denied. there's never a nice way of saying it. though our agency did a good job trying.

"i have some challenging news." that's how the phone call began.

driving downtown, sky rise buildings going up to my right and left.

couldn't even see the rain clouds if i wanted.

the light might have been green or yellow or even red and i sat in a comatose state.

"their reasoning is the adoption of k would disrupt birth order."

the federal committee has denied us adoption of k.

"we are hopeful," the voice on the phone said.

keep going please. now's the moment when i'm not breathing on my own and could use a dose of hope.

"we're going to appeal this decision. we get one try. we're going to write letters."

someone else had to be driving the van as it made a u-turn and found its way back to where i had just dropped off ben.


ben sits in on the last of the conversation. end button pressed.

we've been those people to walk with others in crisis.

we've prayed and fasted on behalf of others.

here we found ourselves in that moment when we had to decide how we would move forward.

hope was shaken.

it was being hammered on. pounded.

hope was taking a beating.

it was as if someone was taking my order at a fast-food counter and there was a long line behind me and i had to make a choice really fast.

okay. i'll have a number 1 no pickles.

not quite.

i did this though.

i set aside to my left the worse-case scenario - that we would lose our k.

and with every ounce of my being, i would fight.

i believe i first went into operational mode. i needed to know what must be done to get her back. for the reality is unless we appeal, we will lose her. unless we fight and pray and advocate and hope...

then i surrounded myself with audible voices for the entirety of the day. i called a sister-friend. i called ajay and smita's mom. i called two moms who have experienced CARA denials and have seen God overcome them both! i called mom. we called staff families. i reached out to my close-knit india families who are in various stages of adoption. i called our agency a time or two again.

i was avoiding getting alone with God.

i sat at the kitchen table with a to-do list on the cabinets and i couldn't think of what to do.

i was in the house by myself and couldn't wait to have my three kids with me. tangibles of God's blessings.

i texted and called ben a zillion times.

"we're only going to accept what God's doing in this, not what the enemy is trying to do." said one friend.

in my interpretation, God and evil are at work around this globe. the enemy works overtime to keep orphans orphans, war waging, marriages mediocre and humans artificially happy. God is stronger, higher, supreme, all-loving, good, and victorious in everything He touches and breathes upon and leads.

i've tried to get down and real with God, but a call or text would come in and i knew i could hear that voice on the other line. i choose the audible over God's voice.

"i believe God is not finished yet," texted the friend who gifted k the yellow dress.

our agency says they are hopeful. they have seen a 90% success rate for families who have been denied by the federal committee. they are guiding us through appeal letters that me and ben will write together and that our three boys will write, too. our agency is writing a letter. our social worker is writing a letter.

we're sending them a picture of our boys holding a framed picture of their sister.

these letters will arrive in an email to the committee next week.

if you've prayed for us before,

if you've never given prayer a thought,

if you only pray when things are good,

if you only pray when things are bad,

believe my thirty something years of talking to God - 

He hears me and you and wants to be given credit for doing extraordinary humanly impossible things.

this will be an extraordinary humanly impossible thing. to reverse. to overturn. to pull us through this with us and k united.

i paused early on to think about k in all of this. she knows of us. she's seen and held pictures of us. not only are our hearts in this, but hers is as well now. she's been abandoned before. she sits in an institution today. she needs to be with family with kids ages 10, 8 and 6 - who love her despite birth order and because of birth order. a family who has fought for almost two years and we're not done yet.

okay, enemy, you've messed with my heartstrings. it's gotten raw and real and personal.

when hope is shaken, i've found out today, with the help of audible voices and my faith in Jesus Christ, that i fight. i might look battered if you see me soon, but i'm going to tell you i'm fighting. i'm believing. i'm hoping. i can only say this and believe it with every ounce of my being because of my hope in Jesus. nothing else will sustain. nothing else is as sure.

it's time for me to be real with God and let Him comfort me the way no one can. 

because He and i both have a girl in india. 

we're going boldly before Him. Ben reminds me we can ask God for more than just one thing:
pray that the hearts of the committee members will be changed
pray for favor with the committee who will review our appeals
pray for k.
other families have typically waited 2-10 months to hear back about the appeal. pray for us as we wait in the not-knowing. pray for a speedy favorable decision.