I met Ashley a couple weeks ago when she volunteered at CURE for the day. Ashley has been to Niger multiple times, but I hadn’t met her until this trip. As I do with most people I meet, I managed to show her a picture of Leon and told her how we are in the process of adopting him from a nearby orphanage. She said she had visited that orphanage, which was already a nice little connection.
Then a week later we bumped into each other at a restaurant. Ashley saw Leon and said, “Is this your son?” Before I could answer, she burst into tears. She asked, “Was his name Job when he lived at the orphanage?” I said yes and then she told me that she met him when she went to the orphanage, and held him when he was only 2 weeks old. The tears welled up in my eyes – I was stunned. She said that ever since she met him she prayed that God would give him a family. Leon left a definite impression on her, since he was the only baby at that orphanage. She prayed that he would have a home and that he wouldn’t have to grow up in the orphanage.
The process of adopting Leon has been so scary and we’ve never felt more vulnerable in my life, but all along the way we have had little signs from God letting us know that he is watching out for little Leon. It seems like it always happens that when we start to fear things won’t work out and when we get discouraged and feel hopeless, a new miracle and beautiful surprise unfolds before our eyes. Ashley was our most recent miracle. She met baby Leon and has been praying for him even before we knew he existed. Meeting her and hearing her talk about Leon made me realize that God is in control of the process, and that even the things I think I can control are in God’s control. It helped me realize that even though I worry about Leon, about the adoption and about his future, he is in God’s care, and has been all along. No matter how concerned I am for Leon, God is even more concerned. No matter what obstacles we encounter, God can overcome them. No matter what surprises us along the way, God is not surprised.
Meeting Ashley and talking to her about Leon was a treasure, but she was also able to give us a few tangible treasures: photos of Leon at 2 weeks old. When we met him he was already 2 months old, so we didn’t have any idea what he was like during his first two months of life. We didn’t even have a single picture of him from that period of his life. Now we have 5! These are truly invaluable treasures that we will cherish forever, and they confirm what we always suspected – that he has always been a cutie!