The date was August 5, 2013. I’ll never forget it because it was Adam’s birthday and he was getting ready to deploy the next day. It was a Monday night and that was when the adoption agencies would call waiting families with a match of their child from China. I was pacing the floor waiting for that phone call to tell us they had matched us with a girl. Any girl. We didn’t care. We were ready to move forward with the child God had for us.
The phone rang and I have never felt such a rush of nervousness, nausea, and excitement all in one. “Deb, we have a MATCH! Would you like to know more?” Are you stinking kidding me?! This would be the best birthday Adam ever had! She began to tell me all the details of this precious one but the detail I’ll never forget was this one:
“Deb, her birthday is July 5.” I began to sob and scream. I was trying to explain the importance of that day to our agency. I sobbed, “You don’t understand. My Momma has cancer and she’s not doing well. That’s her birthday. This will bring her so much joy and a connection to our girl.” We both cried and cried. And hollered. And jumped up and down. In that split second moment, I knew that Jesus had lovingly, graciously given us a daughter that shared my Momma’s birthday. I knew from that day forward that if Momma was taken to Heaven through cancer, this was God’s way of easing the pain.
I called Momma immediately to tell her and boy, oh boy, did she squeal and cry. She talked about how that meant so much to her not knowing if she’d live long enough to meet Libby in person. (that’s a complicated story I’ll go into detail later).
If you are in grief, Jesus cares. He knows you’re hurting. He knows the pain. He cried when Lazarus died. (John 11:35). Even though He knew Lazarus would come back to life yet He took the time to share in the grief of his friends. Isn’t that what a loving God does? I sure think so! Take heart, friends and know that your God loves you to bits and He doesn’t leave you to grieve alone. He’s right there with you. And look for the moments He’s offering tangible comfort. I guarantee you’ll see them.
Side note: Momma did live long enough to meet her. TWICE! And she got to spend Christmas with her right before she moved to Heaven. What a huge blessing to us all!