One benefit of pouring my thoughts and prayers into journals is the pleasure of returning to them years later. Now that I have all this new found time on my hands, sandwiched in the knowledge that it will disappear when my baby girl is placed there, I went back a few years into those journals. I recalled the time when our family was moving from Arizona to Texas and we were faced with many weighty decisions that would affect our children and our future. Simultaneous with our move, my mom was going through an all time low in her life. We all have them. Comforting her, and urging her to see God had a plan in all of it was so important to me. I felt so much conflict in my heart because at the same time I saw more travel in my future, she was having travel torn out of hers. If she and I have anything in common, it is our love for adventure, seeing new places, and knowing new cultures. (as well as gardening, dogs, children and books) My heart ached as she went through her difficult period.
I read in my journal from those times that I asked God to make it possible for me to take my mother to Africa some day. She’s had a love affair with the hope of seeing Africa for as long as I can remember. Her ultimate dream was to do safari in Africa. More than a decade ago she had a trip planned to Africa to do safari. She saved for years, and finally booked a trip with a girlfriend. They were geared up and well informed and simply bursting with excitement for their adventure. In the countries they had chosen to travel there broke out civil unrest, creating grave travel dangers for foreigners. Her friend cancelled her trip. My mom couldn’t go alone so she cancelled her trip as well. Her dream of seeing the wild continent slipped far out of her reach. I felt her sadness. Disappointment crushes the heart like an elephant sitting on a flower. But God is much bigger than an elephant, He can protect our flowers. 🙂
I believe with God anything is possible. He knows our hearts in the most secret and unspoken of thoughts. My mom would never have imagined the day she cancelled her trip to Africa that years later she would be preparing to go to Uganda but not as a tourist. She’s going with us to Uganda to meet her new granddaughter, to mix with the people of her culture who will now become a part of my mom’s family. Her life will be knotted together with Uganda for all the rest of her days. If you ask me this is a much better travel plan than a canned safari trip covering a few countries.
And, God willing, to the best of our abilities we will go on safari in Uganda. We will travel the rough terrain in an open top safari truck and see elephant, giraffe, lions, wildebeast, buffalo,hippos, crocodiles, warthogs, gazelles and cranes for as far as our eye can stretch. We will go into schools and meet the children. We will become friends with girls who have been rescued from the horrors of sex slavery. We will meet the women who are making a difference for young pregnant girls. We will hug children whose education was raised from Jack’s pumpkin bread enterprise. We will bounce orphans on our knees and pray for their future that it will be educated, full of the knowledge of God, and filled with wisdom that can grow the future of Uganda. We will watch Kevin and Jack transform their understanding of life and the world as they too experience Africa. Is there greater joy than seeing children discover something new that will change their perspective on life forever? We will meet, hug, kiss and cradle the newest member of the LaTorre family, Kira. We will not just have a love affair with Africa, we will fall deeply in love and make a lifetime committment.
Only God can plan an adventure like this. Three years ago adoption was something Craig and I talked about as a good idea but it had no connection to our reality and definitely no connection to Africa. And now, that prayer I wrote in a journal one early morning when my heart was wide open, hopeful and hurting is coming true in a way that is far better than I would have imagined to ask of God. The words “amazing” and “awesome” should be saved for God alone. Thank you God for hearing my silent prayers as well as those spoken.
Jeremiah 29:11 I know the plans I have for you declares the LORD plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.