But Hope Remains

Today was filled with sweet moments and absolute crushing heartache. Tonight we leave Ethiopia without our precious daughter.

This week has been one of the hardest of my life. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but I have been stretched in ways I didn’t expect.

The first day we arrived, after nearly five years of waiting through this adoption process, we finally met our daughter. I got see her face, touch her skin, smell her hair, hear her laugh, cry and talk. I got to see her walk, and she let me feed her. Within just hours after this long awaited joyous meeting, I had to pray a prayer that no mother ever wants to pray.

There has been quite a bit of turmoil in our case over the last couple of months. But our being here brought out long hidden truths and information that might not have been brought to light otherwise.

That night as I prayed desperately for God to move, to help, to deliver, and redeem this adoption, I also had to follow the lead of Jesus: “Yet not as I will, but as you will.” And so I prayed that if this little girl that I have completely accepted, loved and prayed for as my own daughter for so many years is not to be mine, that God would take her and restore her and redeem her somehow.

I cannot tell you how difficult it is to trust God’s will over your own desperate desires and love for someone. Especially when it could mean offering up your very own child.

The next morning a friend pointed me to Genesis 22, the story of Abraham offering up his son Isaac as a burnt offering. This. Broke. Me.

It seemed like God was continually saying that I was going to have to give up my daughter. I prayed this wasn’t so, but I also continued to pray that God’s will be done, and that He be glorified through this whole ordeal. Although there were still many tears and some grieving, I was not anxious at all but had peace in my heart.

Each day we have been able to visit our little girl, get to know her a tiny bit, and love on the kids in the orphanage. And each day new things in our case have transpired, taking us in a different direction.

After a sweet visit this morning where we had our baby girl all to ourselves for the very first time, we received more hard news.

We are leaving tonight to return home without our daughter.

I can’t explain to you in words how much this hurts.The pain is so deep and so raw.

But hope remains.

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted

and saves the crushed in spirit.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,

but the Lord delivers him out of them all.
– Psalm 34:17-19

We didn’t know this morning’s visit would be our last for a while. We have a suitcase here full of clothes, toys, snacks and diapers. Now I will have to take it back across the world, having never opened it.

While I grieve the redemption and the homecoming that isn’t to be yet, I hold onto hope because this isn’t the end of the story. God is in fact providing another way.

We are confident alongside our agency that even though there have been many hard hits and valleys, our sweet baby girl’s adoption will be completed, and we will bring her home. There are still a few more hoops to jump through that might take a few more weeks, but redemption and restoration are definitely part of her story and ours!

It’s hard as a parent to feel trapped, desperate and helpless for your child. But I know in my weakness, God’s strength shines brighter and is made perfect.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
– 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

Before I became a mom, God took me through a difficult journey to teach me that He is enough for me no matter what my circumstances. It was so impactful and changed my life in so many ways, that I had it tattooed on my foot last year to always serve as a reminder.

Because His grace is sufficient and His power is made perfect in weakness, I know right now that the power of Christ is resting upon me. So I have nothing to fear because when I am weak, then I am strong.

The journey is far from over. Please join us in praying for our case workers on the ground, that God would go before them, and they would find favor in wrapping up our case quickly. Pray for strength and endurance for several families that are in similar situations to ours, families that we have grown close to, prayed with, cried with and love deeply even through we have never met them in person. Pray that God would restore all these precious children to the families that long to call them sons and daughters.

You defend the fatherless and the oppressed, so that mere mortals may no longer terrorize them.
– Psalm 10:18


  • Darla Sue Dollman
    Posted at 21:02h, 19 January Reply

    I am sorry this has been so difficult, Laura. Sending lots of love to you and your family.

    • diverlw
      Posted at 05:04h, 23 January Reply

      Thank you so much Darla!

  • Tanya Keenan
    Posted at 06:43h, 20 January Reply

    In the Orthodox Church, we say that some who suffer adversity must be particularly close to God, that the demons struggle so hard against them. May you continue to cling to Him, and may this experience bring you ever closer to His Love. I pray for you to bring your daughter home soon.

    Your servant in Christ,

    • diverlw
      Posted at 05:06h, 23 January Reply

      Thank you Tanya. It is certainly making us more dependent on God which although hard, is a great reward.

  • Marc Thomas eckel
    Posted at 16:08h, 20 January Reply

    Laura, and Erick, I read your blog and it nearly brought me to tears. I will be praying that the will of God will be done in your lives and in the life of this precious little girl. And btw, love the tattoo. Cool

    • diverlw
      Posted at 05:06h, 23 January Reply

      Thanks Marc!

  • Marc Thomas eckel
    Posted at 16:09h, 20 January Reply

    Eriek… ugh, spellcheck

  • Julianne Ziefle
    Posted at 23:15h, 20 January Reply

    I’m heartbroken with you. Stay strong in your faith. Yesterday my uncle died in the morning and his sister 83, died in the afternoon. Lots of prayers. When one or more are gathered in His name…

    • diverlw
      Posted at 05:07h, 23 January Reply

      I’m so sorry for your loss Julianne!

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