"He sets the lonely in families."
My heart has been longing yet dreading this day for the last almost two years. Ever since I laid eyes on this precious little Sweetheart. On March 26, 2012, she was placed in my arms and my heart would never be the same. It was love at first sight. As hard as I try to not become emotionally attached to these precious children I get to love on, it is impossible not too. And there was something extra special about Sweetheart. She took a hold of my heart from that first moment and she has never given it back.
Maybe it was the fact that she arrived at the foster home just a week after I did. Maybe it is because we both grew and were healed in this special place. Or maybe it's because she is a March baby like myself. Of course it could be the fact that I had the privilege of giving her an English name. Part of naming a child at the foster home means that you are committing to praying for that child. I remember so vividly that March day she arrived. I can still smell her sweet baby smell and remember aching for her birth mother. A mother who had just recently left her baby girl to be found in hope that someone would be able to give her life.
I have been able to watch her grow and thrive. I've been able to pray over her time and time again. I have witnessed a miracle. And loving her has been so worth it.
What is this special day that I spoke of in the beginning of this post? It's today, the day we found out that precious Sweetheart has a family of her very own. She is going to be a daughter and a sister, an orphan no longer.
I knew this day was coming, I was praying for it. But it is still hard. Knowing that this sweet baby girl, who has been etched completely into my heart, is going to another family.
Last year, the Lord did something huge in my heart. He gave me the ability to let her go. For months after Sweetheart came to us, I dreaded the day she would leave us. And I felt so selfish because that's the goal, for these kids to leave us! They were never meant to stay here forever. And yet, for the longest time, I couldn't even think of the day she would leave without breaking into tears.
From the very beginning, the Lord gave me this promise.
"Anneli, I hold Sweetheart in the palm of my hand. I know the number of hairs on her head. I know every detail of this little girl. I knew when she would be abandoned and I knew the day she would be adopted. I have big plans for her. Plans to give her a future and a hope. You need to release her to me and trust Me that I have good plans for her."
And I did just that. I realized that I could not control her life. I could not pick out her family and I certainly could not adopt her myself. Even if I were old enough, she deserves a Mom AND a Dad. Something that I could not give her right now. I realized that God knew exactly what He was doing and I had to give Him full and complete control of her life.
I can honestly say that even though it is still bittersweet thinking of the day I will say goodbye, I am no longer dreading it. This is only the beginning of her story, a story that He had written long ago. And the even more amazing part? I am allowed to be a part of that story. I could not have written her story any better myself.
"For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," declares the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts."
It is as it should be. She is going where she was meant to go all along. And so in these months leading up to her departure, I continue to pray a scripture over her that I have prayed since that first day she was placed in my arms:
"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel,