Jeffrey Matthew- HOPE

This is an amazing story of how God works BEHIND the scenes, creating beautiful pictures that in time take our breath away.  A story that's been in the working for years . . . the colors began to reveal themselves a year ago and yesterday bloomed into the most beautiful painting ever.  Ready to be amazed?  Read on . . . This is a combination of journal entries I wrote and Instagram posts.

January 10, 2016
Journal Entry

"M is heavy on my mind, in such a heavy way.  It just keeps echoing in my mind that he needs a mom to be his advocate.  He needs a family who will welcome and love him, hold him close- teach him to be a storng and loving man.  A man of God.  And who will do it?  . . . Will God answer this time with a family?  Please bring him a family, a loving and caring and strong family to love and hold this little boy."

February 10, 2016
Journal Entry

"M - feels hopeless- like he will just end up back in his horrid situation for his whole life.  Is there any hope of a real family for him? . . . Please do a miracle and find a mom for M, who will love and cherish him."

February 11, 2016
Instagram Post

I've been feeling hopeless lately about several "big things" (my parents' girls ever coming home from Ethiopia, my little guy who needs a loving home, etc.). I found this bracelet I got a number of years ago and it's going to stay on my arm until Easter. A visual reminder to pray and not give up hope. To storm the gates until the answers come! #dontlosehope #stormthegates#praypraypray

**Insert . . . my friend Hannah sees this Instagram post and texts me- do I really have a little guy who could use a family?  We begin a conversation where she tells me about a dear friend of hers who she thinks would love to step into this role- help out this little guy by being a sort of adopted family once a week.  A few days later she connects her friend Shelby and I.

February 16, 2016
Journal Entry

Prayers for Lent.  never lose HOPE.  Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Romans 12:12
M calls me mom.  I think he lives in a fantasy world where if he believes it enough, he will get to live with us.  He told someone the other day he has two sisters and a brother and a dad and mom and then they realized he was describing Jer and I.  Breaks my heart to NOT be able to do this.

Journal Entry
February 17, 2016
"HOPE- Shelby is falling in love with M and hasn't even met him.  HOPE- she prays for him and worries about him.  HOPE- a mom to advocate for him and love him.  JOYFUL in hope."

(I sent Shelby these pictures while we were texting back and forth about him one evening.)


Journal Entry
March 11, 2016

"M's mom refused to sign papers for the summer, so now what?  And won't give answer about spring break.  So now?  Back to home and hell?  What about next year?  Joyful in HOPE, patient in prayer, faithful in affliction."

Journal Entry
March 14, 2016
"May the God of HOPE fill you with all JOY and PEACE as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with HOPE by the power of the Holy Spirit."  

March 14
Instagram Post

My hope has been battered and tarnished this Lent. Not what I expected when committing to pray for three precious things this season. Each feels farther away from being answered than back on Ash Wednesday. Pushing hard into what it means to be "joyful in hope" and waiting in anticipation to see how prayers will be answered.

August 28, 2016
Instagram Post

"God did this so that . . . We who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us, may be greatly encouraged. But we have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure." New bracelets to wear as a constant reminder not to lose hope as I pray for three specific things, including homes for three precious children. #puravida #hopeasananchor#nomoreorphans #orphancare


So back in February and March, specifically, I was storming heaven's gates. Begging God to bring a family for M.  And he did . . . Mike and Shelby stepped up, willing to take this hurting, broken child and make him theirs.  And then it fell apart.  We grieved for what could have been.  Meanwhile God touched the deepest parts of their heart and they stepped forward to pursue adoption.  He didn't allow them to lose hope, become guarded or bitter.  But to keep their hearts soft.  Knowing that the hurt of losing a child is LESS than the pain that child feels in his great loss.  


In the late summer (? timing is fuzzy to me), they were matched with a birth mom and began their anxious wait.  Found out it was a little boy, due at Christmas (September).  He was born early, in November.  They received information, pictures and so forth, but BM decided not to sign papers until he was released.  And then they found out over a month later, she had taken him home weeks ago and lied  Heartbreaking. Senseless pain- changing her mind is fine, but lying and leading people on?  Horrific.  

In the midst of this, I begged God over and over to keep their hearts soft, don't let them give up!!!!! He has a little child out there for them to be parents to.

January 3rd, around 2 pm we are texting back and forth . . . and I saved some screen shots for you of this conversation.

And then she goes silent.  I figure she's at work and life is busy, not a big deal.  A few minutes later my friend Hannah calls (the one who connected Shelby and I).  In the midst of our text conversation she received a phone call from their agency, a baby boy was born December 2016 (remember the expecting photo?  Due in December 2016?  God was right!!!!!).  He is three days old and all theirs.

(Them waiting anxiously for the baby to arrive!)

Three hours later they are home, with their sweet Jeffrey Matthew in their arms!!!

If you've stuck with me this long, great.  Isn't God amazing?  Sometimes it's easy to forget or push it to the back of our minds in the midst of busy, stressed, discouraging and challenging days.  But this week was an amazing, wonderful reminder of just how God is putting pieces together behind the scenes, in ways we COULD NOT imagine.  Most often it seems that we don't get to see everything come together, but sometimes we are privileged to see how the picture really looks.  And I'm so thankful I got to be a part of seeing it!!

Welcome Home Jeffrey Matthew!


Mickey said…
There are no words sufficient....miraculous blessing... as a starter.
Unknown said…
I needed to see this today. Thanks for writing it and prayers for all involved.
Darlene said…
God is so good. We just need to keep our Faith and Trust in Him strong and positive. ... just as Shelby and Mike did... the rewards and blessings are awesome.
This is SO beautiful. What a testimony! Praise God!

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