This is our little friend, Wastna. His story is so beautifully intertwined into our own, that I can’t help but share it. Wastna’s mom and dad are in our small group at church. They have three beautiful, sweet girls, and began the process of adopting in May 2010. To be fair, most of their journey went by without much thought on our part. We occasionally heard updates from them at church, but never reached out to hear more of their story…. until they prepared to make their first trip to Ethiopia to meet Was. It was around this same time that Andy and I began praying and researching adoption as a means of expanding our own family. As the Biggerstaffs visited Ethiopia for that first trip, I could not get them out of my mind. They were in my thoughts and prayers as I imagined what they might be experiencing each day with their new son. That was the week of July 20, 2012, and I knew they would have to fly across the entire span of the Atlantic Ocean and leave him behind for 4-6 months. My heart ached for them, and I knew at that time that God was stirring something more personal than just their story. The Sunday they returned, I went to Josh after church and told him I would be praying for them in the hard months to come. He (being a proud dad) said, “Let me show you a video of my son.”
Up to this point, Josh and Andrea hadn’t been allowed to publicly post pictures of Wastna, so when he pulled out his phone to show me their new son, I choked up. I saw this little dark-skinned, big-eyed, under-weight toddler, and it was at that moment that I knew I was seeing into the heart of God. You see my God LOVES His children and His heart overflows for the poor and the needy and the lonely.
It was in this moment and in the moments after Was came home that he made everything so real to me. He brought home a face and a name and a story. He is just one of the 153 MILLION orphans in the world that ALL have faces and names and stories and they matter. I saw in the Biggerstaffs the willingness to follow God’s heart wherever that might lead…even across the globe, and I was once again reminded that when we are willing to say, “Yes, God.” that He equips and prepares the way for great things to be done in His glory. Andrea is a great testimony of that when people approach her about the “good deed” of adopting. She reminds people that it is not their family that has done a great thing, but that they serve a great God and He has done a great thing and allowed them to be a part. I pray that this may be our testimony as well.
So Wastna just celebrated being forever home on July 20th, although he wasn’t able to be with his family until November. We have watched this transition from a reserved, adjusting child into a grinning, running, healthy, happy 2 year old. He has 3 sisters and he loves them and fights with them and it’s fantastic to see that he is not, “Was: the adopted brother” but “Was: the little brother!” I get the pleasure of seeing him love on his mom and dad every week in Sunday School, and I’m constantly reminded of the new love story that God has written for Wastna and his family.
And don’t tell the Biggerstaffs, but I love Wastna’s story most because I know God is writing one for my family too….
If you want to see Wastna’s Adoption Journey, you can watch it here…you will want to grab a tissue first.