Last week, I was tucking Sania into bed, and after we read a little girl’s devotional book and prayed together, she asked me a question that punched me in the gut.
It was a question I wasn’t expecting.
It was a question I didn’t have an answer for.
You see, in the three years we have had Sania, we have had very few “deep” conversations with her. Developmentally, Sania is significantly behind her peers, and she functions at a level several years below them. Her conversations are mostly about friends, food, and Disney cartoons. :)
Sania doesn’t talk much about what she went through in the years before we met her. I don’t think she remembers a ton, but she remembers enough. We have only had glimpses into the abuse and neglect that she endured.
So when she asked me, “Mom, why didn’t God let me grow in your belly like the brothers?,” last week, I was taken back a little. That was a deep question for Sania, but one that I thought I could easily answer with…“Well, honey…because He had a different plan for you.”
Felt like a good enough answer. A different plan. A “special” plan.
Well, I thought that was a good enough answer until she asked the next question. It was the second question that punched me in the gut.
(For privacy, I will use “Elena” for Sania’s birth mom’s name.)
“Mom, why did God let me grow in Elena’s belly when He knew that she was going to be mean to me?”
I was stunned by the depth of that question.
How could a good God, who loves Sania so much, allow her to be born to a woman that He knew would abuse and neglect her?
I didn’t have an answer.
It’s the same question, just in different words, that we ALL struggle with.
Why does God let bad things happen to good people?
As I struggled for words, my heart ached for my sweet little girl. Over the past three years she has been in our family, we have tried our best to let her know how much God loves her. We have told her how special she is to Him. We have told her how blessed we are to have her in our family, and how God perfectly orchestrated her to be our daughter. I know that she has heard, accepted, and believed every word.
But still….why did she have to go through the pain to get here? Or even more, why couldn’t she have been born to a mom that was whole, not broken, and one that could love and care for Sania like she deserved?
Bottom line…we will never have answers to these type of questions this side of heaven. Our finite minds can never understand the infinite plans of God.
I told Sania that that was a VERY good question. I didn’t want her to feel bad for asking it. And I told her the truth…I didn’t have an answer. I don’t know why God let her grow in Elena’s belly when He knew that she would be mean to her.
But here is what I DO know…
- Sania becoming a part of our family was an absolute miracle that ONLY GOD could do.
- The Lord led me to a blog conference several years ago knowing that I would stop at a little booth with my sister and learn about an orphan hosting program called Project 143.
- He knew at the same time, across the seas in Latvia, a little orphan girl would be enrolled in a program called Project 143.
- He knew that out of the hundreds of orphans in that program, that Sania’s picture would come across my computer screen.
- He knew that Cy and I would fall in love at first sight.
- He helped us come up with the finances to bring that little orphan girl to our home for a summer.
- He put love in our boys’ hearts for a sister.
- He continued to provide a way for Sania to become our daughter, even though Satan tried to stop it.
- Through that time, He taught Cy and I a faith like we had never known.
- He miraculously brought Sania home to us and made us a family.
- He continues to heal Sania’s heart, and He has given us a front row seat to watching a miracle unfold in her life.
- He has done in our lives what ONLY HE CAN DO.
So I began to share all those things with Sania that night. And I told her how incredibly special she was, and that God must have loved her an extra amount to have worked so hard to bring her to her forever family. And how her story brings glory to God because it is an example to the world that God still does miracles.
And then we talked about her birth mom, and how hurt people hurt people. We talked about how her mom was hurting and not in a good place, and how she wasn’t able to take care of Sania like she deserved. And then we prayed for her birth mom.
Several times since then, Sania has asked if we could pray for her birth mom, and we do. We pray that she will come to know the love of Christ and that He would make her whole.
Friends, almost all of us have experienced something in our lives that have made us question the goodness of God. And that’s okay. He understands our hearts because He made them.
And though none of us will probably ever get an answer to our questions here on earth, we can rest in the knowledge that God is in control, and he brings beauty from ashes.
I’ve seen Him do it time and time again, in my life, and in the life of others.
We may not always understand God, but we can trust Him.
P.S. She fits right in to our crazy crew! haha!