A year ago today my bestie, Mandy Rhodes, and I landed in jet plane on Bulgarian soil. Before we got there, while we were still in the planning phase, I knew this was going to be an amazing ‘girls’ trip! I mean most friends who haven’t seen each other in years, don’t they go to Vegas, a beach, you know somewhere a little adventurous for 2 stay at home Mommas? Well, not us! My bestie invited me to cross an ocean with her, so I could take part in one of the most amazing moments of her life; talk about an adventure; this was her pick up trip! After 15 long months, she was finally going spring her boys from their orphanages (legally of course) and take them home to their family. This was going to be epic!
I couldn’t wait to go. While most trips are about relaxation, I knew this one would involve quite a bit of work, but I didn’t mind, I was more than happy to help her in any way possible; I love her like a sister and that is what best friends do. I think it was just as an added bonus for both of us that I happen to be handy with a camera, I was going to be able to capture the special moments and document the journey through photography. I was going to be her helper and take pictures, that was our plan….I can just hear God now, “Silly girl, don’t you know what happens when you forget to include me in your plans?”
For the year prior to embarking on the adventure, we had tried to help my friend and other adopting families where we could. We thought that is what we could do for the orphans. All the while I was pushing God’s gentle voice to the back of my mind. I constantly made excuses as to why adopting wasn’t for us. “We’re Navy, that would never work”, “Our house isn’t big enough for another child.”, “My husband would never go for adopting”. Shame on me, I hadn’t even broached the subject of us adopting with my husband. I even allowed my heart to be swayed when I would hear others say, “Good for them. Adopting, that’s just not for us.”, “We want to retire one day and travel, we could never do that if we had a special needs child”, “Don’t they realize this is a lifetime commitment.” I listened to them instead of Him. I covered my ears to the seeds God was planting in my own heart. So, being our ever so loving God, He simply changed how he planted the seeds.
God knew my heart; He knew that once my eyes are opened and I had really and truly seen the pain, my heart wouldn’t allow my mind to simply turn away from what God was asking of me. He knew that once I saw the broken spirit of just one, single orphan I would do more, that is who He made me to be. Up until this point I had heard my friend talk with passion, I listened and I was moved for the orphans and the families, but not the way God wanted me moved, he wanted more.
So, here we are, one year from the day where our journey began, because I stepped onto a plane and off the beaten path.
Sailing to our Starfish because just one, DOES matter!