Benjamin, Lydia and Caleb came home with us a few weeks ago after being orphaned when their mother died shortly after childbirth. The girls and I spent many hours up in the nursery feeding these three small babies. After spending a couple of weeks in the hospital nursery, they were ready for discharge but their long-term placement had not yet been arranged. The nursery was packed with 47 babies in a small cramped space. The doctors and nurses were overwhelmed with taking care of so many sick children so they asked if we would be willing to care for the children while arrangements for long term placement are being made. The legal officer for the hospital and the social workers gave approval for them to come home with us until they are placed in nearby orphanages to await adoption.
It has been very exhausting and at the same time absolutely one of the most rewarding things I have ever done. I am up at least every two hours at night. It seems as if one of the babies is always crying, needing to be fed, burped or changed. Like all newborns, they want to be held and cuddled. It is a 24 hour job just making the formula and cleaning the bottles. And I am still trying to school my own children, cook, clean and maintain a family life on the mission compound. When I think about it though, all the hard work and sleepless nights has really been the easy part.
The difficult part has been all the unanswered questions. I have struggled with not being able to change their situation or to predict what their lives will eventually look like. I want desperately to manipulate their futures. I want to know the ‘plan’ for their lives. Will they be adopted? Will they stay together as triplets? Will they be able to go to school? Will they be raised in a Christian home? Will they be safe and loved?
I hardly ever pick them up, hold them or cuddle them without whispering prayers over them and asking Jesus to protect them and care for them when I no longer will be able to. I pray they would come to know Him at an early age and serve Him all the days of their life. I ask God all the questions that float around in my mind. I have even struggled with God over the injustice of their situation.
A few nights ago around 3 in the morning I was questioning the Lord and even telling him how very unfair things seem to be sometimes in this life. Could He reassure me that He was in control, of even, this situation? A very familiar scripture came to my mind. I hear it quoted frequently but in the quiet of the night it took on special meaning.
God whispered Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for Benjamin, Lydia and Caleb…plans to prosper them and not harm them. Plans full of hope and a future.”
He knows the plan. I can trust He is aware of the situation and knows the outcome. I am here NOW because we are part of His plan. I still have all those questions and they are all still unanswered but I have to trust Him. It’s not my job to figure it all out. My responsibility is to do what I can. And for now that means to hold these little ones, to kiss them and feed them and care for them. But mostly, just to love them. To be the mother’s hands and arms and embrace that they have never felt.
Sometimes trusting God with all the unknowns feels like the ‘hard part’ to me but it actually is what makes all the hard work feel easy. He has given me grace and endurance over the last few weeks to care for Benjamin, Caleb and Lydia and I am learning to trust Him with their future. I thank God for the privilege of caring for them and for the unfailing promise of His word.