Monday, August 28, 2017

dissolution: black, white, and shades of grace

Dissolution.   Disruption.   Rehoming.

By choosing to write these three words, I realize that I'm opening a can of worms that I'm sure many of you wish would just remain closed.

It's a topic that no one likes to discuss. Especially for those of you in the adoption community, these words often unleash a torrent of strong opinions and emotions. Admittedly, it's a delicate and difficult issue to discuss. 

Prayerfully and humbly, my goal is to shed light on our own personal experience with dissolution. This is simply what our family has experienced. I know there are many other unique and varied experiences, many of which are more extreme and difficult than ours. The point here is not to compare or to criticize, and, most certainly, my words have never been intended to condone abandoning an adopted child when things get tough. That is not my heart! I want to say that as emphatically and firmly as I possibly can. 

With that said, I offer these words up to the Lord, praying fervently that they will be used by Him and will glorify Him.

We live in a broken world. 

It's a world where diseases are devastating, families are destroyed, and children are deserted. We live in a world where bombs kill mothers and fathers, and babies are left alone, helpless, and defenseless. We live in a world where governments exercise the authority to place restrictions on the number of children a family may or may not have. A world in which some of those children are valued more than others and those considered less valuable are left on road corners and doorsteps of orphanages. We live in a world of racism, prejudices, and poverty, all of which can leave parents hopeless, facing the impossible decision and the aguish of feeling forced to abandon their little ones. It's a world that looks at a crippled child and tells her she's not worth keeping. A world where women are taken advantage of and left pregnant and penniless without the help and support they need. 

We live in a world in desperate need of the gospel. 

Adoption is the gospel in action. 

It's a sacred and beautiful process that the Lord uses to reflect His pursuit of us. We are orphaned and abandoned children in need of His rescue. He pays the ransom, no matter the price. He comes for us, even when we are far off. He accepts us as His very own children, and then He welcomes us into His family. Forever. We are His. This is adoption, and this is also the gospel. 

Adoption is also a way for us as followers of Christ to be obedient to His call to defend the fatherless. It's a way to grow our families and spread the love of Jesus to those most destitute. It's a beautiful picture story that illustrates the very heart of our Father.

Adoption is hard, holy, good, and right, but it is not a perfect solution. 

Just as we live in a fallen and broken world, we, as adoptive parents, are fallen and broken individuals. The children we have welcomed into our homes have experienced unimaginable abuse and trauma, often to a degree that is inconceivable to us. Their brokenness is so very profound. In some situations, it becomes even more magnified when they are finally removed from the broken environments of their orphanages and placed in our homes. For these children and their parents, the process of integrating as a family (which is always the desire) can be extremely difficult, discouraging, and, sometimes, even dangerous. 

I will say it again: This is a broken and imperfect world we live in. It is a world where mothers and fathers want more than anything to offer the love and comfort their precious, adopted children are so starved for. But, at times, the hunger and brokenness in these children is so massive that the efforts of parents (no matter how diligent and determined) is simply not enough. Imperfect parents make mistakes and struggle in ways they never could have foreseen.  

Adoption creates melting pots out of families. Sometimes, there is an overflowing of so much brokenness that no amount of education could have prepared for and no amount of therapy could remedy. It is neither the broken children nor the broken parents that are entirely to blame. We are simply broken families living in a broken world. 

We reach boiling points and breaking points. We face impossible decisions. We experience great heartache and our hearts break. We suffer immense anguish and agony as we finally come to a place of believing the best solution might just be another solution. 

He gives us mercy in our melting pots.

Dissolution, like adoption, can be a profound picture of the gospel. There is Only One who is perfect. There is Only One whose love is strong enough to hold us together and heal us completely. There is Only One who can carry our brokenness and make us healthy and whole again. There is Only One Solution, and He is our Perfect Father, the author of each and every single one of our stories. 

He calls us by name and graciously invites us into stories that reflect His merciful and sovereign heart. 

They are stories of solutions and dissolutions, both of which point us to His Solution: the gift of His son, Jesus Christ. 

They are stories that always bring Him great glory .

They are stories, when humbly offered up and given to Him, can be used in mighty ways to point others to the Gospel, the Good News, and the Glorious Gift of Grace that is found in Jesus Christ alone.

Dissolution is not a perfect solution. Far, far from it. I say this with a trembling voice, but in my heart I believe it so very firmly: In a most sacred and beautiful way, dissolution can reflect God's provision for our broken hearts. When we run out of options and cry out to Him, He steps in to intervene in the most unimaginable way. In a miraculous demonstration of mercy, He offers the solution our hearts are most in need of. His Solution: the gift of His Son, Jesus Christ. 

Over the past six years of sharing our adoption journeys, I have always sought to be honest and transparent. This has been a conviction of mine from the very beginning of Sophi's adoption, and I want you to know that I continue to hold firmly to this same commitment as I share more about our dissolution.

My hope and prayer for every word on this screen is for His name to be greatly glorified. Period.

"The term disruption is used to describe an adoption process that ends after the child is placed in an adoptive home and before the adoption is legally finalized, resulting in the child's return to (or entry into) foster care or placement with new adoptive parents. 

The term dissolution is generally used to describe an adoption in which the legal relationship between the adoptive parents and adoptive child is severed, either voluntarily or involuntarily, after the adoption is legally finalized. This results in the child's return  to (or entry into) foster care or placement with new adoptive parents."


"Rehoming is the term used for adoptive parents who permanently place their adopted child in another home without involvement of child welfare agencies, often through the use of internet forums."

If you want to know more about disruption, dissolution and rehoming, this website gives relevant statistics and insightful data. I'm sure there are others places to find useful information. However, I know from our experience that we found very few resources and extremely limited help for families like ours in the midst of incredibly difficult circumstances. This, perhaps, is a much-needed discussion for another day.

One of the most poignant and meaningful things that I have read throughout this process are these words from our wonderful social worker. This is an excerpt from a recent email from her. 

"I know that God has much for us all to learn. I know the older I get, the more I realize that things I viewed as so black and white in my younger years are beginning to gray a little around the edges, and I am experiencing and understanding more and more God's great love and grace for us all..."            

Last fall, we reached out to our adoption agency (the same one we used when we adopted S) seeking help and support for an incredibly difficult situation we found ourselves in the middle of. In the future, I plan on sharing more about the situation, the process, and the surprises God had planned for us along the way. The short version of a long and amazing story is that a family was found for our precious girl. It wasn't just a random family. It was her family! This special family diligently worked with their social worker on their home study, clearances, screenings, and paperwork just as they would have done in any other adoption journey. They also had the opportunity to spend some time with S here at our home earlier this summer, and we have communicated since then through email. I've been transparent and answered questions, and they've been proactive making preparations. We have all worked together with S being our primary focus through all of this. The paperwork was completed, and we received approval from ICPC for the process to be finalized just a few short weeks ago. Legally, our adoption was dissolved and we relinquished our parental rights for S. This was the legal aspect of the our dissolution. Straightforward. Black and white.

I readily admit how often I make assumptions and judgements without knowing the full story. In the past, I probably would have had many ungracious thoughts to say toward a family who found themselves having to make the heart wrenching decision to find a new home for their child. I would have jumped to conclusions and assumed I understood the situation, when in fact, I only knew part of the story. A very small part of the story. 

The truth is there is always much more to the story. Things are not always black and white. There are shades of gray, and there are shades of grace. 

Lord-willing, I plan on sharing more about our decision and the beautiful story that unfolded as a result. For now, though, I want to share how we are all doing and how we are moving forward during this time of transition.

Transition, for me, feels like what I imagine a soldier feels like after coming home from battle. We've been in the thick of spiritual warfare since we began S's adoption. I've always been very candid and open about this in the past. I'm convinced the Enemy hates adoption, especially when a child is called out of utter darkness and into the home of a Christian family. It's no surprise I feel like we've been deep in enemy territory. Because of S's issues, we have experienced months and months of living on high alert with extreme and demanding levels of necessary hyper-vigilance. This has taken a toll on both the mind and the body. 

We have so many memories from the past six years. Some were simply unpleasant. Others were traumatic. There's been blood shed (literally) and many, many tears that have fallen. In the thick of the battle, there have been gut-wrenching decisions that needed to be made. Life altering decisions. Now, as we find ourselves returning to a more normal pattern of  life, those memories are still very sharp and painful. They come back at random times and often without warning, causing my heart to race and my adrenaline to flow. For me, the night time is the hardest as I find myself constantly on edge listening for the sounds that once kept me awake. Post traumatic stress disorder is indeed a very real thing and not just for those returning from active duty and war zones. In fact, I remember reading a study done a few years ago that measured the levels of stress hormones in parents of special needs kids with certain autistic type behaviors similar to those we've experienced here in our own home. What they discovered was shocking. Many of the mothers had cortisol levels very similar to those of combat soldiers. I am not surprised. 

I've always been purposeful about sharing what "real life" looked like for our family, but these little snippets and snapshots that I've shared over the past few years could never fully tell the entire story. While I have always sought to be candid about our adoption journey, there are heavy and hard parts of the story that have remained untold. Our melting pot has most certainly been a messy one.

We are slowly adjusting to life without S and Faith Ana. Truthfully, I am feeling a bit lost as we are entering this new season in our family. We've been to the pool and to the park. We've been fishing, and we've done things that we've been unable to do as a whole family for quite some time. This has been a blessing to our other kids, and I'm grateful for how this has helped them during this time of transition. One of the things that I am most looking forward to is getting to worship together. I have missed this tremendously. 

I have missed our two big girls, and our house (and my heart) definitely feel emptier than they used to. I'm slowly starting to clean out S and Faith Ana's room. The walls were covered in Bible verses, words I clung to with every fiber of my being during hard days and difficult seasons. I've taken them all down, except for this one. It's still taped to their door.

Every path of the Lord is one of mercy and truth for those who cling to His promises.

Psalm 25:10

When the girls were still with us, I often needed to be reminded of this. I still do today.

As I've wrestled and struggled to understand and make sense of our adoption journeys (adoption journeys that at face value look to be absolute disasters), the Lord has so faithfully spoken truth into my weary heart and has exposed many lies and false ways of thinking. There were many. I'm sure they'll be more. Even just today, the voice in my head has been so loud: "You are such a hypocrite. How dare you write these words. You no longer have a voice. You, of all people, have no right to speak out."

The Bible says that the thief (Satan) comes to steal, kill, and destroy. I have no doubt that among other things, he would love nothing more than to steal God's glory as our story continues to unfold.

For a recovering perfectionist and people-pleaser like myself, this story could have quite easily and discreetly come to an end. I'm convinced that's what the Enemy would want. No more writing. No more sharing. No more speaking out about the steadfast faithfulness of a Father who has never once stopped pursuing S's precious heart (or my own)!

There's been such great mercy that I long to share about, but there's also great fear. There's fear of what others are thinking, what they might say, and how they might respond. There's fear that our story will discourage others from stepping out in faith and being obedient to the Lord's call to defend the orphan.

There's been great grace, but there's also been intense feelings of failure, guilt, shame, and defeat. It's hard to describe the intensity of emotions, the loss, and the grief that I've experienced this summer. 

Though the Lord's faithfulness has been blazingly and beautifully apparent, there's been an unprecedented attack on my faith. The past two months have been characterized by more questioning and doubting than I've ever before experienced in my life.

Why would the Lord call us to something that would turn out so very differently than what we had hoped? 

Did we hear Him wrong? Was it a mistake to adopt S? Faith Ana? To have so many children?

If we had not adopted Faith Ana, would we have struggled so intensely with S? 

If we did not have such a large family, would we have been better equipped to deal with S's issues? (For those of you new here or for those of you who lost count over the years, since committing to adopt S, the Lord has added four babies to our family with three more that we will meet in heaven.)

Why did the Lord choose me to be the momma to these two little girls? He knew my issues. He knew my strengths. He most definitely knew my weaknesses. (Every time I've ever taken a spiritual inventory test, mercy is always at the bottom of my list.) What was He thinking? 

Where did we go wrong?

Was His grace not enough?

There have been so many questions and so many what ifs. These are just a few. When I tell you I've questioned everything, you can only imagine. I've questioned everything. Absolutely everything.

The Lord has been so patient with me. He's also been faithful and firm, just as you would imagine a father speaking against something untrue that his child didn't know whether to believe or not to believe. He's lovingly corrected the lies I've listened to, replaced them with His truth, and spoken words of comfort, affirmation, and hope. 

As I've cried out to the Lord and wept before Him, I've asked Him to show me His heart in the midst of these difficult circumstances and for His truth to flood the darkness that, most assuredly, could very easily have swallowed me up and shut me up. 

He has heard my desperate cries, and He's answering my prayers. While many questions remain unanswered, the Lord has brought me to a place of peace and acceptance. Instead of shame, I am covered in His mercy. Instead of guilt, I cling to His grace. In the midst of wrestling, I am learning to rest. Equally, He has brought me to a place of tremendous passion for proclaiming the mercy, mystery, and sovereignty of our Faithful Father. And for that reason, I feel very strongly that there is more to this story that needs to be told. S's story isn't over. Our story isn't over. He is still writing it. So, I will too.

There is a dialogue that needs to happen. 
  • There are families in the trenches that need help and support. 
  • There are individuals that feel so defeated by failures that they succumb to the lie that the Lord would never choose to use them for His glory.
  • There are churches that need to be energized to provide respite care and resources for special needs families. (This article is beautifully written and a great place to start.)
  • There are children that need to be advocated for, both here in our own country and internationally. (I will share more about this in the future, and I hope you will see how the role of advocacy has played such an integral part in Sophi's story.) 
  • There is work to be done, and we are the body of Christ, His hands and His feet here on this earth.
In light of just having walked through a dissolution, is it hypocritical for me to say these words? Some might think so. The Enemy might tell me so. But I stand here today covered in His mercy. A far-reaching, arms-stretched-out-on-a-cross-for-me kind of mercy. The Lord has been so merciful throughout this entire journey. The Lord calling us to adopt Sophi was a mercy. The Lord providing a new home for S was a mercy as well. He was sovereign through all of this, and even when I can't understand His ways or make sense of His ways, I am learning to trust His ways.

S's new momma has been such an encouragement to me during these days of transition. (The Lord has also used her to encourage me throughout these past six years! Yes, you read that right. There's so much more to this story yet to be told!) The day we took S to begin their journey home, she told me these words:

We are all running a relay race. You've done your part. You've finished your leg of the race, and now you're passing the baton off to me. There are no losers here. It takes all of us to finish this race. S's had three mothers. You are her second one. Each one of us is necessary, and each one has had an important part to play. This day is a victory.

Can you even imagine what powerful words these were for my heart?

She went on to talk about how we each have our own strengths and weaknesses, and how the Lord used mine to get S to the point of being ready to thrive under hers. We believe this. We trust the Lord's plans and purposes in all of this, and we take heart in knowing that these plans were for S's good, for my good, for her good, for our families' good and, ultimately and most importantly, for His great glory.

The Lord has, without a doubt, had His hand on this precious one's life. As Will says, she's been "pursued by the Holy." Many, many people have played a role in this story. It is remarkable to think back on how the Lord has woven the threads of mercy and sovereignty all throughout S's little life from her very conception all the way up to this very day.

To S's birth momma: 

I wish I could give you a giant hug and tell you how brave and strong you were to give birth to your daughter. I can't even begin to imagine how difficult the circumstances were for you. The physical pain, the emotional pain, the fear, the uncertainty, all of this on top of your own mental challenges, the weight of all of this and so much more is unthinkable. My heart goes out to you and aches for the ways you have grieved. How alone and scared you must have felt. I have a sense, now, for the agonizing decision you had to make on that April day a little over 11 years ago when you walked out those orphanage doors with empty arms. Thank you for being courageous enough to carry this child in your womb and then to carry her to the only place you knew to go for help and hope. You did the very best you could for your little S, and I'm so grateful for you!

To S's babas: 

Thank you for caring for S during the five years she was at the orphanage. While I know some of you viewed your job as simply the means to put food on the table for your own children, I have to believe that some of you truly did your best for the precious children under your care. You were understaffed, overwhelmed, and you faced massive needs. Many speak accusations against you and say you were to blame for the children who struggled and failed to thrive, but this is not the full truth. There are many factors at play in these most difficult of circumstances and many conditions that were entirely out of your control. 

(Please hear my heart here. I know there are shocking situations where this was NOT the case. In S's orphanage and in other more "well-known" orphanages, there have been plenty of instances of unspeakable abuse and inhumane conditions. Although this is inexcusable, I also know that these caretakers {I use that term loosely here} were incredibly broken individuals who most likely experienced their own share of abuse. All of this to say, there is tremendous brokenness in S's former country. It is very much a dark place in need of the gospel and the mercy of Jesus.) 

To the babas and orphanage workers in Bulgaria, I thank you for everything you did, as imperfect as it might have been. S left the orphanage a starved, animalistic five year old that could not talk, chew, feed herself, or use the toilet, but she was alive. She was alive! Thank you for that.

To the family that committed to adopt S prior to us: 

I wish I had the opportunity to tell you thank you. I often wondered if you felt regret for backing out? Did you feel ashamed that you didn't go through with your adoption or guilt that you changed your mind at the last minute? Did the Enemy whisper to you, "Shame on you?" Well, if he did, if others did, or if your own heart did, can I speak a word to you? Mercy. Mercy on you. Every path of the Lord is one of mercy and truth. His ways are mysterious, and He doesn't expect us to be able to understand or explain them. I confess that there was a time when I looked at you with a judgmental spirit. How could you change your mind and back out? You never even met S, yet you read her medical report and thought she was too much? Too challenging? Too far gone? That it would be too hard for your family? 

I remember how I stumbled across your blog and was able to piece together little bits of your story, learning about how you came into S's life and then almost as quickly left it. I felt grateful that at the very least I knew our girl had been prayed for, but I know the thoughts of my heart were not always full of grace. Now, I know so much more of how this story would unfold, and it brings me to my knees and gives me goose bumps just to think about it. When you committed to adopt S, the Lord used your family to keep her safe. Her file, which to my knowledge, had only been looked at by one other family prior to yours (just wait until you hear this story!!!), could very easily have been sent back to the Bulgarian Minister of Justice, and S could have been lost in the system just like countless other beautiful boys and girls that are deemed unadoptable. So, you played a role. You were part of the relay team. There's more! Because of the timing of your decision to not follow through with S's adoption, the adoption agency had a very, very small window of time to find S a new family. The Lord used this urgency as well as the power of advocacy (a very special person who was and continues to be the "voice of the voiceless") to open our hearts to adopt S. Thank you, dear family, for standing in the gap for the little girl you called Alice, and we came to know as S.

To our adoption agency: 

When we were in the beginning of crisis mode with S this past fall and reached out to you for help, you provided counsel, suggestions, and recommendations. You did it with an enormous amount of compassion. You listened, you encouraged, you reminded me to be patient, and you prayed. As you walked with us through some very difficult days, you did it all with such a sweet and helpful spirit. Thank you for being a blessing to our family during these past 11 months.

To the special person who so gracefully advocated this year for S:

How thankful I am for you! It's mind-boggling to know that you, me, and S's new momma were all in Bulgaria at the same time!!! The Lord most definitely works in mysterious and powerful ways. I'm so thankful that our paths crossed five years ago. You were an inspiration to me then, and you continue to inspire me as I see glimpses of your heart for these beautiful and precious Bulgarian children. Thank you for being willing to go, to advocate, and to speak out! Thank you for doing it with grace!

To the family that welcomed their arms and their hearts to S: 

I stand in awe of how the Lord has connected all the dots and for the stunning ways He has pieced our lives and our stories together. I am forever grateful for each member of your family and for the ways the Lord has gone before each of us and made a way. Every bit of our journeys has been miraculous, and I don't think I will ever be able to retell our stories without tears welling up in my eyes and gratitude overflowing out of my heart. I pray for you daily to have the wisdom, patience, and love you need for this race that the Lord has set before you. I'm also praying that we will all have the right words, His words, as we have the opportunity and the privilege of sharing how our stories are woven together, and foremost, for His name to be greatly glorified in every part of it.

To our wonderful doctors: 

Thank you for your wisdom, your advice, and your constant support and encouragement. For the late night phone calls and the early morning texts, you were a gift to us during those challenging days. I'm so thankful for the medication that helped S to stabilize during these last few months and for the miracle that we witnessed this past year as we watched S come out of such a dark place. I'm so grateful that S left our home strong and healthy instead of the extremely troubled child we struggled so desperately to help last fall.

To the many other special families:

Thank you to all of you who have bravely said yes to Jesus when asked to do sacred and scary things and have welcomed little ones into their own homes from afar. Thank you, especially to those of you, who have stepped out in faith to adopt children with severe mental and physical disabilities. Thank you for being obedient to His call. Only the Lord knows what you are walking through just now. As you humbly lift your hands and hearts to Him for the help and support you desperately need, I believe with all my heart that He is faithful to hear those pleas. I am praying for you to not lose heart and for the Lord to give you great grace for this great call.

To our own families:

Thank you seems so inadequate. Y'all have stood with us every single step of the way! If there was ever a picture of the body of Christ here on this earth, you all have been it!

To every single one of you who have prayed for our family and supported us during our adoptions, thank you. Even if you don't support or agree with or understand the decisions we have made, you've played a crucial part in this ongoing story, and we are most grateful.

For the tremendous outpouring of love we received after the loss of Faith Ana, there are not enough words to convey how thankful we are. For the cards, flowers, meals, and financial contributions made to Faith Ana's memorial fund at our church, you have blessed our family in immeasurable ways and this blessing will overflow to many others. Thank you. 

For those who have been such strong and faithful prayer warriors, thank you. There have been days and weeks on end, that I know without a doubt, we only made it through because of the power of prayer and the many people that were interceding on our behalf. Thank you for praying for Sophi and for continuing to pray for her in this new season. 

For all the encouraging comments, emails, and texts, I can never express how much I appreciate each and every single one of them.

I have said this before, and I will continue to speak this truth. Adoption has been one of the single greatest mercies of my life. I knew when we were just beginning our journey with S that it was going to be a journey of mercy. I wrote about it here after an incredible experience our first night in S's city on her pick-up trip. Now, I look back, and I see more than ever before how wide and far-reaching God's mercy truly is. I only had the tiniest inkling then as we stood in the shadow of that concrete cross. If I was back in that very same place right now, I would be on my knees.

When we shared about our desire to adopt S, from the very beginning, Will and I said two things:
  1. We wanted to be a part of her rescue mission.
  2. We wanted to speak the name of Jesus to her. We wanted her to hear from our mouths that she was loved, not only by us, but even more, that she had a Father in heaven who loved her more than anything.
Ironically, we were only just a tiny part of her rescue mission. There were those before us and those who came after us, and we all played a part. We went into this adoption believing that we were her forever family. In the Lord's mysterious and sovereign ways, we were just the ones the Lord used to carry her to her forever family. Through this process and in the middle of this most extraordinary rescue mission, the Lord did a mighty rescue mission in my own life as well! There was great deliverance and healing, and this was such great mercy.

In our home, S heard the name of Jesus. Often. I have never prayed as much, as boldly, as desperately, or as loudly as I did during the five years she was my daughter. I have cried out to Him and grown more in my walk with the Lord more than any other time in my life as a result of being S's momma. This was mercy, although often it felt like severe mercy. 

When S was only a picture, a lost little girl with those crazy striped stockings, I looked forward to the day that I would have the privilege of speaking the name of Jesus over her. The incredible thing as I reflect back on our journey is that I learned so much more about Jesus than she ever did. I've heard His name and come to know His heart for me. He's spoken the words I've listened to since I was tiny yet have struggled to believe my entire life. The words I spoke to my daughter, He spoke to me. Jesus loves me. He loves me not because of how I perform. He loves me not because of how strong or good I am. He simply loves me! I've seen His outstretched arms, and I know His mercy. I've experienced His mercy, and now it's forever written on me. Literally, letter for letter, on my forearm where I can be reminded countless times a day. His mercy on me.

The word for mercy in Greek is eleos. The first letter, epsilon, in Ancient Greek has two little dashes over the top of it. One is called a stress mark, and the other is a resting mark. This seems so perfectly fitting to me as I've witnessed, firsthand, God's mercy in both the stressful seasons as well as the peaceful ones.

We are in a resting spot now, and this is mercy. A sweet mercy. I don't know for sure what the Lord has for our family in the coming days. I pray that we will always have hearts willing to be front lines for Him and to be ready for whatever He may set before us. We trust Him to continue to reveal His paths for us. I know these paths will be full of mercy and truth. 

By continuing to write about our journey of adoption and dissolution, my prayer is that you will see the beautiful thread of mercy that can be found in even the most difficult of situations. I hope that you will be blessed and encouraged as you witness the outpouring of God's goodness and grace to our family and to so many others that have been a part of this journey. I'm so thankful for the incredible privilege of sharing this story.

And if opening a can of worms brings Him the greatest glory, then I will do it gladly, boldly, and with a grateful heart.

Covered in His mercy,

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