Steppin’ Up

Road in the mountain

There’s no real explaining what it feels like to have a daughter halfway across the world.

Besides the realities of living in a war-torn country (one often named the worst place in the world to be a woman), with limited access to the most basic necessities like clean water, the reality of having no one to call her own weighs heaviest on this mama’s heart.

It’s a strange tension of fierce longing and desperation and, at times, a little bit of guarding, if I’m being honest. Because I know the other factors that play into international adoption, especially in this place, are less than steady.

Nothing feels sure.

The likelihood of the entire system crumbling isn’t out of the realm of possibility.

So, the truth is, some days, I turn my heart off just a little because I know what might be.

Or, what might never be.

Earlier this week I stumbled upon this aching plea from a mother facing that very reality: a case denied. Hopes dashed. The family had one opportunity to appeal the decision before the government of India. And Shauna’s words here just struck my spirit deep, as the truth of that double-edged sword does:

…God doesn’t owe us this. But throughout Scripture, He invites His people to ask, to watch and be amazed… Since beginning of time, God invites us into what He’s doing and wants to accomplish. To break the chains of bondage. To change the hearts of man. To set the captives free. Doing this the old-fashioned way proves that He’s doing the fighting, giving Him all the glory.”

And on a night where I was doubting everything, just moments before having voiced to Adrian all the reasons why it all might just fall apart, those words, that call, they urged my spirit to step it up.

To plead before the God I serve.

To call upon the only worthy name under Heaven.

To whisper the cries of my heart before the throne of grace.

For He is tender and compassionate.

He longs to be gracious towards us. He is the God of justice! (Isaiah 30:18)

He is the defender of the fatherless and the oppressed. (Psalm 10:18)

He is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Exodus 34:6)

He is the one who generously gives wisdom to those who ask. (James 1:5)

He is great and most worthy of praise. (Chronicles 16:25)

He is the Heavenly Father that delights in giving good gifts to His children. (Matthew 7:11)

He sets the lonely in families. (Psalm 68:6)

So, before Him I will bring my requests.

In His name I will trust.

 photo by Alex Talmon 
  • Dawn

    I feel ya sweet sista! My heart is often guarded, there is comfort in knowing others are walking along this crazy journey as well! <3 ya!

    • Lauren Mills

      So good to hear others that understand. It’s a regular battle for me. Thanks for your wisdom!

  • Lindsy Wallace

    Oh yes. Thanks Lauren for being vulernable and encouraing us all through your words and actions to step it up on behalf of our children!

    • Lauren Mills

      Gotta keep each other going, for sure, friend.

  • Heather@To Sow a Seed

    Oh, how I hear you. We have five biological children, two granted to us through God’s blessing of foster adoption, and one waiting for us in Nepal. We have been called her our own since 2009, but there is no hope for a legal adoption. We are headed to Nepal as missionaries, and will finally (finally!) be a complete family then. I will be praying for YOU and your journey as well!

    • Lauren Mills

      WOW, Heather! What an amazing story! I would love to hear more about your trip to Nepal and your family’s journey. Just beautiful how God works, even in the heartbreak. Blessings on your journey!

      • Heather@To Sow a Seed

        Thank you! I blog about our call to missions, plans for life in Nepal, etc., at our current blog. Most of the backstory surrounding our Nepali daughter is on my old blog ( which I wrote under a pseudonym.

  • Katie DeVine

    I continue to pray for your family and your little girl! He answers prayers and I pray He gives you His peace.

    • Lauren Mills

      Thank you so much, Katie. I know you’ve been such a prayer warrior for us… what a gift! Thank you!