Ellie Holcomb sang in my ears and even though her music isn’t really running music, it seemed appropriate to be listening to “Can’t Outrun Your Love” as my feet pounded out the last 18 months on the sidewalks.
We lost her this week. Our Aida.
I felt a little like I was running in a movie montage, the images flashing through my mind: the 18 months of pictures and the short video of her learning how to walk and the monthly updates, and the first time we saw her face- all moving in front of me as I raced by houses.
Next week, they’ll pack up her things and take her away from her transition home back to an orphanage. There she will wait in hope that someone from her own country is allowed to adopt her or allowed to foster her.
The wind hit my face and I let go of our future with her and let the breeze carry it away. And Ellie’s voice sang scripture over me and I clung to its promises. And I ran with the music seeping into my soul and my feet chanted out an anthem to Him for me and for us and for our Aida.
I stopped running and moved forward in prayer as if I could walk out the miles between us. I thought about all of the others who have walked beside us and prayed the miles with us too. And I gulped in the air, the shock of knowing what I said way back in March was true and a friend even reminded me of it last night. There was a little girl in Africa that without this journey that threatened to crush us, would have never been known, loved, and prayed for specifically by hundreds of people. Her name rose up to the heavens like a chorus from His people: "Aida.”
She was our gift and our hope for 18 months, the daughter and sister we will never know but who will be bound to our family for the rest of our lives.
We are grieving and we know there are lots of questions we need to answer but for now we ask you give us a little time. We have a thousand thoughts but few words.
But keep praying. Our gift needs a gift herself. Pray for a family in Africa for Aida.