Our weekend went very well. We are settling in with one another more each day. Jac0b is learning our house rules, we are all struggling through our new ones and we are trying our best to learn him well. While it can be exhausting, it is also very good. I’m not nearly as overwhelmed as I was at the end of last weekend. I don’t feel so pressed for time, so anxious to to take advantage of every single second. We’re in this for the long haul and that helps me relax into our new roles.
Two moments I must share from the weekend, before I get to today’s real post, for those of you not on social media.
The first, is this moment that Scott captured Saturday night as we were having our Bible study together. This family Bible story reading is new. Jac0b likes gathering everyone before bed in our room and having someone read the story. He also loves cuddling in the evenings. Very innocent and very sweet. This boy is already healing so many parts of my heart. We set out to show him love and he is filling us to full with his.
We surprised him with a visit to a ball game at the Knights stadium in Charlotte. Our good friends Ken and JoAnn invited Scott and Jac0b to the game to celebrate their son’s birthday.
It’s very special watching the two boys. JoAnn prayed for her son for 7 years before she had him so seeing them together (and looking so much alike!) is like watching God’s grace in little boy form times two.
Ok, I could talk forever so let me get on to today’s post. I really wanted to share the other half of a story I shared on Thursday. At the time, I didn’t know there was another half, but clearly God wasn’t done.
First, I must tell you some back story.
You might remember that I found out we were matched with a child from Scott through a text message. What I didn’t tell, because I couldn’t at the time, was that Scott told me the wrong name. In the very first text message, Scott told me Jac0b’s name was Joseph. He simply remembered wrong. That was on the Thursday before July 4th and I didn’t get to follow up wtih the DSS case worker until Monday after the holiday so we spent the first 4 days believing his name was Joseph.
Now, you may not realize the significance of this.
When I first saw that name, I admit, I was truly overwhelmed. My middle name, what that “J” up there stands for, is Jo. I am named after my dad whose middle name is Joseph and he is named after his father’s first name, Joseph.
So, to hear that a little boy that we were matched with was named Joseph was just a little astounding.
Also, if you know the Biblical account of Joseph, you might already be thinking of how ironic it is. Joseph was rejected by his brothers, sold into slavery and then put in charge of Egypt by Pharoah because he could interpret dreams. He was later reunited with his family and forgave them for their mistreatment of him.
One of the lines that people often take from his story is Joseph’s comment to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”
To think that this little boy was named Joseph with our familial significance and Biblical significance, well, it was a little overwhelming to me.
When I called on Monday morning and the DSS worker said, “Yes, I wanted to talk to you about Jac0b,” I admit I was a little disappointed. Jac0b? It has to be Joseph!
After thinking on it more, though, I thought maybe God purposely had Scott remember it wrong so that we would believe from the beginning that he was meant for our family. And do you know what Emma said to me a few days later, “Maybe we heard it wrong so we would know he was ours.” I hadn’t said that out loud to anyone else so she wouldn’t have overheard me and picked up on it. I let it at that and believed that perhaps it had been a happy mistake that helped tie us to him from the beginning.
Back to last week. On Thursday after I showed you pictures of Jac0b, I shared a story of my friend Shannon who relayed a message to me that a sandy-brown haired boy, similar to the one on Old Yeller, was still trying to find his way home and that their church had fasted and prayed that he would.
It turns out that wasn’t all.
After I posted that on Thursday, Shannon messaged me to ask what his middle name was. I told her it was Ry@n. *(changed for Google’s sake)
She says, “I had only told this to my neighbor, when I asked God what your sons name was He gave me the name Ry@n.”
I couldn’t believe it! I didn’t even know his middle name until we went for his presentation meeting in mid-July and she said she heard this name earlier in the summer.
But that wasn’t all. She continued:
“I should mention that I believed that it was going to be Joseph Ry@n but hey Jac0b Ry@n is close enough…. I must have not listened too well to God at that point haha”
I couldn’t believe it! Not only had she heard his first name “wrong”, but it was the SAME name WE heard wrong. Out of the thousands of names, how could this be a coincidence?
But to be honest, I really don’t know what the significance of this is except that I don’t think it is a coincidence.
He gave her the name Ry@n and then I really do think there is some significance that he gave her the name Joseph and not Jaocb.
And just to top it off, Joseph’s father in the Bible is Jac0b. His actual name is still Biblically tied to Joseph.
Maybe we are supposed to give him the name Joseph.
Maybe he is supposed to “own” Joseph’s story.
Maybe it is just more confirmation that he belongs in our family.
I don’t know! I just know “Joseph” keeps coming up and it’s not happenstance.
I was thinking on all this this weekend while stories of the children in Iraq appeared over and over again on my timeline. How heinous is the news of what is happening. It is nothing short of demonic. What else could possess a person to do these things?
The Lord whispered some comfort to me. Just as he didn’t forget Jac0b all those years and he knew his name and how many hairs on his head he had, he has not forgotten these children. He knows them by name and he knows the number of hairs on their head. He has not forgotten them. Their rescue might only be heavenly, but he will lift them up and honor them. He will exact justice on the evil that he is being done to his people. I just pray their deliverance is swift.
Where do you feel God has abandoned your story? Where is he absent and it feels like he is not working for you?
Remember that he knows your name. He knows the number of hairs on your head and he is working it all out. He has not forgotten you. He is weaving the threads of your story together in his time. He promises.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28