...Our Family...

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

MICAH- "Who is like our God?"

Words cannot begin to express what we have seen and felt today. Our hearts are swimming in sadness mixed with mercy. We can no longer ignore the face of starvation. It is the face of our son. I'll tell the story because in the telling perhaps we will find peace and you will find HOPE.

What we know about Micah's life before he came to our agency and to Addis isn't much. We know he was relinquished by a brave, amazing woman who wanted him to live. She gave hope to a hopeless child. She walked away from her own flesh so that he might have life. We knew he was sick; we knew he was little; we knew he was a miracle. But there is so much we don't know. The silence of what we don't know is deafening.

This week, through my great friend Sherry and an amazing woman who gave her life for a year to our kiddos in Ethiopia, a bit of that silence has been filled. God's timing with this was so perfect. I had just written my previous blog post and my heart was filled with wonder at the amazing redemption of adoption and yet broken by the pain and reality of what abandonment is. We were weary of the fundraising, the questions, the unknowns.

God BROKE THROUGH and gave us, yet again, an image of his amazing grace and love for the orphan. HE IS HOPE.

This week the silence of the unknown has been filled with screaming and has been replaced with an ache in my heart and stomach so real I can barely breathe. The screaming is of both horror and hope. It's unreal.

The brave, loving, amazing Rachel, who spent so much of her time caring for our kids in Ethiopia, sent us photos of Micah when he first arrived in her care. I have no words to express how these photos have broken my heart, shocked me into facing the reality of STARVATION and the hopelessness that has blanketed so much of Africa.

We knew he was sick. We knew he was small. We knew he was a miracle. We didn't know he was dying. DYING. STARVING TO DEATH.

We've all seen the pictures and felt sadness for a child a million miles away who has nothing to eat. What if it were your child? Have you actually ever asked yourself that question? IT WAS MY CHILD. The emaciated, sunken face; the protruding, distended belly; the skin that hangs off like an elephants; and the bones, the bones...

I've been trying to get the courage to show you the real pictures, to show you the face of starvation, the face of death apart from our Savior. I can't, I WON'T, do it. This is Micah's story and I will let him tell you one day. When he can look into his own sunken eyes and accept his distended belly, his hanging skin, his skeleton-like body, I will know he is ready.

I will tell you that there is NOTHING that prepared my heart for those photos.

I will show you the photos of my 3 month old baby 2 weeks after he came into the care of our amazing, mama-bear, fight to the death for every baby agency-family in Ethiopia.

Here's our little Moo. 3 months old.

This photo shows a MIRACULOUS change in our son. Given proper nutrition, care, and LOVE, he was transformed. God's grace reigned supreme in the life of our Micah. God's grace reigns supreme in my life and I am struck dumb by his mercy.

Micah is simply an earthly, physical glimpse of how our Savior saves us all from the starvation of our souls.

Thank you, Father, for saving my son.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Brokenness and Truth

I've been wanting to write this post for over a year and haven't summoned the courage. This isn't easy to write and most likely won't be easy to read. I am sure there will be many who agree, many who disagree, and many who don't want to admit the truth about adoption. I'm writing this for myself, for catharsis, to "speak the truth in love..." and about love.

When I think about adoption I wish the only images that came to my mind were rainbows, smiles, and kisses. But this just isn't the truth. There are so many painful images that come to my mind, that are forever imprinted on my heart. To only tell the kisses would be lying to myself and to the world about what adoption is and what it is not.

Adoption is God's design. He authored it and obviously champions it as He had his only son come into the world as an adopted child. Adoption is wonderful and we are big fans.

But adoption exists because of pain, brokenness, despair, horror, and sadness. Adoption exists because of starvation, death, disease, abuse, rape, and other unspeakable horrors. Adoption is amazing and beautiful and love. But adoption is also misery, pain, hardship, torture, loss, and so much more.

This weekend we spent time with our great friends. They recently brought their child home from China and she is an amazing joy! BUT, there is struggle. There is pain. There is hardship. A gorgeous child who has seen so much hardship already and yet has finally come to a safe loving place. This is an amazing picture of redemption! But before redemption comes unspeakable pain.

The truth about adoption is that in order for it to exist one family must rip themselves from their child and give them up. A mother turns her head as nurses carry her baby away. A policeman holds a child as his mother walks away forever. A child is left on the side of a road while the mother secretly waits in hiding for someone to carry him away. A child watches his mother die and then is taken from all he knows to a home that is not his home.

However it happens it is painful, it is torture, it is life at its most brokenness.

It's easy to talk about how wonderful the child's life is now, how amazing it is to bring them into our home, how blessed they now are in their new life. BUT, that's not the only truth. The pain of their separation from their first family is true, it is real, and it is important to acknowledge. Jesus wept at the loss of Lazarus. He felt the truth, the pain, the ache of death as a human.

As adoptive parents we either acknowledge this reality or we don't. In order for us to have our child, to experience the joy and the love someone had to go through horror beyond understanding. This is the truth.

Lately we have been wondering where and how our little girl is. Has she been born? Is she healthy? Where is she now? This third time around I truly want to experience adoption for ALL that it is, not what I want it to be or what I think it should be. So, this time around I am allowing myself to wonder, ponder, cry over, and consider the whole truth of my child's life.

Right now she could be lying on the side of the road, screaming, waiting for someone to find her. She could be in the arms of a policeman watching her mother walk away. She could be in the arms of a nurse, her mother turning her head as she is carried away to a nursery. I just don't know. Does she miss her mother? And how will God minister to the hearts of those aching for my daughter well beyond my own aching?

I know that a family is in pain somewhere knowing that they will not see the smiles, get the kisses, rock, hold, sing, LOVE on my daughter though their love for her is just as strong. I love this family. I hate the brokenness that will eventually bring my daughter to me. So much of my heart wishes it didn't have to be.

But I love the REDEMPTION that is adoption. I look forward to the redemption, to the kisses, to the small hand that will fit perfectly in mine. I look forward to sharing her story and my heart with her.

Right now I am allowing the truth and brokenness of adoption to seep into my heart. I don't want to miss this part. I don't want to be too afraid to acknowledge this dark, sad side of adoption.

The light of redemption will be so much brighter after walking in this darkness,.