As you know, about 5 weeks ago we received a referral for a, if-I-do-say-so-myself ;), gorgeous tiny, little 6-month-old girl in Ethiopia. How we longed for that phone call! What an unbelievably precious moment in time.
But what I didn't expect was the sadness, or maybe heaviness is a better word, when we heard what little we know of her background. And while this is a lifelong process, it definitely took the better part of a week to get my head out of the fog as I worked through the emotions of it--confusion, guilt, sadness, anger, doubt.
And what is her story? Ahh...this is a question that I would love to answer--an answer that I think would show the real-life personal not-so-pretty implications of extreme poverty.
But it is also an answer that I have come to realize is something to be guarded. It is our daughter's story to share someday. I would never want her story to be exploited or used in a hurtful way.
Adoption happens because there has been a loss--a deep, never-in-a-lifetime-would-I-chose-this loss. It could be the loss of a parent, the loss of an ability to care for a child due to extreme illness (malaria, TB, HIV/AIDS, etc) or the loss of an ability to provide for a child because of hopeless poverty (no job, no food, no hope).
But adoption is also about redemption. Out of the loss comes a new hope, a new story, a new life. I firmly believe that God has seen the lives of our little girl and her family. He knows it all. And while I don't understand it--I do know that He has chosen this little girl to be a part of our family. I know that our lives are changing for the better because of her.
We're still working on the right words to the questions, "Does she have a family?" and "What is her story?" In short, the answer is that "We don't know very much. But we do know that because of the effects of extreme poverty her family is unable to provide for her basic needs. And they love her very much..."
And so do we...