I wasn’t going to tell you any of this. Somehow it didn’t seem right to put you through all the emotions… but then I reminded myself that you signed up to join us on this journey. Or you just clicked on this blog.
Either way, it’s your own fault, really.
I’m not sure exactly where to start, so I’ll just go through the images that play over and over in my mind.
The first is the joyful snapshot of Wilna as I taught her to balance a broom on her foot, nose, and finger. She concentrated hard as I taught her the key to successful broom balancing: stare at the very tippy top of whatever you are balancing.
(And people said my middle school clown camp was a waste of good money.)
Then the child that ran around the corner. “Elsa, it’s Laurentz!”
I turned, walked around the corner and saw Miriam, Laurentz walking by her side. The second snapshot. Oh that smile. I ran to him and scooped him up in my arms. The tears immediately sprang to my eyes. “Don’t lose it,” I told myself. “Don’t you dare scare this poor child by sobbing… and never letting go.”
I held him for a few minutes as Miriam shared that his birth mom had brought him for the visit. I knew right away I should say hello to her, thank her for such a sweet gift. I took Laurentz over to his friends whom he hadn’t seen for nearly a month. I set him down so he could play, but he wouldn’t let go of my hand. I swallowed the tears as I gathered him back up. “I’ll be right back,” I told him, snuggled him close and then gently set him down again.
I walked with Miriam back toward the guest house. Normally you don’t get to meet the birth parents of your adopted child, but since the adoption wasn’t happening, I was allowed to greet her. I saw her at a distance and was amazed at the depth of love that flooded my heart. So young, so beautiful – and I can only imagine all she’s already been through in her life. I don’t blame her at all for the depth of our sorrow over Laurentz – we just all happen to love the same boy.
I reached her and cupped her face in my hands. The third snapshot, a precious moment. “So beautiful,” I said in creole. She stood up and hugged me tight. Maybe she thought I would be angry – I wanted to quickly convince her otherwise. “Thank you so much for bringing Laurentz to see me,” I said. “I love him so much, and because I love him, I love you. Thank you!”
Again I hugged her and then asked her to wait just a moment while I ran upstairs. I had brought some clothes we had gathered for Laurentz, along with a few toys. It seemed right that he should have them. I brought them down and we looked through them together.
Then she looked at Miriam and started to say something. I couldn’t understand and neither could Miriam at first. Miriam had her repeat it several times and by the third go, I thought I had it. “She doesn’t want the adoption, but she can’t care for him so she wants him at the orphanage?”
“No,” said Miriam. She looked at me. “She wants you and Brian to adopt Laurentz.”
I looked at Miriam. I looked at this young mom. Tears welled up and overflowed. “Really?”
She nodded. Miriam nodded.
“Really?” I said again.
I hugged her close as the sobs came up. Tried to keep it together. I pulled back and looked her in the eyes. “I promise to love him for all of my days. Until I take my last breath, I will love that little boy. We all will.”
She nodded. She knew that.
I was stunned. Her change of heart was completely unexpected.
I had to tell Brian.
Quickly I walked to the toddler area. “Mama Laurentz! Mama Laurentz!” The children yelled.
Oh yes, it’s me! Mama Laurentz!
I held out my arms to Laurentz and we walked back to the guesthouse. As soon as I got within internet range, I tried to call Brian. Nothing. More nothing. In fact, for the rest of the trip, we had no internet. Thankfully, Miriam came with our young birth mom, and Miriam had her phone. Together we called Brian. This young mom got to hear the shock, the joy, the delight in his voice.
Such a profound gift and privilege. I want us to stay connected, we all want her to see and know her beautiful boy and for him to know her. Somehow we will find a way.
For now, we are grateful – overwhelmed, touched to our very core.
On our last day of the trip, I was able to connect with our adoption facilitator. He assured me that he could catch Laurentz up quickly – as long as his mama signs some papers and we can get another interview on the US side. Last time was supposed to be our last chance. Can we still make it happen?
This is where we need your prayers. That if this is truly what God has, and what this young mom feels is best for Laurentz, that she would feel courageous in signing papers on the Haitian side. That is supposed to happen tomorrow. Pray also that we are able to get another appointment with the government for her to meet with US officials – and that she will have the courage/strength/heart to attend the meeting.
You know, I remember a few months back I traveled to see family – it was just when we were learning that Laurentz’s mom was not going to let us adopt him. I stood inside the airport tram and watched a tall, lean dark skinned man jump on board just as the doors were closing. I smiled at him and then noticed his name tag. “Laurenze.” I wondered then if God was somehow letting me know that things would change – that at the very last minute before the doors closed, Laurentz would slip into our arms. I held that snapshot in my mind, and it came to my thoughts today. Could it be?
Oh friends, I wasn’t going to say a word until his mama attended the next steps – tomorrow and on the US side – because what if she doesn’t? Or something else happens? I hate to run you through the emotions as well. Then I realized that I’m not being fair. You signed up for the ride, so we’re taking you with us – even if the new highs lead to new depths. And we covet your prayers. Please pray that everything will come together for this beautiful young woman and her precious boy. What a privilege to come alongside her to raise him.
We would be honored.
Adding joy to our awe, the last snapshot. Our adoption guy brought copies of the adoption decrees for Lovence and Wilna. The real thing. Officially official. They are now Lovence and Wilna Colopy. They are, as they have already been in our hearts, officially our children.
He also said we should have them all home by April or May – Lord willing.
April or May.
Oh Lord, thank you! Bring all three of our babies home! We love them so and we love you for placing us on this journey. We couldn’t do it without you and we wouldn’t want to… make us more than what we are today so we can love these children the way they deserve – for always.