God’s Joy!

On March 5, 2004, God returned His joy! Kayla was brought to our home by her case worker and her foster mom. My arms were finally filled with our 18 month old bundle of joy! Baby Kayla was home! Her Dad and her crib were waiting!

But it was there in the joy of the moment that the case worker told me there was a grandmother that was interested in having Kayla.

Lord, not again!

Life is filled with tests of faith.

Kayla is 15 now and she has been taking her driver’s written practice test over and over to prepare for the real thing coming up in a couple weeks. The more she takes the practice tests the more familiar she is with the information she needs to know. The more she takes them the better she scores; with the hope that she will pass the real test.

The journey that eventually led to Kayla’s adoption was filled with many tests, but I realize now that faith needs to be tested in order for it to grow.

The case worker’s words about Kayla’s grandmother were another opportunity to test my faith. What would I do with those words?

My faith was getting stronger!

Rather than burst into tears or become discouraged I was able to pray…

“God, You love baby Kayla more than I ever could and You know what is best for her. You know my heart’s desire and how we have longed for her to be our little girl, but I hold her in an open hand and I trust that You are able to place her in the family that You want her to be with.”

Though I prayed that prayer and thought I trusted in God’s will I was really hoping for a short, straight road right to adoption. Some trips in life are like that. There is a starting point and an ending point, and between the two there is very little to see or to experience. Many of us prefer that kind of trip. We have our sights on the destination and want to arrive as soon as possible. We don’t like obstacles, detours, or roadblocks of any kind.

But sometimes God chooses a long, and winding journey for us to travel, filled with sights and experiences that are intended to work together for our good and to form and shape us more and more into the image of Christ.  (Romans 8:28-29)

The final decision for Kayla’s future was in the power of the judge, based on all the information he received about Kayla’s situation.

Yet, though the judge had the earthly, legal power to determine her future, I knew that ultimately God was the One who would determine where she was to go.

My faith needed to be in God alone…the One who formed and knit together baby Kayla and laid out every moment of her precious life!

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb. Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex. Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it. You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!” Psalm 139:12-18

The days of Kayla’s life written in God’s book became evident as the judge ruled that Kayla be placed into our home and be adopted into our family!



On February 10, 2006, baby Kayla became…



Kayla Joy Cordes!





This Friday, October 27, is the 16th anniversary of receiving that “word” from the woman at the conference. The “word” from God that I held on to through every doubt and impossible situation we faced along that journey.

But as I have been writing this story and sharing it with you I have been convicted. When I reread that “word” I noticed something that caught my attention; God said…

“I am returning my joy to you…”

I know I have written this line twice before, but isn’t that the way sometimes…

We can be so use to seeing something a certain way and it takes awhile to hear what God has to say to us.

I have realized just this weekend that sometimes the very gifts of God, the fulfillment of our desires, can become the object of our worship.

I glanced over the word “my,” and somehow forgot that Kayla was God’s joy that He was returning to me.

When it was out of my hands and not within my own power to decide where Kayla would be placed I needed to trust God for His will to be done. I had kept her in an open hand. But once she was in our family something happened.

The gift from the Lord, became the object of worship.

I don’t have the words to describe how or when this worship began, but when I reread that “word,” as I was writing this blog, and noticed God said He was returning His joy, I heard a voice within remind me that I had been considering Kayla as my joy.

I was convicted of seeing her as fulfilling me, of bringing me satisfaction, of bringing meaning to my life. Seeing her as my joy caused me to serve her and I made it my purpose to make her happy. For when she was happy it brought significance to my mothering.

I know God was at work to reveal this to me because He led me to listen to a Tim Keller sermon, Counterfeit gods, that addressed this very thing. (Take the time to listen on You-Tube – worth every minute!)

And at the same time what Tim spoke about; “your idol will always break your heart,” was happening to me.

How ironic, yet so obviously God, that I should be writing a blog about the incredible journey we traveled towards adoption, towards the fulfillment of our dream, only to be convicted of worshiping that very desire, that great gift of  joy!

It speaks to the very theme of this blog, what the enemy means for my harm, God intends for my good.

This morning I spent a long time in the presence of my loving Lord and Savior as I confessed my sin of idolatry. I broke off the soul-tie of idol worship and applied it to the cross where Jesus proclaimed, “it is finished.” I thanked Jesus for His shed blood that washed and cleansed me of all my sin; believing Kayla is “my” joy, for looking to her to fulfill me, satisfy me, and to bring meaning to my life, for serving her so that she will be happy believing that was what would bring significance to my mothering.

I placed Kayla on the cross and embraced the truth that she is God’s joy, she belongs to Him alone.




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