Friday, January 4, 2008

Closing The Door.

(This is the full text of an email I sent most of my family and friends earlier today. If you didn't receive it, it's probably because I didn't think of you as I hurriedly assigned email addresses to it. Apologies. It wasn't an intentional slight.)

It is with a heavy heart and a devastated spirit that I write to you today. After months of prayer, counsel, soul-searching, and flat-out arguments with God, Michelle and I have decided to withdraw our adoption case and end that particular part of our lives. The longer we hold on to him, the more it becomes obvious that nothing's going to change in our case, and the more we endanger his chance of being adopted by someone else.

In the African system, once a child becomes five years old, he is pretty much destined to be an orphan for the rest of his life. Sterling is just about a year and a half away from that, and we don’t want to hold on to him at the expense of seeing him go to another family. We love him too much to keep him an orphan.

This has been a long time coming. The writing has been on the wall for months now, but we've refused to admit it or acknowledge it. In retrospect, that refusal has come out of fear rather than faith--we've been too emotionally tied to Sterling for too long, and were thus blinded to the truth and deaf to the voice of God. The reflexive action is to say, "But, but, but..." We've said that a million times. But we know we've done all that we can feasibly do, and the obstacles and roadblocks are still in place. There really is no more we can do at this point, and there hasn't been for some time, so at long last, we've finally come to a place of bewildered, shell-shocked peace and made the difficult decision we knew had to be made.

Still, there's an exhaustive relief to it. This has been a door in our lives that has been open for a long time, so it's painfully nice to be able to close that door and move on in whatever direction God would have us. No, it is not the conclusion we've been hoping for the last two and a half years, but it's a conclusion, and that is sufficient.

And in the end, we remain God's. We don't know why things shook out the way they did, we don't know why God called us to this task only to have it fall apart time and again. We don't know what we're going to tell our children, who have grown up for the last two and a half years talking about their brother Sterling. All we know is that God is faithful, that he is good, that he loves us, and that he loves Sterling more than we do. That boy is too, too precious to remain an orphan, and he's been watching all his friends at the orphanage get adopted out from underneath him. Now he is free to find a family; it just won't be ours.

Thank you so much for walking down this road with us in whatever capacity you did. Thank you for prayers, words of encouragement, financial blessings, and the countless other ways you supported the Palmer Tribe in the midst of our time as Sterling's family. It's going to take some time, grieving this loss, but we're confident that we'll come through the other side of it more in love with Jesus and more in love with each other. It's just the way God works.

May God extend his grace and peace to you in a tangible way today,

--Adam (and Michelle)


Micah said...

I'm both very sorry to see Sterling go and very glad to find you following God's Will. My best (and God's) to all of you!

Anthony Coafield said...

That's a tough thing to come to terms with, God closing a door that he opened. I hope if I ever face a similar situation my faith is as strong as yours. My prayers will be with you and Sterling.

Adam said...

Thanks for the heartfelt comments, guys. My family appreciates it (and I do, too).