Let me tell you the story....
A couple years ago...well two years to be exact, a friend of mine was planning her first of two trips to Bulgaria to get her new son. At the time I didn't know her other than through the net. I had sent them the adaptive stroller Angela outgrew a few months before, and that was about it! One day on her blog she *jokingly* asked who wanted to go along with her to Bulgaria.
You see, although I'd been advocating for the orphans and adoptive families for awhile at that point, I still didn't feel right. I felt called by God to see for myself, with my own eyes, the conditions the children were living in. The sights, smells ands sounds of the orphanages and institutions. I had no idea why God wanted me to see such things, but I was determined to see to it I got there.
Somewhere along the way, we decided to add a stop in Serbia to our trip. The overnight bag in this picture is my clothes, the rest are orphanage donations! But these are just my bags. My friend had several of her own full of donations as well.
Dean was not happy I was going on this trip. We were NOT in agreement, but he didn't have a reason for me to not go other than he didn't want my heart to be hurt. He knew this was going to be a difficult trip. Besides, I'd been talking to him about adoption for 18 months at that point and he was feeling pressured. I had stopped talking to him about it months before this trip, but I didn't stop praying about it. Asking God to either remove this longing of mine or change Dean's heart. Only God could do it. The morning Dean brought me to the airport, he dropped me off with these words, "Don't even THINK of falling in love with some kid. We are NOT adopting. I am THIS CLOSE to retiring and I like my life right now."
Famous last words....
Once in Serbia we first went to an orphanage in Belgrade. This is where I met "Ianna", the child who's name is at the top of this blog. The person guiding our tour introduced us to her and begged us to find a family for her. I vowed to God to never forge this child, and I KNEW I needed to find her a family. My heart ached. She was beautiful...perfectly made in his image! Oh she needed facial surgeries and stuff, but who cared about that? What I cared about was getting her out!
I blogged about her.
And on the other side of the ocean, reading from the comfort of our living room, Dean fell in love with her.
To be continued.....