For the adoption, it was recommended I read "There Is No Me Without You" by Melissa Fay Greene. It is the true story of a poor widow in Ethiopia named Haregewoin who is ready to give up her life when she stumbles into the job of being a foster mother for what started as 2 children and quickly grew to over 40, and then to 80. In a small little compound mind you. She started housing the children and babies in railroad cars on her property with no government support or assistance. Here are some of the excerpts from her amazing story:
"Who is this?" Haregewoin cried in surprise. (while looking down at a small infant wrapped in a blanket)
"We found her," said the taller officer. "She was left on the road, under a bush."
"Sometimes when Haregewoin opened the door of her compound, she discovered that the adult who had banged for attention had already fled, leaving behind a small child besieged by flies, squatting in soiled diapers."
Heregewoin greeted a spectral young woman in a dusty skirt. Her face was drained, her eyes were dilated, and she seemed disoriented. With an abrupt move, she displayed a pretty curly-haired boy nestled within her dirty shawl. "Please keep my baby I'm going to die he is twenty days old" she said breathlessly. Haregewoin accepted the baby and prepared to ask the girl - no more than nineteen or twenty - to come into the house and have a cup of tea. Perhaps she could be assisted in keeping her child; with just a little help, a few coins, some food, she might gain a footing in the neighborhood. But the girl turned away instantly and dropped. Her breast had burst open, Haregewoin saw in horror. She fell sideways onto the rocky road. Haregewoin screamed for help. The two oldest boys ran to lift her (she weighed nothing!) and bring her into the compound. She was dead... The dying mother had given every cell of her being to the baby, but had been too weak to speak his name.
Haregewoin stood on her outer threshold early one morning drinking a cup of coffee.... then Haregewoin glanced down and discovered a cloth-wrapped sleeping newborn beside her wall. She was flabbergasted. "Oh, dear God, oh dear God," she cried, gathering the child. "Thanks, God, thanks, God," she said, discovering the child was still breathing. In the coming months and years, she wold find another newborn outside her door, and another, and another, and another.
"You see that one?...... She was a bushy-haired little girl of about six waiting at the table for lunch.... She was an only child. She and her parents shared one bed. She slept between them. She woke up one morning and discovered both her mother and father had died in the night. Every day and every night, the death toll mounted, and more children staggered out of their houses and villages in fright and hunger and grief. Behind the ghoulish depletion - of families, of villages, and of farming communities by AIDS - the well-known grim reaper of famine leered. Famine was made more dangerous and powerful by communities too weakened by illness to prepare for it and to survive it in the old ways."
Stories like these in this book only solidify my intention to adopt from Africa. While I am still getting off easy, Tony is taking even more flack from co-workers who just don't understand what compassion or even goodness is. I wont even post some of the crude comments he has received. And I'm sure this is just the beginning of the rest of our lives. The gist of it is - why don't you adopt a white kid? and why don't you adopt from America? Why?
I read a wonderful post today about international vs. domestic adoption and those who adopt are drawn to the perfect, God-designed place and child for them. It was perfect in timing and content. We both needed to hear that God didn't call us to take the easy, the cheap, or the quick road. He called us to take the road he wanted us, the Wages, to be on.
And what resonates with me, is I know others are thinking this journey is too expensive. Especially for a family of 5. I know others are thinking that this really isn't missions and is just us trying to be selfish and get another cute little munchkin. But how can you look at these little faces and think God would not be talking about them when he says:
“And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is my disciple, I tell you the truth, he will certainly not lose his reward.”
"Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and
widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world."
So you know, it may take a long time before we see Olivia's little face. But if we don't go to get her, who will? Even if she isn't born yet, God knows who she is and knows she is our daughter.
One baby sounds simple when I compare myself to this saint who has already taken in 6 orphans, has 2 of her own, and is praying about a 9th as they just found out one of her sons has a brother still alive. AND, they are missionaries. Which means I imagine they are making a lot let less than a speech therapist. And in her blog she said:
"Also, we are seriously praying about fostering/adopting Ethan's brother--he is around six years old. Before you call us crazy, please remember the words of the Lord, "He places the lonely in families." The boy is currently living with an uncle who already cares for eight other children, most not being his own. Because of twenty years of war and devastation, the people are just beginning to re-farm and re-plant, however, they have very little to work with as far as tools and supplies. The people have nothing. They survive off of maize and millet--Zane said there is no fruit to speak of and very few, if any, vegetables. There is no opportunity for education. And most importantly, the village is full of spiritual death. We believe that adoption is evangelism and that each child we bring home has been redeemed for this purpose, to know God! Pray with us. Believe with us. And trust with us that God wants to do much more than we could ever think or imagine."
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