankful for all He’s blessed me with, including incredible friends like you!!

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  3. Thank you for sharing your blog with me. What a gift Luda has in you all – praying and loving her from the other side of the world. And such a great reminder that God alone knows the end of this story.
    Lots of emotions here as we wade through the foster/adoption process with a not so little 9 year old with so many hard to navigate feelings of her own to add to the mix.

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    1. Thank you very much Alicia, I’m grateful to have met you through Compass and look forward to our time together with the students in July! I will be praying for your situation and want to learn more. Blessings and love!

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