Hosanna. Do you know what it means? It is a cry that meant "He Saves!" A cry of adoration and praise. It is a word that has come to mean a shout of fervent and worshipful praise. Which is exactly what I do whenever I see this face.
But there is more to the story than that.
More than a year ago, a word kept coming to me during prayer. Hosanna. I didn't really know what it meant, but I knew that it was a term of praise. So I prayed, and I praised, and I trusted God that whatever it was He was trying to tell me would become clear.
About the same time, I began to seriously research international adoption. I looked at several different countries, trying to find one that I would be eligible to adopt from as a young single parent, but I didn't consider Ethiopia. In fact, I kind of already settled on a country. It was okay, but I didn't feel the way I thought I would feel.
Then one day, someone mentioned Ethiopian adoptions. So I began to look and research and within the course of an evening, I fell in love. I felt connected to this country, these people, in a way that I didn't feel with the other countries I considered. I began to do more research and formulate a tentative agency list.
All this while, I kept praying and praising. Thank you, Lord! Hosanna! Praise you, God, for your goodness! I never even considered that this praise was linked to my adoption journey.
I was almost 100% sure that it would be Ethiopia. The only thing holding me back was my own fear of "falling in love too fast" and not slowing down to consider every angle.
That is when I saw that Hosanna is a town in Ethiopia.Most recent photo, take August 6 or 7, wearing an outfit that I sent!
All systems were go from that moment forward. I knew it would be Ethiopia for me. And once I received Sparrow's referral, I knew she was the child God intended for our family: counting back, I had started hearing the word and praying the word "Hosanna" shortly after she was born. All those months when I had no clue what that was all about, I was actually praying for her, unbeknown to me!
Even more, I love that this is a cry of praise- a cry of "He Saves!" This adoption journey is not about me "saving" Anna, but rather, it is a celebration of the wonderful grace we are given through Jesus- it is a testimony to the glorious love that fills us as we abide in the Father!
And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him... We love because he first loved us.
1 John 4:16-19
We can abide in this love because He has saved us- what a gift, the gift of salvation!
But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
This love that He gives us... this love that empowers and enables us to love others... this is the same love with which he adopted us to himself. This is the perfect love to be the foundation of this adoption. God calls us his children. And because of His love, because of His salvation, this journey has come full circle; because of my great love for her, I call Anna my child.
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!
1 John 3:1
Hosanna! Praise God! He Saves! He saved me- He continues to save me! And He is offering this gift of salvation to each of us- even to my Anna. And through this gift of salvation, I give love. And through giving this love, God has led me down the path He had prepared for me.
God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it. For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.