Wednesday, November 17, 2010
10 days is all we have left until we leave on the trip that will irrevocably change the lives of so many people. T and I will become the parents to two more daughters; L will become a big sister; grandparents will add to their brood of grandchildren to love; aunties, uncles, and cousins will be connected to a country thousands of miles away; friends and colleagues will be on hand to welcome two little ones; and most importantly, two little girls who were brought into the world under circumstances that resulted in becoming orphans will be given a family and be forever united in the bonds of sisterhood, family, and daughterhood. When I reflect on the seemingly random and chaotic events that have transpired over many years to bring T and I to this point in our lives, I am overwhelmed by how "unrandom" and "unchaotic" these events have really been. I truly believe that T and I were called by God to this country and to these two little souls! As the days gradually ebb away towards the start of our trip and our departure, I find that I have become very reflective. When T and I got married and started thinking about having a family, we, like most couples, just assumed that our children would come to us through birth. God, on the other hand, had other things in mind. I have been reflecting that if we had been able to have birth children, we would never have had the honor of adopting L into our family; she has been a complete blessing in every way for each day of the past 8 years. By parenting her, we have been gifted with the awareness of so many things that would have never crossed our minds if we had been able to have birth children such as the management of Type 1 Diabetes, the obscene number of amazing children in the U.S. foster care system who are desperate for a family, and the healing that can take place when a hurting child can grieve, mend, and thrive in the embrace of a loving, committed, and stable family. Once again, T and I, through the miracle of adoption, have been gifted with awareness. We are now confronted first-hand with the suffering, grief, and longing of millions of orphaned children in Ethiopia; we are now aware of the effects of crippling poverty and rampant disease; we have knowledge of human rights violations so horrifying, they can turn your stomach when you think of them. Through adoption, T and I have been able to remove our heads from the sand and wake up to finally realize that suffering is a condition of the human race that affects more people than not. Suffering knows no boundaries; it permeates all cultures and all countries including populations within our own (children in the foster care system for example). God has used adoption to not only bless our marriage with children, He has used it to make T and I become aware of more than ourselves. How fortunate T and I are to be blessed by God with the desire to not only love and parent children together, but also with the desire to actually roll up our sleeves and get to work helping our fellow humans!