For us, it wasn't like this...
The first word from our agency about Overcomer was sent to us on my birthday. Would we consider a two and a half year old boy? A photograph of him came on June 9th. Reid and I both saw the picture separately and neither of us could speak. He seemed so sad. He looked so hopeless. At the moment I saw him, I simply wanted to jump on a plane to Africa and go hold him. Because of the look on his face, the prospect of caring for him seemed overwhelming. A grievous facial expression, and pencil thin limbs. How could we provide for him? Emotionally? Physically? It seemed like more than we could do. One thing was very noticeable in the picture though...Overcomer was wearing the same shirt that our boys had when they were little. Not a coincidence.
As others saw his photograph from the agency, sometimes it was a struggle for them to find words. Sometimes people said nothing. One person said, "I see what you mean about sad eyes."
However, as God refined our hearts toward His desire, our hearts knew that Overcomer was indeed the child for our family. He is a Beebe. He is to be our son.
Overcomer's birthday is the day after my precious friend, Ansley, died. Valentines Day has always been a struggle to celebrate because the anniversary of her death is Feb. 13th. Overcomer's birthday is February 14th! Valentines Day! God is bringing "beauty from the ashes!" No, it's not a coincidence.
This summer, I battled depression...severely. I wondered if God was showing me part of Overcomer's heart. Even at two years old, does he feel unloved? Unwanted? Worthless? Was God preparing my heart to know how to love him in a deeper way? Did my emotional struggle reveal some of his? Was God using this time somehow to entwine our hearts?
In praying, the Lord has continued to bring one word to mind for our son in Ghana - Overcomer. Last week when he was in the hospital, I awoke numerous times throughout the night wondering who was with him. Is he alone in the hospital? Is his care adequate? Is he resting? Is he afraid? As I prayed, the Lord would remind me of the name he had given, Overcomer, and I would be lulled back into a restless sleep. I do believe he will be an Overcomer and there is peace in trusting.
The Lord has also given us a family name for him. All of our boys have family names that are two syllables and end with the letter "n." As Reid researched his family line, he found the name Goodwin. Goodwin is derived from the name Godwin which means Friend of God. Our friend, Godwin Alijah, is the Ghanaian missionary who led our trips in Ghana. He has given his life to serving the Lord. His e-mail this morning reported he is out in the bush with an American mission team. There couldn't be a better namesake. Our son will keep his current name and we will add our family name "Godwin" to it. We are driving a stake into the ground that Overcomer will be a "friend of God."
Overcomer was in the hospital about 8 weeks ago. Again with malaria and anemia. Eight weeks ago, our hearts were not as connected. The responsibility not as real. The concern not as burdensome. But God has done something in our hearts over the past few months. Knowing life circumstances for Overcomer affects us. Our minds are on him all day, every day. We are willing to do whatever is needed to bring him home. Things I would never have considered before do not seem a sacrifice if that is what it takes. God is enlarging our hearts.
As for our other four boys, they are growing on this journey as well. They are willingly giving up some comforts in order for us to save for the adoption. Mason gave half of his yard-mowing earnings for us to deposit in the adoption account. When we were talking about upcoming expenses, Braden said, "I'll give all my money." They pray for Overcomer daily. Mason, Franklin, and Weston have both had dreams about meeting him. One night God gave Mason and Franklin the same dream about Overcomer! Nope, not a coincidence. Mason is writing a song about orphans. Learning African history and geography is intriguing - not boring. Some of our boys have already said they hope to adopt when they have a family of their own. This journey is part of the story God is writing in their lives as well.
Please pray for our son in Ghana. Kristie O'Leary was with him yesterday and sent pictures. (Sorry, I don't feel comfortable posting them on this blog.) Overcomer's been very ill, and the photos Kristie sent haunted me in my sleep last night. He looks so very sad and hopeless. His face looks swollen, and his frown seems pasted on his face. We are anxious to bring him home. Kristie said it is not an emergency, but he does need to come home soon. We have many hurdles in front of us, but the Lord is placing a great sense of urgency in our hearts. Sometimes we feel helpless until we resort to the most powerful thing we can do for him - PRAY. We are asking for you to lift him as well. Please pray that the Lord will meet his physical, emotional and spiritual needs. We praise God that the O'Learys are loving him for us.
The verse God has placed on my heart for him right now is -
The LORD will guide you always;
he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like a spring whose waters never fail.
Thank you, precious friends, for praying. We are grateful.