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Sunday, November 6, 2011

Orphan Sunday

Today is being recognized as Orphan Sunday throughout the US. It is intended to show the church that the care of orphans is biblical, our responsibility, and to share some of the tangible needs of those among us who are left without parents. I have, all day long, thought about my son and daughter who just 6 short months ago were still considered orphans (although they already belonged to us in our hearts.)This is the first picture we saw of our son Micah. It was in April of 2010 and we had turned in all our paperwork to Ethiopia just 3 short weeks before (*for a baby boy.) We heard from the family that had adopted his sister that he was now in Ethiopia and a double orphan. We began to pray for him not knowing God would call us to adopt him. Doesn't he look like he is scared to death but trying to be stoic and brave? I can't tell you how many times I have stared at this photo! More than one person told me that he looked like he has "old eyes".
This picture was taken after his father had died and during the week his sister would be leaving for America and as far as he knew, he would never see her again. I wonder if his mom knew she was sick? She passed away just 4 short months later. This must have been such a hard for her and for Micah. He is only beginning to share his story with us and we are aware that there has been much loss suffered in his 10 short years. This is "My Micah" ( that is what he calls himself when he does something he knows will make me happy. " Mom, Your Micah already did all his chores." ) This photo was taken last month at the fair. Happy, healthy, secure and having fun. It has been such a blessing to watch this transformation take place. To watch him grow more confident in his English, to reach out to others and to share his fun sense of humor. To trust us with parts of his past, to see the Lord awake in him a hunger for spiritual things too.

I will be honest. I was scared to adopt him. Scared of his past and what behaviors that might bring. Scared of any health issues that may come with him. Scared of disrupting our happy home.

Now, I only shudder at the gift we would have missed out on if we would have said no.

This is my Sarah Faith the first time I saw her. She was 7 weeks old and we had been waiting on her about 14 months. I never thought we would adopt a baby girl. Baby girls had a longer wait time. Baby girls were requested more often.

The last week of December, we were in Florida on vacation, (waiting to get a baby boy referral because our first referral had to be withdrawn) knowing we were leaving for Ethiopia in less than a month, my DTE buddy, Laura, texted me and asked if our agency was even asking us if we wanted to consider a baby girl? There had been 3 baby girl referrals in the weeks we were waiting. Her question hit me like a lightening bolt. Why hadn't we said either gender? Did we really care boy OR girl? Greg and I had a serious talk about it and both felt peace about saying either gender, but still felt like it would be a boy because of all the girl referrals in the past few weeks. Imagine our surprise January 14th.. just 3 days before we left for Ethiopia when we got the call for a beautiful baby girl!
The road to our sweet Sarah Faith felt broken for sure. From losing a referral to waiting right up until we left unsure if we even would leave when we were suppose to. But the moment I held her, I knew that God had given us a special gift to care for and love.
Here is sweet Sarah now. Our princess. She is so much fun. Crawling and laughing and trying to say words. We are trying our best within the craziness of life to cherish these moments with her as our last ( maybe) :) baby.

So Orphan Sunday is a special day to look at the great need out there and see where you can help. By giving, by prayer or even by adopting. To me though, it is also a time to look at the ones God has blessed me with. birth and by adoption. And to be thankful that because of His call on our lives, this Orphan Sunday, there are 2 less orphans out there.

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