Saturday, April 29, 2017

A Letter to My Son

Many people have asked to hear Moses's amazing story.  It really is an incredible one that clearly portrays God's power and greatness and shouldn't be kept to ourselves!  I want him to grow up never knowing a day of not knowing his story.  I want him to grow up knowing how loved he is by his Savior!  I have written him a letter that I will read to him at every birthday and whenever he asks.  It is not a secret, but it is his and I want it to be special for him.  So on this blog I am leaving some parts out, but sharing most of it so you can read about the great God who loves all of His children and of the amazing way He showed that from the very start of my son's life!


My sweet little Moses Man.  I am writing this just after your very first birthday.  I hope and pray that the events surrounding your birth and what amazing things God did will be good reminders to you of the amazing love God has for you!  Every Christian’s purpose on earth is to glorify the Creator, and your birth story certainly does that.  But I pray you will continue to live a life fully and completely sold-out and surrendered to the Lord!  
He is the reason we live!  
He is the reason we move!  
And He is the reason we have being!
Your life started long before any of us got to know you.  Even your birth mother was second to know of your existence.  It was God who saw you first.  He is the One who loved you first.  He had a plan for your life even before He formed you in your mother’s womb!
Unfortunately (as of this writing) I have never been able to meet your birth mother.  But I know one thing for sure!  She loved you very, very much.  And you will see how much as you continue reading.
Your mother delivered you through great pain… probably a few weeks earlier than she ever expected to.  I don’t know if she was at home, in a clinic or alone, but you were properly taken care of and your cord was tied well.  She wrapped you in a beautiful bright colored lesu and probably snuggled you for a bit while she rested from the painful hours of labor she had just experienced.  You were so tiny!  Looking back, you probably should have been in the neonatal ward at the hospital, but the Great Physician took greater care of you than any human doctor could!  I’m not sure how long your mama held you, but I’m sure some of her tears dropped onto your tiny body as she held you in her arms.  At some point she got up and carried you to a beautiful garden right next to a police post.  She carefully chose a beautiful spot under a tree to lay you down.
Mama A at the spot she found him
 I can only imagine that the act of laying you down had to be infinitely more painful than the hours of labor and delivery itself.  My heart breaks for both of you as I think of the separation that should never be.  
I wish you could remember her, your first mother.  The love between a mother and her child cannot be explained and I am positive yours loved you with everything in her!  She chose not only a beautiful spot, but also a well traveled area with easy access to police.  She wanted desperately for you to be found, loved and cared for.  Many may say it is an act of cruelty, but they are only speaking out of ignorance, my sweet boy.  Never let people steal the love and compassion you should have for this woman who carried you for all those months!  You will never be erased from her heart and mind and I’m sure she continues to love you even now.  That first step away from you I’m sure was so hard for her, with each step following not getting any easier.  I am sure that even now, you are not far from her mind.  She left you there in the garden, under that beautiful tree, seemingly alone.  But you were not alone!  God and his armies of angels were there protecting you!  You were in safer hands than even your mother’s.  You were, still are, and will never be able to leave God’s powerful and loving hands!  He saw you.  He saw your mother.  And He had a plan!  A perfect plan that demonstrates His tender mercy and care towards us!  

Just a few hours later, He sent "Mama A" selling greens as she always does.  She walks up and down the roads selling greens from a basket on her head.  She saw that the sweet potatoes were ready to eat, so she decided to see if she could make a little extra money that day.  So for the only time ever, the very day you were born and laid under the tree, she decided to go to the fence to call the woman on the other side for permission to sell the sweet potatoes for her.  As they stood talking and making a deal, Mama A spied your blanket under the tree.  She noticed you not because you cried, but because God caused her to look your way.  The beautiful colors of your wrap caught her eye and she went near to see what was there.  The woman with the sweet potatoes warned her not to get near you because she thought that inside the blanket could be a bomb or something for witchcraft.  But God gave Mama A bravery.  As a Christian she knew witchcraft didn’t stand a fighting chance next to God’s power and protection and she went over and lifted a corner of your blanket.  She was shocked to find that it was you!

Both women immediately sprang into action and one went for the police next door while the other called Pastor Eric who then sent his wife, Dianna.  Mama Dianna is thankfully a runner and she got there very quickly as did the police in their truck.  All of a sudden you were surrounded by the people God had sent to be your rescue party!

The rescue crew!

Officer B was first on the scene and was the one who pulled you out.  He said he was afraid to pull your blanket aside because he feared you were already dead.  You still hadn’t made a sound or moved a muscle!  They all hopped onto the big police truck with you and went into town to the police station.  It was then that I first heard of your existence.  Mama Dianna called me asking for formula, bottles and clothes for you.  So Denise (Mama Dianna’s oldest daughter) and I got into town as fast as we could, gathering supplies to take to you.  I remember driving the van and feeling numb.  I couldn’t wait to meet you, but I knew you needed these things to survive.  Meanwhile, you were at the police station, the talk of the town as they brought in news cameras and filed reports.  Everyone wanted to see you and hold you, but you were too tiny.  Too cold and lethargic.  It was during this time that the police officer decided to give you the name of Moses, because your story reminded him so much of the man of the Bible.  He, as well as countless others, see that your life was spared for a reason.  God has a purpose and plan for you here on earth before your time on earth is done!

First photo at the police station

I remember that first glimpse of you, my boy!  I walked into that crowded room at the police department, files stacked to the roof, tables, chairs, tin huts in the courtyard behind where prisoners were temporarily kept and people wandering everywhere.  But there you were, so small in Mama Dianna’s arms.  You didn’t move or make a sound.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think you would one day become my son, but I knew that I loved you already and that I wanted to do everything in my power to help you.  
A heavy rain/hail storm came in as we were leaving the police station.  It’s so amazing to me how God planned all these things!  The rain could have drowned you or made you too cold to survive or the hail stones could have harmed your tiny frame.  But God had it planned to hold off the rain until after you were found.
The missionary community brought a bassinet and clothes and rejoiced over your life!  Since I worked for and lived next to Mama Dianna’s family, I was able to see you at any time.  I actually spent your first night of life sleeping on the couch caring for you until I got very sick during the night.  I was sick for the following couple of days and had to keep my germs away from your tiny self.  It was the hardest thing ever!  All I wanted to do was snuggle you tight!  Once I was well though, I was back to sleeping on their couch until I completed the proper foster care requirements to take you home myself.  It seemed like forever and a thousand days before I was finally allowed to carry you across the yard to my home, but it was really only 15 days.  I remember that walk.  I was so overjoyed to be able to care for you, but scared too.  I had to keep reminding myself that this was only for a short time as we were looking for a godly Ugandan home and family for you.  We asked many people and many showed interest, but for one reason or another each one wasn’t able to.  If I am honest, hope rose up within me each time... even though I knew a single woman was not allowed to adopt a boy.  So I just kept caring for and loving you as if you were my own son, even though I knew you could be taken from me at any moment.  The thought made my heart break and I cried many times at the thought of losing you, but I wanted the very best for you and I knew it was entirely in God’s hands just as everything else is.  

You already know how you came to be named Moses, but your second name took time.  I wanted a local name for you, something with meaning. I asked many people for ideas but nothing felt right for you.  One day we were talking about it and Tonny said that you needed to be named after your father.  That’s when it all clicked!  Your father on earth is not known, you may never even have an adoptive father, BUT your heavenly Father has always been with you, even when you were seemingly alone there in the garden.  That is why I named you Moses Emmanuel because Emmanuel means, “God with us”.  He is and always will be with you, my son.  You will see that there is nowhere you can run from His presence.  He is ALWAYS there.

During that first year, you grew so fast!  Your quiet and weak self turned into a strong, active and talkative boy with so much personality.  Each milestone you hit early… except for the arrival of your teeth.  God showed His power as the Great Physician by causing you to grow into a healthy and intelligent little man!  At the time of this writing, you have 5 teeth, can say many words (including ‘halleluiah’, ‘thank you’ and ‘Mama’ - much to my great joy!) and have taken your first few steps!  You LOVE to eat and play with balls, bugs and the onions in the bottom shelf of the pantry.  Your laugh and sense of humor bring so much joy!  Everywhere we go people greet you by name or ask where you are if you aren’t with me.  You love music and dancing and this brings me joy because I can only guess your birth mother enjoyed them as well.  I consider it one of her many gifts to you.  Whenever you go to sleep I sing you a song and you press your ear to my chest to hear the vibrations.  I imagine that it’s a similar sound as hearing singing from the womb.  You also love to put your ear to my mouth as I sing in church and you clap and sway and raise your hands.  I imagine you someday as a music pastor or something similar.

As I write this, we are in the beginning stages of your adoption process.  To me, this won’t change anything about my love for you.  In my heart, you have always been my son and this legal process isn’t changing anything other than adding a name and allowing you to come with me wherever I go!  I am humbly aware of the weight of responsibility this gives me.  God’s command for me to teach you and train you in His ways is both a heavy one and a joyful one.  I want to protect you and keep you safe.  I want you to have the best education and for you to never lack anything you need.  I want you to have good friends and learn to show love and compassion to all.  
I am humbled to have been chosen to be your Mama who has such a high calling of raising up a child of God's!  But I know you are first and foremost, His son!  I promise you that I will do everything I am able.  I want you to never know a day that you didn’t know the Lord.  I want to raise you up for His service and never cause you to stumble.  But unfortunately I am very aware of my shortcomings.  And I know I won't always be a good example of Christ. I will let you down, fail you, forget to tell you how much I love you, I'll have times of impatience and frustration and no matter how much I try to be otherwise...
I will still be an imperfect mother. But! Praise the Lord, you have a perfect Father! Look to Him for everything! Praise Him for what He has done in your life! Follow Him all your days! Seek His will for your life!
God will never leave you.  
Never fail you.  
He will always guide you and give you perfect wisdom.
I pray that you will seek after Him for all your days and proclaim His greatness in surrendering to Him!

Thursday, April 27, 2017


What is HOPE?

"I hope it doesn't rain today."
"We hope to go to the beach next month."
"I hope it works!"

We use the word too casually. These are wishes only.  The word "hope" can be interchanged with the word "wish" in any one of these sentences.

But what is "hope" for the Believer?  
I believe it is a feeling of expectation for certain things you KNOW will happen.
"Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen" Heb 11:1

I have the honor, joy and privilege of caring for yet another little baby.
A child of my Heavenly Father's

She is created in His image
...for a purpose.

He has a future all planned for her.
And she has a HOPE!

The following is an excerpt from the letter I wrote to her so she can read it when she is older.
Your name may be changed by the time you read this, but as the one who had the honor of being your mother while you were a newborn, I got to give you your first names.  I called you ‘Eva Hope’.  Eva means “life” and I thought that was very fitting because God gave you life and kept you alive even in such circumstances.  I pray that one day you will have new life in Christ when you surrender yourself into His powerful hands and serve Him with all of that life He has given you!  "Life" will take on a whole new meaning!  ‘Hope’ was a name that many people found fitting for you.  God has given you a future and a hope!  “Hope” is an eager expectation of things you know will come and there are great things to come in your life, little one!!  Great things if you put your faith and trust in Him and Him alone!  He is the One who created you, He is the One who chose the womb of your mother for you to grow in, He is the One who kept you alive until you could be rescued, He is the One who brought me to Uganda so I could be here when you needed me, He is the One who kept you out of an orphanage and He is the One who has raised up your forever family who will love you to death.

Please pray with me for this little one and so many others who need loving homes!  Pray that God will open hearts, bring provision and godly families to be the church in this way as He has instructed us to. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

By Faith

Moses of the Bible is a man who I look up to as a great hero of the faith.  He has an amazing story so obviously designed and created by God alone.  It's too amazing to have been designed by any other means!  It couldn't just happen, there are too many incredible pieces to the puzzle.  But each event (good and hard) were planned out by the Creator of the universe to be in the right place, at the right time, and to do the task He called him to do for the glory of God!

There is another Moses I know.

This one was found in the bushes by a mother in our church when he was just a few hours old.  His mama wrapped him in a green cloth and gently laid him in the grass under a tree.  I am convinced that this woman wanted her child to be found, loved and cared for.  God put Mama Allen  in that garden at just the time to hear his tiny cry.  He was cold, premature and sickly, but his little life was so precious and beautiful to the One who created him.  The same God who led and used the Moses of the Bible is the One who is leading, protecting and using this little Moses too!  He has a plan and purpose and calling for this little man.  I am overwhelmed at God's blessing and goodness to me that I can be "mama" to this child of His.  I never expected to be a single mom.  My life is not the way I "planned' or thought it would be.  But it is so much more beautiful, hard, stretching and amazing than anything I could have dreamed up!  God's way is so much more beautiful!!

Being Moses's mother makes me think of his birth mother quite often.  So many can be angry with her for what she did.  It certainly wasn't right, but I also think of how desperate she must have been.  What made her desperate enough to leave him in the garden can only be speculated and we might never know.  It could have been to protect him from an abusive father, or she was a woman who hid her pregnancy and therefore didn't want to show up at home with a baby, or she knew she didn't have the resources to care for him?  Her act, however wrong it was, may have been done out of immense love for him.  Did she cry as she walked away from him?  Did she hide in the bushes until someone came for him, like Moses of the Bible's sister did?  Maybe she prays for him every day?  I pray for her.  I pray for this mother of my son who took care of him for the first months of his developing life, nestled right in there next to her heart.  He heard her voice, danced right along with her, felt pain when she was sad and was soothed when she sang.  This woman delivered him through excruciating pain, but I think the worst pain of all must have been when she last looked at his handsome face, stroked his cheek, released his tiny hand and walked away.

This difficult beginning shows that God has big plans for his life!  He could have easily died in that garden.  Dogs could have come, he could have died of hunger or the hail storm we had just hours after he was found.  He could have died even after we took him in, since he was so small and should have been in the NICU.  God has some big task he needs Moses here on earth for.  Something only he can do!  God chose one baby Moses from infancy to prepare and grow him for an important task and I believe He is growing this Moses for a purpose as well!

There are so many people who pour into each of our lives!  They shape and mold who we are.  I am thrilled and scared to death to have the honor of raising Moses.  I couldn't love him more if I had given birth to him!  Loving him doesn't mean I have all the answers and I know I will fail over and over again.  I know I will need help and encouragement from others.  I know Moses will need godly men to be examples and mentors.  I know many of the hurdles I have to face in the next few months through the adoption process... mountains will need to be moved!

~~~I also know Moses isn't mine... he is God's. ~~~
 He is God's precious child and nothing is too big for Him or out of His control!  I rest in knowing that.  He goes before us and will prepare the way if it is His will for Moses to be legally and forever my son!

Please join me in praying!!  The adoption process will be tiring, stressful and expensive, but completely worth it!!  Pray specifically that I will find a good and honest lawyer to walk me through the whole process, that the law against a single woman adopting a boy will be waived, that finances won't be an issue, that things will move swiftly and we will gain favor in the eyes of the court.  Pray that I won't get stressed out, but that Moses and I will treasure this process!
I am excited and intimidated all at the same time!  THRILLED that the life-long dream of adopting is coming true and so thrilled that this boy I love so much, will be my forever son!!!