Tuesday, January 31, 2012

How to Adopt

This weekend I was at the legendary 
(other wise known as "Created for Care").

It. Was. Amazing.
Again.
Seriously.

There were whispers from the Lord, powereful moments in worship of Him,
and I basically floated home.

It was Christmas, my Birthday, and Cinco de Mayo all rolled up into one
giant sleepover weekend at a lodge with 432 other adoptive Mama's.
Incredible.
The most fun was diving deeper into relationship with other Ugandan
adoptive and prospective-adoptive Mama's.

While I lounged in easy frienships which are based on being a part of Jesus' Body with others who
also love the same trademarks and language and children of a country,
I also met women who were at "Step 1" of their walk to Uganda.
There was the normal interrogation.
And those are precious moments, 
the introducing of my family's adoption journey 
to a woman whose eyes are searching my face for a shimmer of her future child
as I speak.
Looking for hope.
Looking for anything.
It is a holy and tender thing and I don't take it lightly.

I found myself quietly trembling from the truth of  carefully-chosen words
which flowed like a faucet
from an unknown place of deep conviction.

Here is what I shared...


1. What is in your heart is there for a reason. Trust it. Start walking.

2. Fight for your child. Don't give up. Period.

3. If you are a Believer in Jesus, gather around you people who have like convictions
to fight with you relentlessly. Don't wink at ethics thinking this is an exception to your faith. 
This walk IS your faith.

4. Walk your own journey. Don't compare. Period. It's your own fault if you are miserable as a result.

5. Lower your expectations. At every turn. Before, in country and afterward. 
You'll likely be pleasantly surprised if you do this.

6. You cannot over-prepare. Only what's drilled will remain in your memory in the midst of a stressful, exhausting, language-barriered experience.

7. Thank Jesus at all times. Even when you are sad. Even when you are stopped. Even when you are crushed - ESPECIALLY when you are crushed.
It's not only commanded but it unties God's hands.

8. Don't give up.

9. Don't give up.

10. Don't give up.

...there may be more and I reserve the right to add to this list...
but for now, these things are at the door of my heart,
and apparently pretty readily available to tumble off my tongue.

I am not an expert, by the way...still learning.


Saturday, January 14, 2012

Two Lost Days

Once upon a time there was a woman.

She was pregnant and she carried her baby heroically, while languishing...

and then she died.

She named the baby Mariam Namulinde.

Beloved.
Bitter.
Awaited.



The baby was tiny.
And weak.
The woman had died a tragic and contagious death
and everyone wondered if her baby was doomed.
Nearby, the baby's grandmother - the baby's only kin - was sick, too...
and then she died, too. 

Mariam Namulinde was alone
 in the world.



The 34 day-old whimpering, starving baby
was fading
and 
alone.
The baby cried for two days.
She was noisy and insistent as she demanded the world take note of her survival.

The people nearby,
 tired of trying to ignoring the mewling they had assumed would end by now...
 scooped her up,
incised the house fly which had buried itself under her scalp while she laid for 
two lost days
 hungry and angry on her back
soiled and drenched in a filthy tablecloth,
and conveyed her to the Authorities.


The Authorities found more Authorites.
And eventually those Authorities found some Americans.
And those Americans found us:  some random Parents.

And we found the baby, 
Mariam Namulinde
 and named her 
Amaris and Namulinde
and brought her home
and loved her
and fed her
and kissed her
and watched her heal
and promised her she need never be alone again
ever
ever
 ever.






But
the two lost days are lost forever.
Gone.
There is no replacing the two days.
And there is no replacing the mother who died.
Replacing is only putting something new in the place of something old.
It is just another placing.

I don't want to see the two lost days replaced.

I want to see them Redeemed.

REDEEMED is to 
free
release
repair
fulfill
retrieve
atone

The two lost days can never be replaced. 
What they CAN be is 
redeemed.
..."you have been redeemed at infinite cost" ~ 1 Corinthians 6:20


Monday, January 2, 2012

Best of 2011

2011 has been a landmark year.
A huge, huge, HUGE year.

My kids, you have each grown at least 2 inches.
You consume massive amounts of food collectively.
You've been healthy for another year,
learned the US States & Capitals, 
 Ugandan facts, 
and how to make room in your hearts.

Luke, you became a Soccer Star.

Graham, you became a Reader.

Ethan, you became a Big Brother.

Rissa, you became Ours.


Andrew, you have become Even Braver -
You are a man to be followed.


...And me 
I have learned how to Hope

How to dream bigger.
How to wait better.
How to just keep walking.

I have witnessed wonders.


Since January 1, 2010 
these little lives  has had over 
19,288 visitors.
Woah.

The most-read post was by far:

with 322 page-views

followed by #2: 

with 233 page-views.


NEITHER of these were about our family's personal adoption
of our daughter.

Huh.

Interesting.

Whaddya know.

People all over the world have read these thoughts
and watched these little lives, apparently.

I squeeze my eyes shut
and breathe a prayer of awe.

I feel overwhelmed.

And I can only reply:

"I want you to know...that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel" ~ Philippians 1:12