For many years when Wayne put Julia to bed, he told her a bedtime story. Oh and btw, Wayne did tuck Julia into bed every night. This was his daddy responsibility. It gave me a few moments to relax before bed… Back to the story… It went something like this,
“Mama and Daddy got married and couldn’t have children, they prayed and prayed for God to bring us a child. God looked all over the whole world and found the perfect baby in Guatemala for our family and brought her to us. She made us so happy… ” Julia loved the story and asked us to tell her over and over when she was little.
Julia also celebrated two birthdays–the day she was born in Guatemala and the day we brought her home to the states. The latter we called her “Happy Day.” And growing up, she felt privileged to have two days not one… Wayne and I tried to make her experience full of joy and adventure. The whole concept of adoption is very spiritual… we are all adopted children, born into God’s kingdom of light, but that is another post…
In Guatemala, another story had played out that brought Julia to us… Estella (above) was born in San Marcus, a Guatemalan state next to Mexico. There were 18 children born to her mother–only 10 lived. Four died at birth and four later. Estella was the seventh of ten. Her father was a poor farmer and died when she was eleven.
At the time, her mother sent Estella to Guatemala City to live and work for a family. She has never returned home and has worked as a maid in various places since then. She conceived a son, and later met and married Julia’s father, Carlos. He is a twin with blonde hair and green eyes. It was understood that he had European roots… that his family came from Spain or Germany.
Together Carlos and Estella had another son and two girls, but their life was very hard. They lived with Carlos’ family, and they did not like Estella and treated her very badly, telling lies about her. When she became pregnant with Julia, Carlos’ mother told him that the baby was not his. Carlos believed this and threatened to strangle the baby and kill Estella if she had it. She feared for her life all the time. She said it was the hardest time of her life.
Carlos began to drink heavily and stayed drunk most of the time. He beat Estella and told her repeated to abort the baby. She fled for her life, saved the baby, and didn’t know what to do but give her up for adoption. She got in touch with a lawyer, and he contacted us.
We knew nothing about this, but we had prayed fervently for the right child to come to us. Then someone called Shady Grove Church to ask if anyone wanted to adopt a baby. Another family from another church had used this same lawyer and was very pleased. We contacted the lawyer immediately, and then one day he called to say that a girl had been born to Estella. He said, “I have her birth certificate in front of me. What do you want to name her?” Well, we had prayed and already knew her name: Julia Elizabeth.
It took another six months before all the red tape of adoption was clear. We flew to Guatemala City and brought her home.
Now hearing Estella’s story we understand more than ever that Julia’s life had been “snatched out of the mouth of a lion.” Those are the very words God put in my heart as we interceded for a breakthrough in those months we waited for Julia to become ours.
Both Julia and Estella’s lives were in jeopardy. And although it was hard, it was a very loving thing for Estella to do… to give Julia up for adoption. She could have aborted her out of fear… God had other plans for our Julia, and now she has returned to her homeland to thank her mother for her life, and bless their entire family.
Ten years ago, Estella heard the Gospel and repented of her sins. She became a true believer. She prayed to meet Julia one time in her life. And God answered that prayer.
Carlos is still living. He is an alcoholic and remains in a drunken stupor most of the time. Estella rarely sees him. She does not think that he knows that Julia was born. That is the sad part of the story.
It is so wonderful to see how God was at work, blending two stories and bringing people together. He is always bringing lives together to love and to reflect His glory.
This also illustrates how the devil means life’s circumstances for evil, but God turns them for good…
More stories and photos coming…
Today we are taking a tour of the city and going to an aquarium restaurant later. For all you Shady Grovers, we had supper last night with Pepe and Mayda. It was so wonderful to catch up with them!