Our church launched Tapestry, which is an adoption ministry, last year just before I went to Uganda for a mission trip. Craig and I had knocked around the idea of adopting a child many times before Tapestry was installed as a ministry. We’d do a little sniffing around for information and then get overwhelmed, toss up our hands and ask God to make it not just really clear but much easier. When Tapestry began we talked about going to the meetings to learn more about adoption but eventually we decided it probably was too late in our parenting career to go back to the beginning since we were newly installed into our forties. We felt at that point our family was complete and we should accept that for all it comes with, like loneliness as they spill out of the nest and “ditch mom for friend time” realities. We figured at some point the parenting for wee ones ends and all parents must accept that. That’s absolutely true. What we didn’t know at that point was God was going to shake that theory out of us and give us a spark of desire to adopt from Uganda. It happened while I was on the trip and after I realized that was what I was meant to do with myself we had no doubt nor have we looked back.
It’s great to be able to compare and contrast our thinking and our feelings about adoption. We knowif we were left to ourselves we wouldn’t be anxiously waiting our court date for Kira to become the newest member of our family. With God though, He is able to absolutely shift the direction of our lives. It’s exciting to see it so clearly in a Before and After makeover of our minds.
Tapestry continues to thrive at our church. There about 26 families in our church involved in adopting children! That’s quite a fantastic network for all of us to share our process stories. I would never have guessed before we began the journey to adopt what a rocky path it is to take in building one’s family. I am thankful for the compassion it has instilled in us for those who either have adopted or are adopting. I especially feel deeply for couples working with infertility and having to endure years of processing to have a child to love. The waiting is such a trial.
Today I bumped into one of our pastor’s who is waiting for a referral from Ethiopia. They have adopted one sweet girl and this will be their second child. They previously began process to adopt from China but that has stalled to a dribble five years into it. As they wait for Ethiopia he heard from a friend who is doing a funeral today for a child who passed away between the time when the family received the referral and the adoption. The child died of malnutrition. This is the third death of malnutrition in that single orphanage in Ethiopia.
This hit Craig and I like an unseen truck, flattening us. My first thought was “Oh thank God Kira is a fat healthy baby”. But then, oh, the absolute heart ache for the family who was expecting to go get their child and give love and family to the child. For us, we know because we are neck deep in the process of adoption that once we received our referral something supernatural happened to us. Kira was instantly our daughter and we love her with a deep love that is shared with her brothers that she doesn’t even know yet. For something to happen to her now we would take it as having lost one of our own boys. I can’t even imagine the grief these families are experiencing.
The needs are so great for the children in this world who are suffering in ways we can hardly imagine in America. I’m sharing two photos of a girl from Guatemala. My good friend Madeleine sent these to me. Her sister has devoted her life to helping the extreme poor children in Guatemala get fed and get medical care.
If you would like to help support Yvonne’s work in Guatemala, please contact me with a comment and I will help get you connected in a way that you can help her help more children like this one. The little we can do goes a long way for these children.