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Thursday, December 20, 2007

How we got here pt. 2

We've gotten a lot of questions as to why we want to adopt when we can have biological children. I think it's a very valid question, so I'm going to try to answer it in a round about way.

Neither of us were born with an innate desire to adopt. I didn't even want to have kids ever when I was in high school, or even when Mark and I were dating did I think we would have kids. My how time changes people.

Shortly after Mark and I got engaged I went on a mission trip to Honduras. We worked with Diaconia to provide water to a village that had none. We dug ditches every morning from about five until noon or so. In the afternoons we did various programs for the children, women and men in the village. At night we would do a teen outreach. It was really something. I enjoyed the digging most of all because I could just get to work and dig without having to make a committee decision on how to go about it. I hated that part. Plus, the digging wasn't relational, so I wasn't stretched to practice Spanish or get to know anyone better. It was just easier.

On our third day of digging we were in some family's "backyard". The house was just a shack, and most of it didn't have a roof. There were no other houses around, so they were very glad to have people to talk to. The woman, who was probably no older than I was (19) asked me if I would come into her house and talk with her for a bit. I wasn't sure what to do, after all, the mission was to provide water, and I was accomplishing that. My wise leader, Geoff, knowing that I needed more relational stuff, told me to go ahead and that they would send someone up to get me if we moved on. Nervously I followed her up to her house. I wasn't worried about conversing because I could speak her language. I was worried about what we would talk about because our lives were so vastly different.

As I entered the house I saw chickens running around inside and two little girls; probably ages 1 and 2, were chasing them. There were pigs in the 'bedroom', and a plastic lawn chair was the only piece of furniture in the entire house. I stood there awkwardly, and she asked me to sit on the chair. The little girls were staring intently at me. As soon as I sat down they ran up and sat on my lap. The woman proceeded to pour me a glass of mild and gave me some sort of pastry. It was obviously that she was giving me the best she had, and I was completely humbled. We talked of her girls and the chickens as I sat there and ate the pastry and drank the milk. She asked me if I liked her daughters, and I said yes, I thought they were beautiful and very fun.

After about 20 minutes of small talk the woman cut to the chase. She had seen me working, and thought that I would make a good mother for her children. She explained that she could never give them a chance at anything more than what they had surrounding them. Would I consider taking one home with me and adopting her? The older one would be able to help out around the house sooner, but I could take either one I wanted. She asked me to pick the one I liked the best.

I think my jaw dropped. I know my eyes welled up with tears. I didn't know what to say. When I could look at her again her eyes were teary as well. "Yo quiero que ellas tengan una vida mejor que yo puedo darles." I want them to have a better life then I can give. I cried as I explained that this was not possible, but if it was, I would bring the whole family to live with me. I told her that her girls were beautiful, and with a mother that loves them as much as she does, even if they don't have all of the opportunities that they would in the US, they will have a solid identity and home life, and that is irreplaceable. I told her that I would pray for her and her girls always. At that time, one of the other ladies from our team came to get me. I said a prayer with the woman, gave her and the girls a hug, and left.

The rest of the trip was great, but what happened in that house was the most important moment for me. When I got home, I called Mark and told him the story. I had been praying about it since it happened, and I felt that God was opening my heart up for adopting after we were married. Mark said that it didn't matter to him if we had biological children or adopted children, he would love them the same. From then on, we both knew that we would be adopting one day.

So, here we are. I went to Guatemala while Mark was in Iraq and the door kept closing on that option, but that's the subject for another blog. We are now in the midst of a domestic adoption, and are so excited about it. I'll explain this all tomorrow....

Writing my story down has emotionally drained me for the moment, so I'm going to go and get a cup of chai tea.

Have a great day all!

Love,
Jenni

1 comments:

Kara said...

Wow.

Four years ago, I thought that my brother chose his bride well. Since then, my "3rd Sis-In-Law" has continually impressed me with her wisdom, charity, and sweetness.

Know that you are loved - even from far away.