Miracles Do Still Happen: Adoption and the Need to Surrender

warrior women series Nov 23, 2023

God's Warrior Woman ~ Lori's Story

 As an organized person who loved to plan out her future, God had quite a time teaching a younger me about surrendering my version of my life story for His. He refined that concept most significantly through our journey to adopt our daughter. He showed me He still performs miracles, and He taught me that His version of the story is more beautiful than anything I could ever imagine.

In 2010, after a year of paperwork, classes, and preparation, I saw my daughter's face for the first time. In that precious moment, I knew deep in my heart that she was the one - the one God had pre-ordained long before time to be a Schumaker. As the Holy Spirit washed over me, convicting my soul, tears uncontrollably flowed.

With great excitement, we submitted another mountain of necessary paperwork. Each of us already head over heels in love with her, we awaited a meeting being held in her home country of Bulgaria. The committee would convene, stamp the approval, and our case worker would notify us of our travel dates. In my mind, there was no room for a "no" because I felt God's hand in this more than ever before. I was convicted that this little girl was my daughter ... my Selah.

The phone rang, and with a huge smile, I eagerly answered, anticipating good news. However, what I received shattered my world. Another family had adopted our daughter. It was incomprehensible. How could this have happened?

We grieved deeply for our Selah. But in my grief, I struggled with anger and a sense that something wasn’t right. I argued with God, with our adoption agency, and with myself. Why would God allow me to fall head over heels in love with this child and be so utterly convicted if she wasn't meant to be ours? I relentlessly asked our caseworker to investigate it again because there had to be a mistake.

For six months, every paper trail led to the same heartbreaking conclusion: my daughter had been adopted by another family.

I had to move forward in life. I couldn't allow myself to remain stuck in my grief. I needed to find joy for my Selah because she had a forever family. It just wasn’t ours.

I spent a weekend with God. I cried and raged until I found peace. God can handle our emotions— the good, the bad, and the very ugly. He wants us to be honest with Him. He takes our pain and gives us peace. It didn’t mean I stopped being sad or forgot her. But it meant I could move forward.

“When we enter true relationship with the Father, the scales fall away from our eyes and the weight of bitterness melts away. It is then, as we trust enough to surrender, that we find real relationship. It is then, through our moments of prayer, worship, and praise, that we find the hope, peace, and joy we were longing for.” -Lori Schumaker in “Surrendered Hearts”

Peace itself is a miracle, but God moved in more ways.

Peace itself is a miracle, but God moved in more ways.

Two weeks later, I finally mustered the courage to open the page of my international adoption support group I had avoided for the past six months. As I read the messages, one story stood out. I followed her journey to Bulgaria with her daughter.

God used that story to weave the lives of three families together.

“Look at the nations and watch — and be utterly amazed. For I am going to do something in your days that you would not believe, even if you were told.” -Habakkuk 1:5 NIV

I reached out to this woman to congratulate her and thank her for her optimism. A simple email turned into a friendship that God used miraculously. 

In the following days, I was told that my daughter, my Selah, had not been adopted. I was told the other adoptions fell through and that for whatever reason, the paperwork had not been made public. From Arizona to Ohio, Hawaii, Oregon, and finally back to Bulgaria, our Selah's file sat atop a desk, about to be filed away as forever unadoptable.

Was God working a miracle, or was the enemy tempting me?

Was this another dead end that would result in heartache? Was it me or God? Was it true and was she meant to be ours?

I prayed and fasted, asking for direction from God’s Word. I opened my Bible and asked Him to reveal His will. I asked Him to open wide my eyes, ears, mind, and heart so I could discern what it was that I needed to know.

God can handle our emotions ~ the good, the bad, and the very ugly.

 The book of Ezra is about faithful people rebuilding God’s temple despite opposition. They grow weary from the intense oppression, but in these moments of weariness and weakness, God sends prophets with words of encouragement to inspire their continued pursuit of the calling on their lives.

“Let it be known to the king that we went into the province of Judea, to the temple of the great God, which is being built with heavy stones, and timber is being laid in the walls; and this work goes on diligently and prospers in their hands.” Ezra 5:8 NKJV

 “Then I proclaimed a fast there at the river of Ahava, that we might humble ourselves before our God, to seek from Him the right way for us and our little ones and all our possessions.” – Ezra8:21,23 NKJV

What I read reflected my inner war. Overwhelmed by the presence of the Holy Spirit, He showed me where I needed to be. He told me to continue with diligence and care; He assured me that our work would prosper. He placed affirmations in front of me that assured me of the way to go.

After 10 months and almost two and a half years since we started the adoption process, we finally brought our Selah home. It was the same little girl that God had placed in my heart, the one He had revealed to me in that email and the one He had chosen to be my daughter long before time. 

Wrapped in our arms and the love of our Savior, today our Selah is safe, loved, and living out all the promises God made for her life.

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The Warrior Women Series will offer motivation and inspiration through heartfelt stories, illustrating that you can overcome challenges through the powerful combination of prayer and fasting.
As a wife, adoptive, biological, and special needs mom, teacher, writer, and speaker, Lori’s heart is to help others break free of insecurity and unveil a hope-filled life through Christ. Wherever you find yourself today, through both Lori’s freelance writing and her blog found at www.LoriSchumaker.com, you can find tools to help you make sense of God’s love for you, strengthen your faith, and bravely learn to live a surrendered life. In her award-winning book, Surrendered Hearts, she weaves lessons of letting go, trusting, and living surrendered to Jesus through the telling of her family’s adoption story.
Lori has been featured on Christian websites including iBelieve and Crosswalk. Her work can also be found in several devotional book compilations. You can follow Lori at her website, www.LoriSchumaker.com, and on her socials Facebook, Instagram, PinterestYouTube, and Twitter.

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