Six years ago, they applied to adopt. Forms submitted, requirements complied with. A name was even chosen… a name that would help them hold on, even though somewhat premature. Rain. That God would reign in their lives and the life of their child-to-be.

As time went on, they prayed and waited. Life moved on, questions swirled, but they still believed that one day, they would get their precious child. A walk in the field last January. ‘Let’s choose the second name GRACE for our child, if it is a girl.’ ‘Yes’, was the reply. ‘It is only the grace of God that keeps up holding on in hope.’

The rest of their walk was in silence, each heart so full of anticipation and hope. How long could they sit here waiting? They just wanted a child. Was that too much to ask for?

On a bright sunny afternoon, two years ago, my social worker and I went to pick upan abandoned child from a government hospital. We were surprised when we were offered another baby at the same time. The nurses laughing quietly, ‘We have lots ofabandoned babies here. Take your pick!’ I was irritated at their laughter.

I asked to see the babies that were abandoned and already cleared for discharge. On that day, we went to pick up one child and we came home with 5. I’ll never forget the looks on the faces of the medical personnel. Nor will I forget the faces of those 5 precious little ones.

One of the babies, was a tiny, premature, little waif. She had been left in the hospital and had not even been given a name. As is our custom, we prayed and I asked God for her name. I believe names are significant and children can grow into their meaning.

One year later, after papers were organized and requirements on our end all settled, we went to choose a family from the long roster. The family we chose sat well in ourhearts. We were excited.

On the day they received the ‘allocation phone call’ from their government, they were of course, thrilled. How many years had they waited for this moment. As no information is given over the phone, they nervously went to the office of the social worker and waited.

As they opened the file, they saw their beautiful daughter-to-be. Her name was written in big letters at the top of her picture. Raina Grace.

No one can argue how God prepared that couple for this child.

No one can argue the struggle it is to wait and wonder. And no one can question that God was in control of this match. I believe the couple was chosen long before she was even born.

As 2012 begins:

May you be encouraged to pray for our orphans and children waiting for permanent families.

May you be encouraged and uplifted if you are still waiting on a long sent application for a child.

May your heart remember this story and know that while each child orphaned or surrendered was once in their own mother’s womb, whatever circumstances led to their eventual adoption, God saw and God knew where He would place that child.

There is no question, it is hard to wait and hard to hold on. But while you are anxiously waiting, your child may be healing, may be learning, may be only about to be born.

Pray. Believe. And don’t lose heart. God’s timing is always perfect.

For Raina Grace and her new family…she was worth the wait.