Thanks for your support of our adoption journey. We would love for you to join us in praying that God would give us wisdom, patience and perseverance as we go through the process to adopt our children! We appreciate the many people walking this adoption journey with us in prayer! ~Jon & Bethany

August 24, 2011

We Love You Baby Girl.

This will officially be my first blog post…a tough place to start, but a good outlet for what’s going on in my heart and mind right now…
This week the director from our agency is in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Her main goal while over there: visit the children in line to be adopted, take new pictures and video of the children and bring them care packages put together by their new families.
We were so excited to get to put together a care package specifically for our little girl a couple of weeks ago; the adoption process can drag out and seem like it’s never going to end and sending this package to her allowed us to feel more connected with this sweet little girl! You can imagine the excitement and anticipation we were experiencing the past couple of days. I found myself checking my email more regularly throughout the day hoping to see new pictures of my daughter and get an update of how she was doing.
A couple of nights ago Bethany and I were just talking about how much we loved this little girl that we knew so little about. We talked about how it didn’t even matter to us what potential illnesses, disabilities or delays she could have, we loved her no less and couldn’t wait to meet her and bring her home.
Tuesday evening we finally got some news…
I was driving home from work and got a text message from Bethany, “Hurry home. I just got a call from CCI.” I hoped this would be good news but feared what that message might mean.
When I walked in the door Bethany was sitting at the kitchen table with a picture of our little girl in front of her and tears in her eyes. It was written on a piece of paper so she didn’t have to say it, “Our little girl died four days ago.”
We’ve been told that the adoption process can be a rollercoaster of emotions and to expect the unexpected, but man……………….…this really blindsided us.
After several hours to think about things and some encouragement from friends and family, I just want to share a few thoughts…
God is Sovereign. That phrase is thrown around a lot, and can sometimes seem like nothing more than a hard reality; just deal with it and move on. But if understood correctly, it is a glorious and comforting truth! It is helpful for me to think about what it would mean if God is not sovereign. If God is not sovereign, then God does not reign over evil, God does not work all things together for our good and we can have no hope in the midst of suffering. What good would it do to pray to a God that is powerless to sovereignly answer prayer? As R.C. Sproul put it, “…if God is not Sovereign, God is not God.” With this in mind, how awesome and powerful are these truths:
“The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!” – Psalm 97:1

"Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases." – Psalm 115:3

"But he is unchangeable, and who can turn him back? What he desires, that he does. For he will complete what he appoints for me, and many such things are in his mind." – Job 23:13-14


And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28


“More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope” – Romans 5:3-4

It is comforting for us to know that God is sovereign. We may have felt blindsided by this, but God was not. This was God’s providence. “Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father (Matthew 10:29)” The answers to our questions of why may not be completely answered on this side of heaven, and we are ok with that because we know that God has purposed this trial specifically for us in order to conform us to the image of his Son and glorify his name!
One verse that I was struggling to understand last night was from Psalm 146:9, “The LORD watches over the sojourners; he upholds the widow and the fatherless, but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.” I couldn’t help but think about how she probably suffered and died from something that would have been preventable here in the States, how our director arrived in the Congo four days too late and how in just a few more months we would have traveled to pick her up and take care of her. How is the LORD upholding the fatherless here?!
I was helped when a friend called last night and prayed with me. On the phone he said, “She is no longer fatherless; she is face to face right now with her heavenly father. However she was suffering, God heard her cry and had mercy on her.”
As sad as it may be for us right now, God had mercy on this little girl and brought her home. Praise God, who in His sovereignty and mercy upholds the widow and the fatherless!
Now that she is deceased, we are allowed to share her beautiful face with you.
Her name was Leseli Joyce. We had already decided and filled out the paper work to change her name to Audrey Joy Meacham, named after my Dad’s Father, her great-grandfather, Audrey L. Meacham.
If you would consider, here are some ways you can be praying with us:
Pray that God would give us a peace that surpasses all understanding, knowing that God is a sovereign and merciful God.
Pray that we would not grow weary in the adoption process, which can at times seem like there is no end in sight.
Pray that God would uphold the fatherless in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (and throughout the world) and that many children would be able to be adopted by Christ-centered families.
In Christ,
Jon

23 comments:

  1. Praying for your family during this difficult time.

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  2. Weeping and rejoicing at the thought of Audrey now being safe in the arms of her Heavenly Father. Praying for God's arms of comfort to uphold and sustain you as you walk through this dark valley. We love you guys.

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  3. my heart is aching for you guys. so incredibly sorry to hear that this baby is gone. praying for you guys!

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  4. Jon & Bethany:
    We pray for the Lord himself to be your peace and hope in this time of sadness, and we rejoice in your seeing him to be the Lord and Sovereign over all things--even this. May his presence and grace strengthen you and comfort you, and may the love of him who has adopted you fill your hearts today and always.

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  5. it grieves me to hear this now and i am on the verge of tears. Bonnie already commented, but i just wanted to let you know that we want to bear your burden with you and support you through prayer. Praying that God ministers specifically to your hurting hearts and brings healing in His time.

    -justin

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  6. My heart is breaking with yours. Our family is praying for you all during this.

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  7. Wow-I cannot imagine how much you are hurting right now...we are prayIng right now and will continue to pray...

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  8. John, Bethany Jonah, and Audrey....I truly believe that although your process was not complete, this girl was a part of your family and the Lord allowed you to 'know her' from afar so that you could know that Love. I am thankful for your wilingness to follow the call...and to trust the Lord even through HORRIBLE circumstances. This sweet girl is with the Lord, but it does not make it easier for those of us here....to continue to grieve that loss. We love you guys, and are here for you, always.

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  9. I am just weeping for you all and precious Audrey. SO thankful that you walk this dark road with the hope of those who know Christ and know the Love of the Father. Still, I ache with you and ache for you to know deep comfort in this time. Will be praying for you! I am so so sorry for your loss.

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  10. Morgan & GraceAugust 24, 2011 at 3:21 PM

    Praying...

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  11. My heart breaks for all of you. Praying for peace as you mourn your baby girl and as you wait for God's plan for your family to be revealed.
    Psalms 34:18 "The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

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  12. Heartfelt prayers of peace and comfort from a fellow CCI family.
    -Ashley

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  13. Praying for you all as you trust and rest in our Sovereign God. May your hearts and minds be filled with peace and comfort.....may God be your strength and refuge. Thanks for sharing Audrey's picture.....beautiful!

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  14. I am so sorry that this has to be a part of your adoption journey! Praying for peace for your family.

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  15. Jon and Bethany, our hearts ache for you in the loss you are feeling, but we are so proud of your faith and witness to our God. He will get you through this sadness we know this. I am also pleased that this little girl's name is Audrey, it was also my grandmother (Jon's great grandmother's name) a woman who was a great influence on my life. We join you in your prayers and healing. Love to you, Mike and Beverly

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  16. What a precious little girl. What sweet parents you are to have loved her from so far. Donny and I are weeping with you tonight.

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  17. praying and praying and praying with and for you guys during this time of unimaginable heartbreak. praying that the Father who is now holding your little Audrey in His arms will also wrap his arms around your family.

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  18. Sending love and prayers to your family and the nannies who took care of her in the orphanage... heavy heart

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  19. Crying and praying with you. So sorry about your loss.

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  20. I am heart broken for your loss. Words cannot express...My husband and I have just begun the process to adopt from the Congo so we consider you our very special brother and sister. We are praying for you both.
    Abby and Brent

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  21. Jon and Bethany,

    I generally don't post on people's blogs, but I just want to say that I am in awe of how beautiful you two really are. Your post has really touched my heart. Believe me, I didn't want to call and give you such news...I never do. It is one of the hardest parts of this chosen career...and unfortunately your call was not the first and, while I pray so, I imagine won't be the last I have to make like this. Thank you for seeking God's face and I really love the part of your post about struggling with the Scripture and your friend helping you understand that God did not leave her fatherless, but instead she is standing before her Father for eternity. Amen. I pray that before long, we will be able to call you with wonderful news of a new child who needs you here on earth for as long as the Lord allows.

    Angela @ CCI

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  22. Thank you for your openness, Jon (and Bethany in other posts). Your response to this trial and unwavering faith has been a great encouragement to me tonight. We will be praying for you guys. We love you both and are so glad to serve with you at Immanuel!

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  23. Heartbroken to hear of this news. We will be praying for you all. I can't imagine the hurt you are feeling, but please know that although we are strangers, we care.
    Sarah

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