Friday the 13th. Culturally, the convergence of a day and date that is unlucky. A 24-hour period to take care with sidewalk cracks, black cats, broken mirrors, walking under ladders and opening umbrellas inside. For our family, Friday the 13th is significant for very non-superstitious reasons.
Friday, June 13, 2008. A day when dreams transformed to reality through the vehicle of a photograph. Four photographs, actually. Images of two little girls destined in eternity past to be our daughters. That Friday was filled with surprise, wonder, anxiety, relief and joy. There was also sorrow as those grainy images revealed two sisters. Orphaned. Waiting, wanting and wondering. Young lives bound by blood, and until that Friday, bound to an uncertain future.
Their story was not one of bad luck. Sure, a shadow from poor choices hounded them. But other choices, made miles away, would offer these girls hope, and a different story. The necessary surrender of a mother was met by the obedient surrender of another mother – and father. A choice to abandon was redeemed by a choice to receive. Accept. Adopt.
A little less than two-months after that Friday the 13th, Katrina and I journeyed to bring our girls home. We captured our thoughts, feelings and experiences during that trip in a journal. Our desire was to document the unique “birthing” of our daughters into our family. Some of what we wrote was serious. Some humorous. Some interesting. Some boring. Some heart-breaking.
Recently, Katrina and I felt a nudge (okay, it was more like a blind-sided push) to go back and replay our story of adoption. To blow the dust of our journal and reconnect, re-focus, re-energize and celebrate the last three years. To rest in God’s crazy plan (a good kind of crazy) to pack five straight-haired Dutch people and two Ethiopian beauties into a 1300 sq. ft. house. A plan that isn’t willy-nilly, fateful or based on luck. Rather, it’s a divine strategy of family making. Intentional. Unbelievable. Radical. Wonderful.
As another June 13th approaches, we hope you’ll join us in a look back. Over the next two weeks we will share our travel journal in this blog. God has taught us much since those first photos of our girls burst into our inbox. Perhaps you’ll learn something of Him through our story as well.
Today, we celebrate our girls anew. We celebrate our boys who have sacrificed much to make room for their sisters. We celebrate family. We celebrate a God who is not bound by our superstitions or whims. A God who allows us to choose, yet moves history according to His mission of redemption, restoration and adoption. He is a good Father. And Friday, June 13th, 2008 was a good day.