Today is Orphan Sunday. Those of you who have adopted know this. Many of you have heard about how November is National Adoption Month. We hear that there are over 147 million orphans in the world, but it doesn't really sink in easily....until one of them looks you in the eye and calls you "Mom." Suddenly there are not just 147 million orphans in the world, there are 147 million real, live, children that you can't stop thinking about.
It has been three years since Grace has been home. Today as we honor Orphan Sunday, we will do what we do every day...
It's really very simple:
We celebrate adoption every day, not just once a year. After all, how can you look at Grace's beautiful face and not be reminded of the love we have been blessed with? Not only are we able to experience her love, but we experience God's love by witnessing first-hand what it means to be redeemed...her story is so beautiful; tragic and beautiful. And trust me, we are the ones who are blessed. We are the ones who have learned so much and grown so much. And, we are so lucky have experienced the true, selfless love that Grace's birth family has shared with us through her life.
We share our story. It always makes me smile when I think about how long it took us to decide to adopt (when I say us, I really mean Doug and he knows it). It seemed like it took forever for us to take that giant leap of faith and to start the adoption process. Looking back, I know that this was really meant to be. If it were not for God's perfect timing, we would have rushed into adoption and Grace, who was meant to be our daughter all along, wouldn't have been ready for us. It's a classic case of 'thank God for unanswered prayers.' Now, I smile because my once reluctant husband is the poster child (OK, poster dad) for adoption. He loves to talk to people about our adoption story. He is also willing to talk to any reluctant fathers out there! Seriously...give him a call if you have a reluctant husband, who know what could happen?
And most importantly,
We remember the children still waiting. Our family has a connection to and commitment to the waiting children who pray for a family of their own. A part of our hearts will always be in Ethiopia. We made a decision to always honor the country that Grace is from. We look forward to the day that our entire family will travel to Ethiopia and reconnect with the wonderful friends and family that we have there. In the mean time, we will continue our efforts to support the many Ethiopian children that need an education, sponsorship and in some cases, adoptive families. This is a passion of ours, and in the next couple of days, we will share a few ways that you too can partner with us to help sponsor some of these children (and get yourself some awesome clothes and gifts in the process!).
Grace is a beauty. I love the look on her face when I see her deep in thought. I will never really understand what she remembers about her adoption journey or how she feels about the experience. At times, she looks like she is still processing so much. One thing I know for sure is that she loves us. She shines brightly. She also loves her country of birth. Please consider partnering with us this month as we set out to support some of the 147 million orphans who still wait. I promise you will never regret helping one of these sweet children.