God is Gracious

Joyful greetings to our family and friends

In this challenging season, and for some a very painful year, we thought we would take the time to go beyond the traditional Christmas card and write to you.

We truly hope this letter finds you well, but if you have experienced a loss or tragedy this year, please know our thoughts and prayers are with you. May this holiday season bring you a degree of joy and comfort, with the hope of new beginnings in the year ahead.

To begin, we’d like to acknowledge the great faithfulness and goodness of Jesus Christ, who is not only the reason for the season, but also the reason we have to give thanks today. On November 8th, we took home Evan Matthew, whom we are adopting!

This journey has been long, painful, and with many unanswered questions for us over the last four years.

But then suddenly late in the evening of November 7th, we received a call from Christian Family Services that a healthy little boy with a full head of hair was born the day before, and that his birth mother had selected us to parent him.

We hit the road the next morning, driving hours to meet his birth mother at the hospital and to take home our son. We were excited, nervous, overwhelmed, grateful – so many emotions all at once. Holding him for the first time was surreal, and it really didn’t sink in that we were parents until a couple weeks went by. It’s been exhausting and a lot at once, but we are confident that God specifically chose us to raise Evan and we are determined to be the best parents we can.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that God can make something beautiful out of ashes – the ashes of our dreams, hopes, expectations and desires.

When loss overtakes us, when our lives are shattered, when we are unprepared for the devastation, this is the place God does His best work. He often performs miracles and fulfills His promises to us when we are out of options and don’t see a way out, because then we know only He could have done such a great thing. We are left without any doubt that it was God who granted the blessing or answered our prayer, as no man could have strung the events together in such an amazing way. Many times His way is not our way, but it is always the best way.

Personally, we have lived this lesson and it has not been easy. In the background of our photos here, we are sitting in front of a picturesque pond in our neighborhood. We have spent countless hours walking the wooded path leading up to, around and past this pond. What makes it special is the hours of prayer and talks with God that took place on that path.

Some days we prayed for us to achieve pregnancy, pleading with the Lord for a child. Other days we prayed for healing, comfort and help to understand why we were facing this battle. Still other days, we prayed for the birth mother of our future adopted child, for this child’s purpose and care and for us to be good parents. Regardless of the prayer, we trusted that even when we didn’t understand why, God knew what he was doing. His plan was perfect, even when we had to wipe away tears as we walked past this pond. How fitting, then, that this December we were able to sit holding the answer to our prayers in front of this same pond, a true promise of God fulfilled.

Appropriately, we chose to name our son Evan, meaning “God is gracious” and middle name Matthew, meaning “gift of God.”

So he is God’s gracious gift to us, especially in the midst of such a turbulent year. He will always be a joyful reminder of 2020, so that instead of recalling all the feat, tragedy, division and violence this year brought, we will remember God’s grace and faithfulness.

We pray that whether the end of this year or in 2021, you will experience the same goodness of our God. That is what w are praying for all our family and friends, that you not stop believing for your blessing, healing, miracle or promise fulfilled or fail to see His hand at work. May you experience His goodness in your life during this Christmas season and in the coming new year.

Much love and warm wishes,

The “S” Family

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