Every person who has ever advocated for the orphan knows all too well that there are days when it feels so utterly heartbreaking.  Children who literally wait for years for someone to come for them age out (become unadoptable).  Children who are very ill pass away in horrendous orphanages before knowing the love of a family. Teenagers who see many younger children adopted from their orphanages beg for a family of their own…but no one ever comes. If you’re even remotely immersed in this community of adoptive parents or if you use their voices to shout for the ones left behind, you know the heartbreak that comes every time we see or hear a story of another precious child who we lost. It’s hard!

But then there are the other stories.  The ones that remind me that no matter how heart-stretching advocacy can be, it is so, so absolutely worth it! They’re the stories that remind me that every life is valuable and precious and worth fighting for.

Do you remember a little girl named Nora for whom my friend, Annie, and I advocated last year?  The moment Anthony and I saw her video, we knew that she would absolutely blossom in a family.  We knew that she had so much potential and that, if given the chance, she would exceed expectations. After sharing her story, no one responded.  So I shared again. My heart ached at the thought of her never knowing the love of a family, or ever being given opportunities to learn and become all who she could be.

A few weeks later I got an email from a mom asking me if I would be willing to chat on the phone about our experiences with Down syndrome. I love Melissa! After much prayer, they committed to Nora–with excitement, nervousness and every other emotion that comes from adding a child with special needs to a family.

This week, Melissa and her family met their most precious Nora Joy.  Oh my goodness! God knew her name had to have “Joy” in it. What a delightful, most endearing little love! Nora Joy loves her new family and they are equally in love with their new daughter!

She’s sweet, happy, funny, and by the looks of things, is fitting in as if she had always been there.

For every hard story that we read, there are the most redemptive, amazing stories too.

This picture made me so tearful. A little girl holding on tightly in the arms of the father who sacrificed, surrendered, and took a giant leap of faith to give her a family. It’s just the redeeming love of Jesus coming down to earth.

We love, because He first loved us.

Today, I am so thankful for the many victories–for the answered prayers and joys of seeing children united with families. For the children who are chosen and the families who trust God on the journey. Today, my heart is rejoicing for one little girl on the other side of the world who now knows what it feels like to belong. Today, I am so grateful that her life mattered so much to one family.

Thank you to all of you who prayed that this little treasure would be found.

He has been faithful.