advent, day four: an unexpected christmas

Because I want to share something important with you, I'm not writing specifically about Advent today. But I am sharing with you one of our absolute favorite Christmas videos, from the creative genius at St. Paul's in Auckland, New Zealand. Take a look first, then keep reading! If the video doesn't show below, refresh the page. Sometimes it's stuck. Somewhere. In the interwebs. If it never happens, click here to view it on YouTube.

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Advent, Day Four: An Unexpected Christmas || Image by Be Small Studios || sarahsandel.com || sarah writes

The thing, though, that I need to tell you and ask your prayer for is this:

We may be adopting again.

I know! Go ahead, squeal a little and get all excited. Okay, now just sit still for a second so I can describe (in awesome, vague language) what we are asking God to do.

Just over a month ago, a friend came to us with a situation that seemed nearly impossible and more than a little unexpected. We felt very guarded and cautious, given all the specifics, but agreed to pray about it. And in the last weeks, we have been slowly, steadily moving forward towards this birth mother and this baby, due in April.

With the Happy Baby's adoption, everything seemed to happen rapid-fire. From first call to baby-in-arms, it was barely two months. Given this baby's due date and some other potentially problematic details, this is moving at a much different rate, but with the same clear leading. I told my mother a few weeks ago, "I want God to grow our family precisely as He so chooses - but I would like it to not be risky, inconvenient, or costly, please." And she laughed a bit and said, "Dear Jo!* You just described every child coming to every family ever!" And she is right. All our children, no matter how they arrive, are glorious, terrifying risks that cost us in so many ways, yet we would have it no other way, would we?!

In this process, God has been clear in His leading by providing some really big financial answers for us and at the same time, pushing us a wee bit out of our comfort zone (read: launching us out of it) in order to minister to the birth mother and her family. I cannot go into the details of her circumstances or choices - those are precious and private. But God is allowing us to be actively involved in this process and we remain stunned and humbled by it all.

Would you pray with us over the next several months that God would make a way for this baby to be ours? We believe it is His desire for us to pursue this case, but know that any number of things can happen before baby comes. Would you pray for birth mom's heart, for her family, that she/they would know the God we serve and who creates & sustains life? Ask God to make us tender and wise and brave and loving.

Last week, I was invited to attend a sonogram with birth mom. For the first time ever, I got to see a squirmy little one on the screen, hear a whoosha-whoosha heartbeat, and be on the receiving end of the news: it's a girl! The birth mom was so excited FOR US and handed me the sono pics - "I want you to have these. Congratulations!" she said, and hugged me tight.

Wow. What a precious gift. An unexpected gift for us, this Christmas. Thank you for rejoicing with us and praying for us, along this way.

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*My mother calls me Jo and I call her Marmee, from 'Little Women'.