When God Gives Hope and a Future

Last week after I posted “Waiting with Hope” I found out I was going to be doing that, literally. I’ll explain in a minute. To help with the wait, God reminded me of two verses He gave me for our sweet baby girl, Aster.

One is Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Last Thursday God gave me the most precious gift that ties to this verse. He literally gave her a “Hope” – Hope TerKeurst that is! Hope, the oldest daughter of my dear friend Lysa, is in Ethiopia and she got to see, hold and love on my soon-to-be daughter and baby girl.

I was in the car for six hours traveling with two friends to see another friend. While we were driving along LeAnn and Holly were texting and calling to tell me Hope was on gmail and had just gotten back from visiting Aster at the orphanage!!! I was about to die because I was in the middle of nowhere and couldn’t get online.

But I got to listen to LeAnn squeal about Aster’s cuteness as she opened the photos in an email. And then LeAnn took a picture of them on her computer screen and texted them to me!!!

Next, Holly called to say she had Hope on gmail chat so I could talk with her in Ethiopia via Holly in Charlotte, NC while riding down the highways of SC and GA. And my friend Marlo got to listen too!

I was so glad I wasn’t at home to have this precious conversation all alone, but I got to share it with my girlfriends. I also asked Holly to copy each question I asked and Hope’s response so we could save it forever. I didn’t want to forget one word of this precious conversation. I’ve been wanting to share it with you too!

****************************

Holly: Tell us all about her. Were you able to hold her?

Hope: She is small in length but her cheeks are so cute, and they are chubby.. and she doesnt have mch hair but its straight not curly! I held her and I was feeding Aster too

Holly: I am on the phone with Renee and I am going to type her questions for you.

Hope: Aww. What is she saying?

Hope: Aster was gazing into my eyes the WHOLE time! She never cried even when I set her down and gave her to jo (Hope’s friend). She would just look at her and not look away. She would mold to your body and rest her head on my chest!

Holly: Did she smile?

Hope: Yes, when you tickled her. She would also smile when I kissed her cheek. Her feet are ticklish! It was soo hard for me to put her down. I want to bring her with me!

Holly: how much time you spent with her

Hope: About an hour. then took the tour for an hour

Holly: Cool! Wow, you held her for an hour!?

Hope: Well me and Jo. But yup we never put her down! I couldn’t she was too cute!

Hope: The people were so nice! Ivy was great! The room had ten cribs in it. It was kinda small but each baby had their own crib. There was plenty of room for them to lay on the floor and play. There were atleast 2 helpers in the room at all time. Every baby is hand fed.

Holly: What other interesting features did you notice on Aster? Details about her.

Hope:She has soft and gorgeous skin. Her body’s not chubby, her cheeks are. Sshe has LONG beautiful eyelashes. Her eyes are the best part! They are so adorable

Holly: What color are her eyes?

Hope: They are a deep brown

Holly: How can we be praying for Aster?

Hope:Pray that everything goes smoothly with the adoption. She had a little cold so pray that she gets better.

Holly: Have you had any power outages? How about shortage of water?

Hope: Yes lots, even at the orphanage there was one. yes very short on water. Power goes out lots, there are certain times you can use the water.

Holly: What was Aster wearing?

Hope:She was wearing a cute blue flower dress thing

Hope: oh one thing is every baby has a photo album of their family.. so she should send one for aster. Ivy said thats one thing they do

Holly: This is so fun! Isn’t it amazing?

Holly: oooh, interesting

Hope: yes! I was like so in shock when i met her! i seriously cant say it enough.. i fell in love

Holly
: Do you want to go shopping with miss renee when you get home? What size is Aster?

Hope
: i would love to! but i dont know what size she is. mrs. davidson said she is prob 6-9 months in clothes

Holly
: ok…thanks! Was her nose runny with her cold? That is so cool that you got to hold her Hope! What else did you do with her? Did she laugh? Was she coughing?

Hope
: no her nose wasnt and she coughed like 2 times and she did have a little congestion

Holly
: Did she smell pretty?

Hope
: she did but her food was GROSS! it looked like throw-up

Holly
: How many babies were at the whole orphange?

Hope
: there were 160 kids total. i would say like 30-40 babies, her crib is nice

Holly
: She doesn’t look too thin

Hope
: isnt her outfit cute, no shes not thin

Holly
: were her legs bowed or straight?

Hope
: shes smaller then an american 8 month baby. and she did both with her legs. she cant hold her self up yet but is trying

Holly
: i meant bowed as in…bent

Hope
: do you mean like bent as in staying that way the whole time?

Holly
: yes

Hope:
cause she did both with her legs – she would straighten them and bend them in

Holly
i think we have to go… thank you soo much for this hope…I saved the whole conversation for Renee to keep forever and put in her baby book

Hope
: aw ok! awesome!

Holly
: love you lots honey! Renee said thank you so much and hugs to you! and her love too!

Hope
: love you too! and your welcome. i loved doing it! Also, Jo says her baby is beautiful and had a great personality!

I wish I could show you her photos too. But I can’t until she is ours. She is the sweetest, cutest little punkin’ I have ever seen. Oh my goodness I want to hold her while she’s still so little.

Praying hard that we get to go bring her home in August!!!

About Renee

Renee Swope is a Word-lover, story-teller, heart-encourager and grace-needer. She's also a wife, mom, friend, daughter and author of A Confident Heart, a Retailers Choice Award winning book that became a best-seller and has been published in six languages, with over 150,000 copies sold. Renee is speaks around the country at women's events and and serves on the writing team for DaySpring’s inCourage blog. For twenty years, Renee served in leadership at Proverbs 31 Ministries and as former co-host of the ministry's radio program, “Everyday Life with Lysa & Renee.

Comments

  1. How amazing is it that Hope is right there…with your baby girl…for such a time as this! Wow! God is amazing!

    My heart was racing with excitement as a read the exchange. So very excited for all of you!

    Rejoicing in His undeniable goodness,
    Sharon

  2. I've been waiting and waiting for your next post. Thank you so much for letting us share in this. I've been thinking a lot about Hope after reading Lysa's blog and then to know they met each other. It's amazing. God is so good.

    I was curious- will you keep her name as Aster. It is really pretty. And what is the other verse God gave you for her?

    I'm praying for her cold and for you as you have to endure the wait. I've been reading Van's blog about God's waiting room. I guess you will be in that waiting room for a little while.

    All of that texting sure was a gift. I'm celebrating with you. You've been on my heart and in my prayers so much lately.

    God bless!

  3. Oh, my! God is so awesome!!!

    I think this has to be one of the most inspiring stories I've read in a while.

    To me, Renee, God is confirming that He's taking care of 'your' little girl! PTL!

    This is just too great! I can't wait to share with my girls at Bstudy on Thursday morning!

  4. Wow! Renee, that is amazing – God does provide and hope shows up right when and where we need it. It's wonderful to see this story unfold. I'm continuing to pray for all of you. Blessings, Jill

  5. Renee,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story with us. Our two girls are ours through the gift of adoption. And no matter if they're from the same state or a different country, God is working miracle after miracle to bring each one home.

    Continuing to pray for you and every detail.

    Deb

  6. oh…this is beautiful. For Lysa's 'little' girl to hold yours. Many blessing and prayers for everything to fall into place. B

  7. Renee, all I can say is "God is in every detail."

    Praising Him right along with you and praying for Aster too.

  8. How cool! God totally set that up!

    I am praying hard for August!

  9. Wow! How awesome is that! How precious! How amazing is God's timing!!!! I mean, really! You are are about to get to adopt a precious baby girl…and one of your dearest friend's daughters is there getting to hold your baby!!!! God is amazing!

    I am so excited, Renee!
    Love and prayers,
    K

  10. I had read about Hope traveling and just wondered if they would meet, but what are the chances?! OH MY STARS are you ever IN LOVE NOW!!!!!!!!! That is so cool!!!!! Man, only God could arrange such a meeting!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wow! God's love is so amazing! As an adoptive mother myself, I had so many questions of how my baby was living. This is a true miracle and having the name of Hope just makes it over the top!

  12. As I read this amazing story I couldn't help but think, "There you go, God! Showing off again!" Isn't He just wonderful – to have every little detail planned out for us! And Hope will treasure her part in this adoption story for the rest of her life. How precious.

  13. But God! Wow!

  14. Your heart must be bursting at the seams! I can just picture Aster in that beautiful room you've already prepared for her.

  15. Oh my goodness. That just gives me chills. I have been praying for Hope so much these past few weeks. One of my prayers has been that she would embrace the opportunity to be a part of something bigger than just herself. Reading her words confirms that she is doing just that.

    Isn't it neat how God uses people and situations to meet our every need?

    Blessings and prayers,
    Lindsey

  16. Wow – I am overwhelmed by God's "Godness" right now. He is absolutely amazing, isn't He? What a way for a Father to comfort all three of His little girls at once.

    Thanks for sharing – it really blessed my day!

  17. Just imagining God as you all made the connection…
    Don't you know he was grinning from ear to ear??

    So excited for you.

  18. Girl, I can vouch for the cuteness. Let me tell you, people, that little baby is a tiny nugget of juicy sweetness! I felt like I got to sit in on the most intimate, bonding moment between Renee and her little girl.
    I was trying to drive, eat, pray, talk, squeal, and cry – while looking at photos on Renee's little phone screen. Dear Lord, thank you for taking the wheel during those moments! I'm sure I gave more than one traveler along I-85 a coronary as they observed our PT-Cruiser rolling down the highway. 🙂 What a gift for me and what a great story. Thanks for letting me be a part of that, Renee. I will never forget it.
    Like I told you, the world only seems that big … to us. For God … those kinds of encounters across the world are effortless. I love serving a God that can do that! Yeeeeesssssss …
    Love ya, Snap! 🙂

  19. Isn't that just like our Father? He can't wait to bring ya'll together so He sets up this visit!
    Oh, how He loves to bless His own!

    She sounds wonderful, Renee! And just think…she already has a family waiting for her and girl-friend too when she arrives home!

    Yep, our Father thinks of everything!

    Praying for her cold and can't wait to welcome her home!!
    love, and lots of it

  20. Praying that Aster and August come very quickly to your doorstep!

  21. How awesome is that! You just made me cry! What a great God thing to happen.

  22. I am so excited for you guys. I pray this month of July goes quickly and smoothly so you can get that baby girl in August!
    Paula G.

  23. That is just so cool! What a blessing that Hope is there and could give you sweet updates.

  24. Oh Friend, I finally had a minute to catch up with your goings on. I have tears running down my face. God is amazing and the world is so small to HIM!
    My prayers continue!
    Pat

  25. Oh Renee…if we were face to face I wouldn't be able to even say anything. I have the biggest lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. This is beyond precious and just goes to show us that God is so in tune to our hearts and only He could send your friends' teen daughter to the very orphanage that is holding your daughter for you. Only Him.
    love,
    Lelia

  26. Oh. My. Word! That just gave me chills! I could not read that fast enough, but I didn't want to miss a word! What a wonderful, wonderful gift God gave you and Hope. I know who will be Aster's #1 babysitter – if you can ever let her out of her site! What a special bond they will have.

    That is just so exciting! Can't wait to hear more!

    Wish I could give you a big hug and see the pictures!!

  27. As I am walking through an international adoption with my bro/sis (that's taken 4 years and untold heartache), I can't begin to tell you how I rejoiced with you over this amazing blessing. Isn't the Lord unbelievable, or what? WOW! So fun to vicariously live through your excitement.

    Can't wait to hear the updates at She Speaks. 🙂

  28. Oh Renee, that is the most wonderful gift! What a blessing that God allowed you to get a glimpse into your baby's life before you even got to hold her in your arms. I'm just thrilled for you.

  29. Wow… I have been praying for Hope, but somehow this bit by bit phone conversation became so personal to me. She connected a world "over there" to our world "over here" – she is embracing your baby for you.

    Across the miles, when we are apart from those we love, we can only pray for Jesus to love and protect them. Hope has been turned inside out… Jesus in the flesh, loving and kissing on your sweet baby, giving you a gift of answered prayer tied in brown curly ribbons 🙂

    Praising with you!
    Susan

  30. As a mommy and Nana, I also have tears running down my face. Congratulations Mommy on learning more about your sweet little girl. We can't wait to hear more and see the pictures of YOU holding your little daughter.

  31. Renee,

    This is so cool! Thanks for sharing! As an adoptive mom myself, I understand the wide range of emotions you are feeling. I'm thanking God today for the wonderful time Hope had with your beautiful new daughter!

  32. Renee,

    I just could not stop crying as I read this. Knowing the story of what you and Lysa and you have shared and how it is so God planned. "All things work together for good".

    The blessing of Hope being able to hold Aster and feel her heart on her arms is so moving. I can't imagine how you feel. I am so happy for all of you.

    How proud Lysa must be as well.
    Hugs,
    Diane

  33. In church this morning we sang, "Indescribable" and talked about how truly indescribable God is. The way He orchestrated all the tiny details over the past couple of months is indescribable. He amazes me every day but your story is just too much… He's really showing off now! Don't you love it when He does that?

    Love You,
    LeAnn

  34. I just came over from Lysa's. This story is so amazing and amazingly wonderful! What a mighty, merciful, GOOD God we serve! Wow! Thank you for sharing the ways He's working in your life. Wow. Kelly

  35. I loved the story. I am always blessed by your blog.

    Enjoyed reading your blog tonight in my blog hopping…that's my favorite thing to do late at night. Hope you have a great week….

  36. It's amazing to me that in this whole big wide world that your new little girl got to meet the little girl of your friend. How special for God to already build a bridge to help Aster with her big move. I hope you get to hold her yourself very soon!

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