It is with a tremendous amount of joy that I can tell you that Baby Agnew #2 is on the way a whole lot quicker than we thought – we’ve been matched with our son!
We were planning on mid 2011 to be matched with a child, but some things have changed. I’ll give you the short story.
Two prayers had been prayed in our home concerning this forthcoming child. 1) I had prayed that we would see our child before Christmas this year and have him home before Christmas next year. Due to the provided timeline, that was told to us to be an impossibility. 2) Amanda prayed that we could help out a waiting child, but due to Obadiah’s age and the recommendation to have him remain the oldest child in the home, that was also basically ruled out. Keep all of that in mind.
On Dec. 23rd (yes, two days before Christmas), Amanda calls me repeatedly at work. Every week we receive a list of children in Ethiopia that for differing reasons are placed on a waiting list. Each week it burdens us because all the children were older than Obadiah and we couldn’t do anything about it. Until that day when a little boy popped up on the screen that was exactly 2 weeks younger than Obadiah. This sad face forever changed our plans.
His description informed us that he was malnourished and, as a result, had developmental delays. At 19 months, he has still not begun to crawl or walk. He is only 15 pounds. This child is in desperate need, but due to his status, is not an “ideal candidate.”
Amanda’s heart is too big not to check into it. So I called and got information on him. Both of his parents were dead by the time he was 5 months old. He had lived with an older uncle for a while until he left him at the orphanage on August 27th. Guess what we announced on that day (this blew our minds!)?
After much discussion with God, each other, adoption agencies, doctors, and some prayer partners, we had a decision to make. This little fella is in bad shape. The optimistic option is all he needs is a lot of food and a lot of love, and he will catch up developmentally. Then there are a host of other more serious options out there on the other end.
When trying to determine what those options were for this little boy, one of the doctors posed me the most heart-revealing question I’ve been asked in this entire process when she asked: “What illness would it take me to tell you he might have in order that you pass him over?”
Quite honestly, we couldn’t think of a thing. We do not know what are getting into, but we do know the One who got us into it. And He, my friends, is more than able. He is more than trustworthy. He is reliable. He is awesome in power.
I told the doctor, “Ma’am, I can’t think of one thing that you could tell me that would scare me away right now.”
She replied, “Well, then, you’re looking at your son.”
After much more interviews and steps, we were finally told Wednesday (January 6, 2010) that we had been matched with our son. We waited to announce it here until we could tell our families. The last few days have been a madhouse for us battling a stomach bug while trying to finalize the logistics for this process. We were well aware of the last few steps, but they are coming about 16 months earlier than expected which means some extra work. But our son doesn’t need to wait any longer.
After much prayer and Bible study, we have decided to name him Eli Botela Agnew. We want to keep his precious middle name that is dear to his family, but we also wanted a first name that told his story. Eli in the Bible (1 Samuel 1-4) was the priest used to direct Samuel into the ministry. His name means “uplifted” or “ascended,” and it also means “My God.”
His story has been tragic thus far, but his story is not over. He’s going to be lifted up. He has no idea that on the other side of the world, hope is on its way. He’s going to be lifted up out of that orphanage crib. He’s going to be lifted up out of isolation. He’s going to be lifted out of malnourishment and disease, but o, how I long for the day when he is lifted up into an understanding that his Heavenly Father has done so much more than this ol’ dad or his mom will ever do.
We are expecting to be traveling in 3-4 months to bring Eli home. I can’t believe we are this close and yet still so far away. Each day is pivotal for him and we have much love to show him, so I’m ready to jump on that plane.
Please pray for my son. As often as you think about our family, pray for him. Pray that hope invades his crib today. Pray that he gets the nutrition he needs to develop and fight off sickness. And pray that his dad, mom, and brother can get everything prepared to get him home ASAP.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated. So much more to tell, so check in over the next few weeks. Sorry for this post being so long, I promise this is the short version! I can’t even begin to tell you how faithful God has been throughout this whole process. He’s been so good, and we are honored to follow Him on this journey.