I gazed through the broken window admiring the
grandeur of the Himalayan Mountains twenty miles west of
China. I felt like I was starring in a movie as I sat
nervously waiting in the dusty, dingy office of the Chief
District Officer of Dolakha, Nepal. The room was mostly
dark, lit with only one uncovered light bulb. Old wooden
chairs lined the bare walls and scraped loudly on the
concrete floor. A dark-haired, three-year-old little girl
named Manisha sat beside me.
The C.D.O., a man in his early 30’s, sat at an
oversized desk with my papers before him. Wielding
incredible power over my future, I needed his approval to
adopt Manisha. It was hard for me to fathom how I had put
myself into this situation, except that I knew God was
leading me. My thoughts flashed momentarily back to my
failed marriage of eight years.
“I don’t love you anymore,” my husband told me one
night after I confronted him with evidence that he was
seeing another woman.
I replayed scenes of the long hours I worked as a court
reporter putting him through medical school. I
remembered the wine bottles and cheese that I uncovered in
the garbage upon returning home after visiting my family
in Atlanta. I recalled the night he contacted the police after
I confronted him in his office at the hospital. Two weeks
after our divorce was final, the other woman gave birth to
his child. I was devastated and hurt. Only a loving God
could help me to start over and begin a new life.
A few years after my divorce, I received a letter from
World Vision, an evangelical organization that sponsors
children in Third World countries. The beginning of the
letter, dated February 13, 1993, read: “Over 150 million
children worldwide are trapped by hunger, sickness,
poverty, and neglect.” I took the letter and put it on my
refrigerator and thought, someday I am going to adopt a
child from another country. The letter ended with a quote
from Proverbs 13:12 (LB), “Hope deferred makes the heart
sick; but when dreams come true at last, there is life and
Now, eight years later, after much forgiveness, prayer,
and healing, God had lead me to Nepal.
I looked at Manisha, and with piercing, dark brown
eyes focused on me, she spoke softly in very clear English,
“I love you.”
I responded back, “I love you, too.”
I did not know how she could have uttered those
words because she could not speak English. It gave me the
assurance I needed over the next few days that God was in
control. The C.D.O. poured over my documents and after
awhile looked up and asked, “You’re not 40?”
“No,” I said, “but I’m almost 40.”
“It’s the law you must be 40.” He gave a cursory
glance through the rest of my documents. He and Silas, my
facilitator, exchanged a flurry of words in Nepali. Some
elderly Nepali men sitting in the room stared at me. I had
the feeling that Silas was talking about my infertility. I felt
very exposed that such personal information was being
bantered about. I saw worry in Silas’s eyes and knew my
hopes of becoming a mother were precariously in limbo.
“We can go back to Kathmandu and try to get special
permission from the Home Minister for you to adopt, but
there is nothing more we can do here.”
I pondered in my heart what Manisha said to me, “I
love you.” I had to trust God.
The next morning I heard a knock at my hotel door. I
opened it and there was Manisha. She looked beautiful in
her new pink dress and checkered blue top, smiling and
laughing. My heart was full of both worry and hope.
Before we left the hotel to meet with the Home
Minister, I called my Mom and asked for prayer. Isaiah
43:5-6* came to mind, “Do not be afraid, for I am with
you; I will bring your children from the east…and my
daughters from the ends of the earth.”
“O, Dear God,” I prayed, “Please let this be Your will.
Manisha needs a forever family, hope, and You.”
The sun shone brightly and it was a beautiful day as
we arrived at the courthouse.
“They don’t like me at the legal office,” said Silas,
“because I refuse to give them money. In America, it’s
called bribery, but in Nepal, it happens all the time.”
Nobody wanted to help us. Silas spoke in Nepali to a
male secretary and he motioned us into another room. An
errand boy, after an extended discussion with Silas, went
into the Home Minister’s office. We waited for what
seemed like an eternity. Finally, he reappeared speaking in
Nepali to Silas.
Silas breathed a sigh of relief and anticipation.
“The Home Minister has granted his permission for
you to adopt Manisha.”
My eyes filled with tears as I remembered Manisha’s
softly-spoken words in the Himalayan Mountains, “I love
you.” It was as if God had said to me, “I love you.”
Yes, Manisha, I love you, too.
Just as God loved us so much that He gave us His Son
and adopted us into His family, God had given me the first
of two daughters to love from the ends of the earth.