Seeing Adoption Firsthand

This past year we have been incredibly blessed to meet two children who had just been united with their forever families!  Both children were from countries in Africa.  Both were unbelievably precious, and both had been prayed for and sought after for a long time.

First we met little Gideon who is from Uganda.  We knew Gideon’s parents, Jeff and Alicia, from seminary.  Jeremy had to work, but the boys and I were able to meet Gideon and his family at the airport in Atlanta.  He was so amazing–easygoing, sweet, and cuddly!  Meeting Gideon at the airport was so special for us!  The idea of adopting a child can seem so abstract to young children.  But seeing Gideon with his new parents and extended family on his first day back helped to make the idea real.  The three boys plopped down on the floor of the airport to play and had the best time.  Here are some pictures.

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Then we got to meet Miriam, a four-year-old from the Democratic Republic of the Congo.  She came to the United States with no English, after waiting years for her forever family.  Because we are adopting a baby and Gideon is so young, meeting Miriam was a whole new experience for the boys.  I told them that she was four, the same age as Jonathan; but the boys still asked me about the four-year-old baby.  They were so confused about why she was big like them.  I explained to them that kids of all ages need to be adopted and that Miriam had been waiting a long time for her forever family.  They asked me why she had to wait so long.  I wish I knew the answer to that.

Miriam goes to our church, so it is exciting to continue seeing her adjust and thrive.  She knows more English every day, and she has developed an extremely close bond with her parents and extended family.  Her smile lights up a room, and I love to watch her run and play!  She is so incredibly precious.  Here are some recent pictures of Miriam and her dad.

No adoption path looks the same.  We are adopting domestically, so our adoption will look drastically different from Gideon’s and Miriam’s.  But we want our boys to see adoption in as many different forms as possible.  I want them to understand how amazing adoption is, to see what it means to bring a new child into your family.  I want my boys to understand so that they can be excited, because this baby isn’t just mine and Jeremy’s.  Our new child will belong to J and S too.

The boys talk a lot about “our baby.”  We discuss how our baby might look different than us, where the baby will sleep, how newborn babies don’t talk, walk, or play yet.  We talk about how much we will love our baby and how much our baby will love us.  Sa says, “Our baby will be so tute!” (translation:  cute).  J sometimes asks the question, “Will our baby come today?” I feel so blessed that our boys are excited about our adoption, about their coming sibling.

Obviously, adopting a child will forever effect our family.  But I pray that our adoption will also effect our son’s hearts.  I pray that they too will have hearts for adoption, that they will have a burning desire to help the orphan and all those who need help and love.

Last week Jeremy and I were speaking about an elderly lady we know who has gone into a nursing home on the other side of the country.  We discussed how sad it was that since her husband’s death she didn’t have family who could be with her.  J overheard us and asked a question that made my eyes fill with tears:  “Is someone going to adopt her?”

We are not all called to raise orphaned children.  But we are all called to love, support and care for others.  We are called to invite people into the family of God.  How thankful I am that He has adopted us into His family!  And we don’t just belong to Him; we also belong to each other.  Lord, please use us to help those in need and to invite people into relationship with You.  Please make adoption second nature for all of us.