My best friend, Kimber, who I first wrote about in this post, has, over the years, selflessly and genuinely celebrated many of our other friends’ baby joys, even though she, herself, suffered the tragic loss of her baby 4 years ago, which she wrote about here.
Her story is one of loss and redemption. How God makes beauty out of ashes. And I have so learned by watching her and her husband journey through loss, through worshiping in the midst of loss, through hope, through tears, through trusting in the Lord, through waiting, and waiting, and still more waiting. My faith has been encouraged by her faith, through her experiences of our Lord’s comfort and presence through all that life brings.
She started the adoption process 3 years ago, and now the wait is over! It’s at last her joy that we get to share in! She brought home her newly adopted baby boy from Ethiopia last week.
I decided to fly to Atlanta to surprise her and join the welcoming committee at the airport.
Sidenote – One of my decision-making filters is this: “Am I going to look back and be glad that I did that?” If the answer is “yes”, then I go for it. If it is “no” or “I’m not sure”, then I don’t do it or am more deliberate in my proceedings. In this case, the answer was an unquestionable “YES!”
So I wrote my sub plans (you’re worth it, Kimber) and boarded an Atlanta-bound plane with a joy-filled heart.
And I am SO glad that I went. Here is a taste of that celebratory day:
These three were also adopted from Ethiopia by some of Kimber’s friends in her wonderful adoption community. It was precious to see them ready to celebrate another little boy being welcomed home into his forever family.They were ready with their signs too:)
In the meantime, people mingled…
….the kids played games and ate snacks,
Then, the moment we were waiting for arrived: they were coming!
Miller, Kimber, and Baby Ryder had gotten their bags and were heading to meet us.
Tatum and I got into position, our anticipation at its peak! Eeeee!!!
This was our reaction (cheers and clapping). It was such a JOYOUS moment.
After traveling some 36 hours (or something like that), they looked alert and happy. It brought tears to my eyes. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my friend look that happy.
Watching her happily carrying their new son home, amid all the cheers and clapping, Jesus’s words came forward in my mind:
I will not leave you as orphans. I will come to you. – John 14:18
I love Miss Pam’s face here (Kimber’s mom, above, in the orange)
The cousins swarmed. They were so excited.
It was so sweet to watch Ryder meet his proud grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
This little guy has no idea what a wonderful family he has just become a part of.
Standing off to the side, watching these family pictures being taken, the truth of the Gospel struck me again. I felt I would burst with the joy of it all.
The minute you become a Christian, you have intimacy of relationship. You have an unconditional relationship. You become wealthy, because everything that Jesus Christ has accomplished is transferred to you. You become beautiful and spiritually rich in him.”
The celebrations continued when, a couple days later, Kimber’s parents hosted a lovely reception. It was marvelous. Absolutely marvelous.
Congratulations, Kimber and Miller! I am thrilled for you guys and am rejoicing in what God has done!