We have great friends, Paul and Chrissy, who have been on a journey. It is a journey that isn't for everyone but when God is behind it, His attention to detail is beyond words. Paul and Chrissy have adopted three siblings from Ethiopia. I have heard numerous stories of couples doing the same but the Jensen journey is one I have prayed through and watched up close. Paul and Chrissy have 4 children and are adding 3 more. I will confess that my initial response was, "Are you crazy?" I stressed for my friends at time as I still adjust to and juggle my own new mix of 4 kids.
I don't know how to begin to explain all the ways that we have traced God's hand through their journey to this point. With each obstacle, we prayed and watched. Jesus knocked our socks off each time. I got to the point where if Chrissy called with what seemed like an impossible request, I just went ahead and took my socks off. Paperwork nightmares, finances, approvals, travel plans and more all fell into place. We prayed with a greater confidence with each need. Jesus momentum was rolling because it was obvious He wanted those three children to be a part of the Jensen clan.
With blending a family, I can even see how things I have learned in three years have allowed me the opportunity to pray in advance for Paul, Chrissy and the kids. I still can't imagine the challenges that are ahead for my friends. I mean, my four all speak English (except for when I call their name) and it has been a lot of work. The same God that pushed through paperwork will carry them through everything they face.
I am writing this after returning from the airport for their arrival. I was excited to meet the kids. To finally see the few photos we have prayed over, turn into real little people with voices and personalities is enough to give you butterflies in the belly. As I watched them approach through the plexiglass, my eyes immediately gazed to my friend, Chrissy. I missed her and just wanted to see for myself that she was ok. When I saw the kids, tears began to flow. Paperwork, deadlines, and approvals all faded away as I watched little dark hands wrapped around my friends. I was reminded that God keeps us right in the palm of His hand.
At this season in my life, I don't feel called to adopt. I admire Paul and Chrissy, along with any others that live out unselfish love. The example they set challenges me to stretch myself, to be off the charts for Jesus, and to be ready and willing for whatever. The Barron kids have been stirred by this experience as well. I have seen them let go of their own selfishness for the Jensen's. From prayers to posters and pennies, I have watched this journey minister to more kids than the new Jensen children.
I know this is really just the beginning of the journey for that family. There will be difficult days and overwhelming feelings, but I know God meant for this to happen. He isn't in the business of "maybe". Jesus Christ is the same yesterday when He took care of paperwork. He is the same today when He brought the whole Jensen family together for the first time and Jesus will be the same tomorrow as this family grows. (Hebrews 13:8)
I watched Paul and Chrissy walk out of the airport. The steps of obedience are beautiful.....BEYOND WORDS!