A few weeks ago when Donny was home we were sitting in church and Pastor Alex was speaking about our spiritual adoption into the family of God. I saw the look on Donny’s face when it struck him, the idea that adoption is not something man designed, not someone’s good idea to solve the orphan’s problem, but God himself provided an example of adoption.
Later that day he said to me, “Mom, I just realized today the significance of adoption.” It is one of those moments as a parent when you let all your breath out with relief. I asked him to tell me more about what he was thinking and he said, “it changes how I imagine my own family some day. I think adopting a child will be something I want to do along with having my own children.” At that I didn’t just exhale, I fell to my knees.
Our children are sometimes slow to understand what we are doing. And they may automatically reject what we say but they are watching. Our choices have an impact on them that we may never fully be able to calculate. I often wonder if we could have the car companies simulate a crash test of our choices on our kids and tell us how to improve our safety standards in parenting.
Our actions speak louder than words. That’s the simple truth. Craig and I have learned the hard way not to preach to our children. Maybe their ignoring us taught us to find another way. But we try to be consistent and follow through with what we believe with some action, sweat, sacrifice, and struggle. That’s an accurate description for what we endure in our process to adopt Kira. She’s not always sweet and cuddly and the boys see us love her calmly through her rough moments keeping our humor and not losing our heads. So when she’s a being a tyrant with them they in response are calm and nonreactive. But we never told them, “you must respond to her like this…” They are simply watching us as models for how they should handle situations that arise.
Being an example every minute of my life is a lot of pressure. Parenting is not for the feeble.
I have celebrated recently because all of the boys have casually discussed how they think when they have their own family it would be a matter of fact that adoption would be something they would not only consider but wholeheartedly pursue.
The generational impact of this lesson is worth all we have endured to bring Kira home. I can only hope that my grandchildren someday will be numerous by blood and by adoption. I believe a child should not be alone in this world. This belief drives me. Not everyone needs to do a full out adoption as we have done, but everyone could help so the children know someone loves them. That is exactly why I am determined to match each of our orphans in Kyengera with a sponsor. They need to know someone out there has their back, they are not alone, some one cares to share their sorrows and their triumphs. We have raised a lot of money to help educate these children. There have been a lot of donations, a lot of things have been sold, and money is being provided. We have new creative ideas every day on how to raise more money so they can be educated. But that is different than someone who says, I would like to take care of a child and have a relationship. That’s what these orphans really need.
We almost have enough raised to get them all into the private school. Craig and I are going to bridge the gap so they can all get started right away. Hooray! But, I am still looking for fifteen sponsors to match to a child who has no parent on this earth to smile down at him or her. It’s more than just paying the annual school fees, it’s caring about how they are growing, learning and meeting their potential. I have peace knowing God is going to touch hearts with a burning desire to to reach out to my kids in Kyengera. They are praying every day that someone will want to be their sponsor. I know God is going to answer that prayer.
In the photo below the boy wearing a green shirt is Leonard. I can’t help but adore Leonard. He seems to be front and center in every picture I take of the group. He is always happy even though he suffers chronic stomach aches. He is only nine years old and he has already watched his mother die of breast cancer. His father got remarried, and then later died of a headache in the hospital. His stepmother then turned him out to the streets. Someone from the orphanage found him alone living on the streets and brought him to live with the other kids there. He loves to make toys and play with them and he really hopes to learn to read English. He’s waiting for his sponsor. When I see him in June I hope I can give him some good news.
I am such a novice at putting together a program like this so I am really learning as I go. I am just realizing that receiving donations is not the same as finding sponsors. It’s easy to donate. It’s a real commitment to be a sponsor. I thank all of you who have reached out to one of these kids in Uganda. Please leave me comments and let me know how you would like to be involved in their lives because we are now putting together some structure for making this happen. It will change your life and I am eager to help foster that relationship with this child. Here’s a refresher of the breakdown of the kids in our care at the orphanage: there are orphans who have no one, and the pastor’s 9 children, and some children whose mothers are widows and have no income, and there are the people who volunteer at the orphanage whose children need to go to school. We have in all 47 kids to educate. Whew. And God has provided, and continues to provide. But like I said, for the children who have no earthly person to care they are alive or doing well, I am determined to find those kids a devoted sponsor. I believe a child should not be alone in this world.