For those of you who I haven't daily dragged with me onto our roller coaster, the past few weeks have been a ride in and of itself. People have passed through the southern region, others who should have, didn't and to top it off, a group of us, "stuck" parents, received a letter from the Department of State that said in no uncertain terms that, "the Aldridge family and the _____ family cases have cleared the SNNPR." Initially, I thought it was a mistake, but upon further investigation, there was actually reason to believe that it perhaps was not a mistake. Last Tuesday, all of the sudden, our decision to bring Negusu home or not was not so hypothetical anymore. And when push came to shove, I just couldn't imagine NOT bringing him home and Dave was off the charts. Recently, he has been saying things like, "I'll fly to Ethiopia right now if I have to," and "I'll get a 2nd job to pay for extra help for you." Dave was bound and determined to bring Negusu home and I was grasping at his coat tails, getting ready to commit. This is about as close as we have come to being on the same page about bringing him home for such a long time. Many of you know that I have said that, "I think we'll know the answer to the Negusu story when Dave and I are truly on the same page," and I felt like we were close.
Backing up a couple of days. A week ago Friday, I went to bed and was saying my obligatory night time prayer . . . "Dear Jesus, thank you for today, thank you for my kids, please hold Negusu. . . ." CONTENTMENT! Whoa! That was out of nowhere. I've mentioned before that I don't think that I hear much from God, but this was one of those times that I've heard others talk about. It was practically an audible voice. Naturally, I still question if this was from God, but I'm about as pretty positive that I can be, if one can be "pretty positive."
I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about what life will be like when we bring Negusu home OR if he doesn't come home, how we can make up for the loss of Negusu and maybe do foster care or start another adoption or have another baby or something or whatever. Now, that I have some emotional energy to blow, I've been blowing it on thinking about the next change in our family, rather than on the amazing family that is under this roof right now.
After God whispered "contentment," into my ear, I felt really chipper about this new idea of finding contentment within my already family and tucking Negusu and other ideas away again. Of course, four days later, is when I was checking email every two seconds to find out if our case was indeed signed. On Wednesday morning, at about 10:00am, we heard back from Ethiopia. Goosey's case was NOT signed. I called Dave and he basically said, "OK," but a couple hours later, he called back and said he wanted to talk about what had just happened. I told him that I wasn't sure I could be content with our family with Negusu occupying so much of my brain all the time. That is when I told him, in a very timid, room for interpretation way, "I think I'm done." He shockingly said, "Me too." And that is when the sobs began. I knew at that moment, that it was the end. Our ride was over. We were on the same page at last. And later that night, in the same room where we have cried a million times over Negusu, prayed a trillion prayers for him, we prayed and cried and sobbed and prayed and handed our portion of Goosey back into into the loving arms of God.
God had spoken. I don't know if I'll ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, know why God brought us to love Negusu so deeply, why He entrusted us to pray for him for 500 days, and then closed the door with few answers, but I guess . . . what kind of God would he be, if we knew more than Him? We believe that God loves Negusu, more than we ever, ever, ever, ever could. We know we have a broken heart and somehow that is comforting.
At first glance, it seems as if there is not much to be thankful for in this, but to me, there is a ton. First and foremost, we got to hold, love, play, sneak in some physical therapy, kiss, feed, and laugh with Negusu. What an amazing gift that we even got to meet him. I'm thankful for the timing of this decision, the clarity, the peace that has come with it, and for MACI. She is a absolute wonder.
Would I ever want to go through all of this again - NEVER. Would I trade this journey for anything - NEVER. I am different and my relationship with Jesus could never be where it is today, without this journey and I believe that God has something in store for Negusu. In his short little life, God has heard Negusu's name spoken and lifted up countless times by us and by so many of you. Negusu is your child, Lord Jesus, and although he is weak, You are strong.