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  • Proverbs 24:12:

    "Once our eyes are opened we cannot pretend we do not know what to do. God, who weighs our hearts and keeps our souls knows we know and holds us responsible to act."

    We learn to search from the One who searches us.
    And from that place where we wear callouses on our hands.
    It's from there we ADOPT...
    It's from here that we pray:
    Make us uncomfortable
    as we bear the burden
    of what breaks your heart.

Difficult Questions…

Tonight we did our best to honor someone vitally important to our daughter and her story. I was putting her to bed when she confidently whispered, “Mommy you are lucky to have me.” Gotta love her confidence.  I chuckled and quickly responded. “and you Miss Ava are lucky to have me. God knew what he was doing when he placed us together as Mother and daughter.”

“How did it happen Momma that I came from Ethiopia to your family?” Those were her words exactly.  The question stung for a moment and I can tell you I prayed for each word that rolled out of my mouth to answer her.

“Ava every person who is alive is born from a birthmother. Your birthmother lives in Ethiopia and she was brave and strong, carrying you in her tummy until God was ready for you to live on earth.  Soon after you were born your birthmother discovered caring for you was very difficult. It is a story that happens very often in a place such as Ethiopia. Sometimes Mommies cannot feed their babies and cannot care for them so they bring them to an orphanage where they can be cared for until they go home to adoptive families who are able to care for them. Your birthmother loved you so much and we always want you to know that. She should be honored for her role in your amazing life. “

Next I went to get Bob so we could process what had been shared together. He knelt next to her and marveled, like myself, at her curiosity, her understanding and her deep love for God at such a tender age. The timing on her questions is always amazing to us and what we know is that we must always be ready to speak truth to her when she needs to hear it. Certainly there is no need to go beyond what she can handle for her age but her soul knows. I am grateful that ever since she came into our family she has been our dear daughter but she is also Ava, born to a selfless woman in Ethiopia who loved her enough. We prayed all three of us for God’s provision and the protection he brought to Ava. We prayed for a birthmother we do not know, asking God to take away her deep pain and allow her to hold her head high. As we shared amens Ava said, “Do you think God reached down and put us together?” The visual is stunning and perfect for her to carry inside.

It is our duty and great honor to love her enough to speak truth. With every bit of my being I wish I could make the circumstances a birthmother endures less painful. There is not a day that goes by that I do not realize that someone’s deep loss was for our family a tremendous gain. While there are no words to explain or express the sadness of such circumstances I do believe God used adoption to convict our hearts and to teach us that every child deserves a family. Every child deserves an opportunity no matter the size. Every child deserves an advocate and a teacher.  God used our journey to Ethiopia to deliver us into far more than we could have ever hoped or planned. Today I am grateful. Grateful for the hope and promise God delivers to us all through adoption.

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Tara - June 30, 2014 - 8:43 pm

You did a GREAT job, Mama! I sobbed reading that! These are questions we will not have to answer for our nonverbal son, but I pray for his birthmother and think of her often. Your daughter is beautiful, by the way!

Cheri - June 30, 2014 - 11:41 pm

I love you and I love your heart. I love that we are on this planet at the same time, so that I can learn from you in the here and now. This blog post is phenomenal, and is exactly how we feel about our daughter’s birth mom. Thank you for teaching Ava to love well.