Rikot spent a week in the village with her (first) family last week.
Now that she has been with us for almost three years we have moved past the adjustment phase and are working through the heartache and grief that goes hand and hand with adoption. It is a constant struggle for her and for us.
She has been missing them terribly.
She misses life in the village as well. Or at least what she remembers life to be like. I spent the week in fear and anxiety, honestly. She has struggled throughout her time with us with wanting to be back there. I don't blame her. It's not as if she has a bad family, just one that can't manage her disease. But they do love her, hence, the difficulty of it all.
We spent the week in prayer for wisdom in knowing what to do with her. Should she go back or should she stay? We were torn.
Adopting has changed our perspective on adoption. We always saw it as a beautiful thing, something holy almost, ordained by God. We were rescuing children from a life as "just a village girl" or "just a shepherd'. We used to see our adopted children as "made for us", and their adoption as "God's plan".
But it just isn't like that. Not that God doesn't use it, but to say that it's His plan for them to be with us is pushing it, I think, and very self-centered. God is always about the work of restoration, and that's what adoption is, restoration of something that was broken. But He put her with her first family because that's where He wanted her, with them, not us.
They were God's plan for her.
Enter sin...and enter death...and enter sickness...and enter...us. Not the original plan, but the back-up anyway. We are God's back-up plan for her.
And this is why we were torn. If it's possible for her to thrive with them, His first choice for her, then shouldn't she be with them?
It was a long week.
We picked her up on Monday, and I could see right away that she was sick. Bloodshot eyes, raspy voice, itchy rash covering her body. She had lost enough weight in a week for me to count her ribs. She let me heat her bath water and put cream on her itchy rash. She hugged me for five minutes without stopping. She was so sad. Sad to leave her first family, and sad because she knew, finally, for herself, that she could not thrive there.
Today, almost a week later, she danced through her morning, and I overheard her singing to herself, "I am so loved..."
Her rash is fading, and she is eating seconds at every meal. She is full of joy and energy and life. She is bonding well and letting herself be loved. Readjustment is going well. Not to say that she doesn't miss them still, but God is restoring the hurting places in her, just as He does in us.
This story, her story, has taught me so much about God's heart for us. Adoption was never His original plan for us. We were always meant to dwell with Him in perfect communion, to walk hand in hand in the garden He created for us. Enter sin...and enter His back-up plan, adoption through His son, Jesus Christ.
What a beautiful back-up plan that turned out to be. Not that our stories are free of heartache and grief, but He is always about the business of healing our broken places and creating beauty from ashes.
I am so grateful that He continues to restore our relationship with Him and look forward to the day when we again walk hand in hand in His garden.