Many of you already read the brief essay I wrote about our first adoption, on the CWA newsletter or our church website www.southlandchristian.org, but for those who didn't here it is again:
The “Birth” of a New Family
Sunday, July 22, 2007
Recently, I bought a plaque that has the famous quote, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take, but by the number of moments that take your breath away.” That’s the kind of moment you experience the first time you lay eyes on your adopted child. The drive to the orphanage in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was short from where we were staying, but it felt like Christmas Eve as a child. We chatted anxiously with our wonderful Christian driver as we approached the gates of the compound encompassing our children’s home—at least for the last three months. I will have to admit I was a bit nervous. Will they like me? Will they hug me? Will it be awkward? Will they wonder why God sent them a white mother?
My anxieties were all wrong. As soon as we entered the gate I saw him—Derara Desta Simon Bond. He was wearing a smile and the traditional Ethiopian dress. I was in awe. This child dressed for me, for us. He knew today he would go home and he dressed special for that day. He ran to me and hugged me and he smelled like a little boy—like dirt and sweat and spices. It was love at first sight—or really love before first sight.
I felt for an instant unworthy—unworthy of the gift of this child. I also felt, and feel, honored by this call to love God’s children, to let Him love them through me, through us. I looked down through the tears in my eyes and he was slowly running toward me with his head down, Beniam Teraku Bond. He was dressed in a ghastly neon green and orange sweat-suit and the lump again formed in my throat at his amazing beauty. He jumped up into my arms for a hug and fit around me like a glove.
In that instant I was overcome by the vastness of God. He knew before I even WAS that one day these very children would be my own. My son Noah and my husband Ryan crowded around for our first family picture and our first family hug. Behind the camera was my ex-husband, my son’s father, also Ethiopian. He was not there for the birth of our son, but God wanted to restore that which was lost to me and He divinely arranged for David to be there for the “birth” of my other children. He not only gifted me with these boys; He also was in the process of my restoration.
One of my favorite funny authors Ann Lamott says “Laughter is just carbonated holiness.” Jesus gifted me with these little giggly boys and simultaneously was making me more and more His image-bearer.
The road for us has been smooth; we have only been home a few months but we are enjoying knowing and loving each other. The task before us is huge. These boys are 4 and 8 and have lost everything. But just as Jesus sees to value my restoration, He will see to valuing theirs. Each day as I actively love them I know it is He who gives me the strength.
Lisa BondSubmitted May 3, 2007