42 years a mom, a grandma, a faithful servant prayed for a baby she’s never met. She humbly bent low in the presence of a great God and faithfully prayed for 42 years. A baby turned boy, a boy turned man. The years kept going and Gods answer was “not yet” but she continued to bend low, open her hands and trust in a loving God. She waited. Ann Voskamp writes, “waiting is just a gift of time wrapped in disguise – a time to pray wrapped up in a ribbon of patience – because is the Lord ever late?” We don’t know God’s plan. The only plan God wants us to know is who He is! Maybe my grandma thought, “I’ll never meet my firstborn grandson”. I can imagine the phrase “even if not…God is still good” going through her thoughts. Even if God never answered her prayers she was confident in knowing that that grandchild of hers…isn’t hers. He is loved by an Almighty God and he is His. Even if she could never meet him she could fervently pray that he is loved, that he comes to know Christ, that he is okay…and she did.
“Maybe the hardest praying are the prayers that let go.”
To come to the reality that,
“even if He doesn’t do what we beg, we are still His beloved…even if He doesn’t, HE STILL IS…even if He doesn’t do what we will, His will is still right and His heart is still good…even if He doesn’t, He still gives enough…Himself.”
I remember late night talks with my dad. I really wanted and desired a close relationship with my father. I would sit in a big love seat with him as he preached to me and instilled wisdom into my young vulnerable life. I remember finding out about the son he had to give up for adoption. Too young to be a dad, he matured overnight in coming to the reality that it wasn’t his time. 16 and a father. I remember thinking how hard that must be for him to think about daily. I remember asking him and the conversations were short. My siblings and I have always wanted that prayer of my grandma’s answered! We’ve always longed to see my dad meet his firstborn son.
“and this is the confidence we have before Him: if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we already possess what we have asked of Him.”
1 John 5:14-15
“The Lord is far from the wicked, but He hears the prayers of the righteous!”
Last week as I got the call from my dad that he found his son I stood in Awe of the way God had woven this situation in His perfect timing. The details that brought forth this reunion left me overwhelmed and speechless, where all I could do was bend low myself and somehow utter the words, “thank you”. When someone who just barely knows the situation and all involved prays, “God let this prayer be answered this week” and he answers a 42 year old prayer THAT WEEK…how can you not fall in reverence and praise the God who hears, the God who sees and the God who loves?
My Dad got to meet his firstborn son. My Grandma got to meet her firstborn Grandchild. My Siblings and I got to meet our Brother. Sometimes I question my purpose in life. My purpose in Photography. It’s circumstances like these where I see why God has given me this purpose. I was able to be there to capture these moments of my Dad meeting his son, David for the first time. Enjoy….
That Prayer Warrior who prayed for 42 years faithfully was able to see God’s Glory on display as she hugged her Grandchild…and there are sisters crying in the background because they have longed to meet a brother that has long been on our hearts! Sarah writes, “It hards to explain how it felt to finally meet the person you’ve spent so much time looking for. There was so much joy and excitement, yet so many nerves. I spent weeks of managing emotions of nervousness and joy up until the moment I saw him. He wasn’t a story anymore. He wasn’t just the son my Dad had. He wasn’t some strange guy we created in our minds. There right in front me was my brother. That was it, he was part of us and instantly filled the hole we all had in our hearts. There is not enough thanks and praise I can give to God for this!”
Dave and Krista’s friends writes, “I have been so privileged to be able to watch a good friend reunite with his biological father, siblings and paternal praying grandma after 42 years. Relationally this could seem strange or awkward but there is always room for people in our lives and God knew the exact time that was perfect for all of this to happen. His pursuit to our heart continues to come through relationships and experiences. God wants to show Dave and his Dad and all involved something pretty awesome and how exciting that this is the avenue HE has chosen to use! I have grown so much in my relationship with the Lord in the past 5-8 years, mostly from experiences and people. God wants us to feel a deep deep sense of who He is. Dave has had an amazing adopted father to raise him, an amazing biological father that he will get to know and build a relationship with BUT he has a heavenly Father that loves him beyond all of this. I know God is allowing this sweet family to experience HIM in a way that will blow their minds and all of ours who are watching from the sidelines!”
It only seemed fitting to throw an Ohio State Buckeye fan a U of M birthday/Welcome to the family/Baby Party! #buckeyesandmichiganunite
By the end of the night, we were all tired but ended this bittersweet reunion with a family dinner around a table and pictures!
Krista says, “I have known my husband was adopted since I met his family when I was 18. Dave has obviously always been curious about his birth family but God’s timing wasn’t right for finding the answers he desired-that is until a few weeks ago. I don’t think he actually allowed himself to want this in a long time. Sometimes wanting it seemed frustrating and disappointing. But the unexpectedness is part of what makes this such an amazing adventure! Aunt Jenni and Dave found each other through Ancestry.com. Dave wasn’t expecting to find anything specific but rather was searching for information on his ethnicity and his dark skin, allergies, ect. As soon as Dave saw the email he had received from his Aunt Jenni, we knew we needed to meet them. My husband is usually very skeptical but it took him no time at all to feel confident in this discovery. I could hear their connection even as I sat against the outside of our study door listening to his first conversation with his birth father. This all occurred as we worked through the crazy week of our oldest daughter getting married. Two days after the wedding, we headed to Grand Rapids to meet the Manson family. I have loved being a spectator in all of this. I have loved seeing the physical similarities and I have surprised at the commonalities in temperament and personality. We could not have asked for a more loving family to suddenly be a part of. It was a better story than we could’ve written for ourselves. It reminded me to trust God’s plan for our lives. WE could not be more excited to see what comes next in this amazing love story.”
IN a broken and messy family this is the ray of hope we needed.
“Faith is the unwavering trust in the heart of God, in the hurt of here. Unwavering trust all the time, though I don’t understand all the time.”
Grandma, Thank you for faithfully praying! Thank you for setting the bar high for the faith standards in this family. Thank you for building a legacy! Thank you for loving hard, praying hard, living faith hard.
To Dave’s Parents, Thank you for celebrating with us! Thank you for raising a son to know the Lord and loving him hard! Thank you for allowing us into your lives and into Dave’s life! I personally cannot wait to meet you and squeeze you! I love how God worked this out for the good of everything! I thank you for your loving heart and faithfulness!
To all who have shared in our story with us, thank you! Your love, support and rejoicing is overwhelming. Your excitement makes us all the more excited!