Ten years ago today we met Victor. Since there is no pre-selection process when adopting from Ukraine, the meeting was arranged so that we could see him and decide if we wanted to adopt him. All we knew of him at this point was on a slip of paper our facilitator handed to us after reviewing his file at the adoption center in Kiev. Somewhere in the middle of the eight hour road trip to his hometown, we knew we were on our way to meet our son rather than having an appointment to determine if we should adopt this child named Victor. We had prayed for 14 months that God would choose our child for us, so we wouldn’t make a mistake. We were relying on the promise in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart. Lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” After the confusing selection process in the adoption center, we felt like the only path available for us was one that led straight to Victor. This HAD to be our son.
We heard stories from others who had previously adopted, stories about dreams, signs, circumstances that were more than coincidental and proved God’s sovereignty in the choosing. We were excited to experience our own magical moment when we would first lay eyes on our new child. Surely God would give us some kind of “writing on the wall” to confirm Victor was to be ours.
Once we arrived at the orphanage, we were escorted to his room and instructed to sit on a couch in the corner. One by one a dozen little 2 and 3 year olds walked past us and into the bathroom. Waiting for further instruction, and having no idea what he even looked like, we were about to burst. Finally, after all of the children were in the bathroom, a nurse emerged from the bedroom holding the hand of a little boy who could hardly walk. As they headed toward us, we knew this was him. Almost immediately after giving him a hug, our facilitator asked, “Is this the one you would like to adopt?” You talk about pressure! We knew God had led us straight to him, but we were also remembering advice given to us by our pediatrician. She told us to look for signs of things like Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or Reactive Attachment Disorder because these were very prevalent in Ukrainian orphans. We asked if we could have a few minutes with him alone. Sveta arranged for us to take him outside and pointed out that if we began the process that day, before the courts closed in 30 minutes, it would save us some time. We were already preparing to be in Ukraine and away from our other child for about three weeks, so her point was taken to heart.
We took Victor outside and begged God for confirmation that he was to be our child. We played with him just for a few minutes noticing the developmental delays (didn’t talk and couldn’t walk on his own without falling), all the while keeping our eyes and ears open for God to give us the “Yes” or “No”. All we heard was the reminder of what we had decided the day before, that unless no major conditions existed, we would say “Yes”. About five minutes later, Sveta rejoined us and reminded us of the time sensitive matter. We trusted that God would close the door if it weren’t His will. Without a reason to say “No”, we said “Yes” and were whisked away to begin the paperwork process of making Victor a Rowe.
Sometime that night, we discussed how God had not given us a tangible confirmation that we could hold onto. For a few days even, we continued to question if we had made the right choice. “What if he had one of these conditions we were warned about? What if there were a more serious medical issue being kept from us. What if…” After getting on our knees and begging God for clarity, He reminded us that Proverbs 3 speaks of not relying on our own understanding of things but to trust in Him. He reassured us in our hearts that He had big plans for this precious child named Victor, and we would be so blessed by getting to watch those plans unfold. He didn’t give us an emotional ly charged circumstance or miraculous moment we could share with the world, but rather He taught us that faith meant trusting in what we could not see. And we would soon see just how blessed we would be for taking this step of faith in making this child our own.