‘Does God hear? Does He answer?’


We are home from church. The three oldest boys are playing volleyball in the kitchen (with a soft ball) and Julia, the bookworm, is reading. Hosanna and Joshua are playing with dolls in the living room and are singing German songs.

Today, we had church services at the Lehman residence. Barbara does all she can to make everyone who enters her home comfortable and supplied. I enjoy the wide range of attractive serving dishes she serves her food in. They set up long tables for us to be seated for the noon meal.

After lunch, a group of ladies chatted about the upcoming kindergarten classes. Five children in our church, including our ‘little boys’, start day one of kindergarten on Monday. (At five years old, they have a series of school work at school, and the rest of prep for first grade is done at home with mom.) When a friend asked what it was like for me to see Jesse and Elijah go to kindergarten for the first time, it touched a deep spot. I was so eager to have more time to invest in three-year-old Joshua and more time with God; at the same time, I also missed Daniel in this milestone. I knew how these two little boys would be pleased to see their Daddy come to school for morning devotions like other children’s dads do.

It’s now Monday evening, and the first day of school is over. Have you ever sent a young child to school for the first time? You’d think that after having a couple of children in school, you would get used to it, but then each child has their own story, personality, and place to fill in the family. As my two little boys dressed to go to school for the first time, I stood in awe. Babies grow up!

When Jesse came to tell me bye, memories of past years of adoption, bonding, and countless battles we conquered together passed before me. Could this be happening today? And yes- he’s excited and ready to go!

Elijah came next for his goodbye. He was born when Jesse was four months old; now the two boys have grown up together. Elijah is like a little image of Daniel as he comes and gives me flowers and doesn’t hesitate to show affection.

Julia is in sixth grade, Austin in third, and Hosanna in second grade. Each grabbed their dinner buckets and report cards. All five were ready to go. Smiles could both be seen and felt.

I stepped back into my emptied kitchen and shut the door. I blinked. Somehow, my tears felt like they were wiped away even before they came. I knew it would be okay. I sat down with Joshua and told him we will have lots of time together on days the boys are in kindergarten. He was impressed with the idea.

I grabbed the broom, and as I swept, I wondered what the next school year would be like when five of our children go to school five days a week.

Daniel’s dad stopped in on his way home from having devotions at school. How amazing- yes, his name had been on the chart for devotions this morning, which happened to be the morning the boys went to school for the first time, and Daddy wasn’t here!

The day progressed smoothly at home. By 3, the beaming boys opened the back door from their short walk home from school. They had glowing school reports and wondered when they could go again. We had a special snack to celebrate the occasion.

That night, Mr. and Mrs. Lehman stopped by to help on a project (which I will tell you about another day). Looking into my eyes, Barbara asked, “Gloria, tell me how your day was with the boys at school.”

I expressed how I had a very relaxing day, and yes, I could enjoy it.

Her face was radiant as she said, “I prayed that the good would outweigh the bad (sadness of missing Daniel), and that God would just take your tears away so you can’t cry!”

In awe, I told her that that very thing happened in a way I had never had it happen before. Together, we marveled. Does God hear? Does he answer?

Barbara brought pizza, and my mom, also here, brought a pot of stew. I set fruit slush on the table for dessert. Oh yes, little Joshua would inform you that we also had applesauce — his necessary staple.

Gloria Yoder is an Amish mom, writer, and homemaker in rural Illinois. The Yoders travel primarily by horse-drawn buggy and live next to the settlement’s one-room school-house. Readers can write to Gloria at 10510 E. 350th Ave., Flat Rock, IL 62427.

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