Something About Africa · Tanzania

It’s Over

Yesterday we said goodbye.  How do you look into the eyes of a boy who has already been abandoned once and tell him you’re leaving before you’ve ever gotten to be his mom?  A boy who has asked you almost every day since you’ve met, “When I am come to Ucare house with you?” how do you say, no sweet boy–not today, not ever.  When your whole heart is screaming and you can’t even sleep and you’re mopping the floors with your tears on your way out–how?!

God absolutely carried us through the whole day yesterday.  If you know much about my husband, you might know that it takes a lot to make him cry.  Like, I could count on one finger the number of times I’d actually seen him cry real tears before this week.  For the past three days his cheeks have been stained and his eyes have been bloodshot.  In the same way my dad has been mourning with us for days.  Every new goodbye comes with a new angle of grief and loss.  These were supposed to be our friends, our family, our children for the next 10+ years.  We were supposed to make disciples, we were supposed to be the body of Christ with these people. And just like that, it’s over.

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4 thoughts on “It’s Over

  1. I am so sad for you all. I know this was a huge dream of yours and now that dream has ended. I know you can’t share the reason the Erdmans had to leave but it break my heart for all of you. God has a plan though for you. Just trust Him with all your heart and He will guide you. Praying for you all. Love, Nancy McCord (friend of Joyce)

  2. We do not understand, we may never understand. And, we hurt. I hurt with you. But, we have a God who is in complete control. There will NEVER be a time when He says, “Oh, I didn’t see this coming. I’m not prepared for this.” You AND your sweet African babies are in palm of His mighty, glorious, capable hands. And, remember, any bond you make on this side of Heaven, will be forever and ever on the other side.
    I love you.

  3. I’m a friend of a friend, and I felt the very strange need to click the post from Facebook several days ago. Since then, I’ve read more of your posts and left the page open while I thought about things.

    I know the pain of losing children you were never able to parent (a long story involving a friend’s three grandchildren, babysitting, the foster care system, and adoption plans). I also know the pain of breaking a promise to a child. Three years ago, my husband and I promised to be there for eight foster daughters at a U.S. children’s home. A few months later we also went the way of “irreconcilable differences.”

    I hate to bring this up at all, but I needed to share my background so that I could tell you this: You are not alone. You have done what you could do. And, most importantly, you did not abandon these children. Cry. Yell. Grieve and be angry, but trust. With God’s strength you will find a new path and a new ministry. The pain does not disappear, but God can change the scar from despair to beauty and weakness to strength.

    I pray the practical questions of life are made clear to you, and that you will be surrounded by people who will help you heal.

    Grace and peace,

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