Eight years ago this month we received our referrals for Eby and Little Man. Through a strange series of events, we also received a referral for another little boy, but we were only approved for two children. I, of course, fell in love with all three of them.
In Tariku’s referral pictures, he looked small and fragile, while Eby looked sad and scared. Little Man was a tiny baby with big eyes. I wanted to scoop them all up, love them, and make them part of our family.
How do you choose one child over another? I was devastated – I didn’t sleep, cried a lot, prayed, and talked with friends. Russ and I spent hours going over the information on each child. We had questions that simply couldn’t be answered. Eight years later, I see that many of the things that worried us seem inconsequential now.
Ultimately, we believed that Eby and Little Man were our sons, so we accepted their referrals. I knew another family would gladly adopt Tariku; he was precious.
We traveled to Ethiopia to get our boys and meet Dimples in February 2007. At the children’s home in Addis, we met Eby and Little Man for the first time. The room was filled with sweet babies and I walked from crib to crib hoping to spot the other little boy I’d grown to love. I finally asked about Tariku and was told that he would not be adopted due to a medical condition. My heart! It was even a condition we felt comfortable dealing with in our family.
I still think of this little boy and wonder what became of him. Did he finally find a family?
Adoption does something to our hearts – it opens us wide to the possibility of loving children we’ve never met, of drawing them close and making them our own. And often we find ourselves loving children who were never meant to be ours. I have to believe there is a purpose in that – my prayers for Tariku were not in vain.
Have you loved a child(ren) you thought you might adopt, but then it didn’t happen? Do you carry other children in your heart?
[Take a moment to enter the giveaway for the beautiful Advent book, Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp.]
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