I remember well the wedding of her parents. As our own Boy Two squirmed, thrilled, in his small, rented tux, tracing the alphabet in the carpet down in front, my brother and his lovely bride exchanged their “I do’s” and walked out that door to the life that awaited.
He worked. She worked. They embraced their ministry and calling as youth pastors, parenting other people’s children with all their hearts. They loved those teens, those teens loved them back, and the parents loved them all.
Feeling at last a stirring to have children of their own, hoping for a curly-haired boy that looked like daddy or a beautiful girl that looked like mama, they set about trying. Month after month. Year after year. Prayer upon prayer, test after test, the heavens were silent in one long, eternal “no.”
Arms empty, they sought His face, listened for His voice, and received, finally, the nudge to once again open their hearts to other people’s children. Thus, they signed up for the foster-to-adopt program.
After miles of red tape and weeks of classes, days of uncertainty and months of waiting, that precious license came. And so did the call. “We have a baby girl who needs a family. Can you take her?” With a joyful ‘yes,’ they received Ashlyn Kaye, a dark-haired, brown-eyed beauty who immediately wrapped her Daddy around her pinky finger.
One year later, they received another phone call with a heartbreaking story and an amazing offer. A tiny boy, a 24-week, special-needs preemie, had been abandoned at the hospital and was in dire need of a family. Solemnly, they prayed together, that mama and daddy, and counted the cost. Feeling again the Gentle Shepherd’s nudge, they said ‘yes,’ and welcomed Brady Cole with tender, loving arms.
And then. As so often happens when we humbly receive the ‘no’s’ and set our hearts toward the greater ‘yes,’ that’s when miracles take place. The very year that Jesus gave Brady a mama and a daddy, He sent them another surprise – yet one more child, biological this time, with (you guessed it) her mama’s looks.
Her name is Halli, Halli Grace. Halli, meaning “unexpected gift,” and Grace for – well, grace explains itself.
One year ago yesterday, on July 28, 2010, a miracle was birthed. We, the family, rejoice, knowing now more than ever before that Jesus knows just who to send and when. We give thanks to the One Who truly does set the solitary in families.
Happy birthday, Halli girl. And thank You, Lord.
“For all God’s promises are “Yes” in him. And so through him we can say, ‘Amen,’ to the glory of God.” – 2 Cor. 1:20