Feb 27, 2012

a "wow" kinda day

And then...

A year ago today God did a miracle.  He made a family.  We're a little, tiny family.  But we're part of a beautiful bigger family, and then a spectacular even bigger family of believers.  He linked a girl from Kentucky, who traipsed around the Americas, Europe, Africa and Asia and made her way back to a small town in Kentucky AND a sweet, tiny baby from a little town in Africa who was loved but had no home.  He matched us up perfectly.  He does pretty amazing things!

I was desperate to meet this sweet girl, but she wasn't at the orphanage when I went to pick her up.  There were confusion and tears, and an impromptu van ride several hours into the Ethiopian countryside.  I went in a small, dark orphanage and was handed Lucy Joy.  We spent our first 4 hours together in a hot van.  I was happy and a little incredulous.  This tiny wonder was my daughter!  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful start for us!

Feb 25, 2012

and then...

I got on a plane a year ago today to meet my sweet Lucy.  Right before I left, just last year, I was thinking these things:

Lucy, I’m trying to be so grown up here, being your MOTHER and all, but I’m just gaga. I can’t focus, I can’t sleep, I ramble and get off track and cry and laugh hysterically. I’m SO crazily happy to be coming to see you so soon. One week from today I leave. A week from now I’ll be on the plane with Mumsy somewhere over the Atlantic, getting closer inch by inch and mile by mile to…


If I wasn’t leaving soon, I think I’d hop in a boat and paddle through the waves, and then chop my way through the dense central African jungle, and then trudge through Ethiopia’s desert and then climb up the beautiful mountains around Addis Ababa, then crawl through the busy city until I found …

And then….

I’ll see you. I’ll know you from the second I lay eyes on you because I’ve stared and stared at your sweet face. I’d know those beautiful lips and precious eyes and fabulous hair from a mile away! I’ll see you, and walk on over, and one of your nice nannies will hand you to me. I’ll just touch your skin, and then scoop you up. Oh my, how I’ll squeeze you. I’ll kiss your precious little cheek and stroke your pretty curly hair. I hope it won’t embarrass you, but I’m fairly certain I’ll cry. I’ll just be so happy and happy and then a little more happy that we’re together at last. I might not put you down for days. (I hope you don’t get too tired of me!)

I can hardly bear to wait! I want to hold you Lucy, and love on you! I love you so. So much, already.

Feb 22, 2012

last year...

... around this time, I was staring at this sweet face:

and thinking these thoughts:

 Lucy, Lucy, Lucy. I’m waiting for you! I’ve been reading up. Trying to get ready. I think I’m already ready for you to talk. So you can say, “Hi mama, I’m ready to go with you now.” And I’ll say,” What a great idea, Lucy. Let’s hit it.” If you can’t tell, I’m a little delirious over the prospect of meeting you. Oh Lucy, I can’t wait!
I need you here with me, little one. I am SO thankful that you are where my adventures with God have led me. I followed Him all around this world, and he’s blessed me with you. I’ve wanted a daughter (especially one from Africa) for a looooonnng time. I thought it would just be a dream of mine, but you’re real, and you’re getting closer and closer to being here with me, my buddy, quite literally my dream come true!

Lucy, you’re teaching me so much about God. I love you (so much, already, you know). I’m shocked that I can possibly love you this much before I’ve actually held you. But I do, Lucy. I have been reading about how God loves us in Ephesians. It says he settled on us as the focus of his love long looong ago. He chose us, chose to adopt us through Christ. And he took great pleasure in planning it. Those words made my brain doing a little schwing schwang: Lucy, as much as I love you and as much joy as thinking about you and planning your adoption has given me, God loves us more and enjoys adopting us more. My brain was already stretched to understand how I love you (so much, already) and to go beyond that is, well, just plain un- imanigable. Unimaginably good. How wise and clever of God to use you to help me know how very much He loves me (loves all of us). He’s good, Lucy, so good.

Feb 18, 2012

Joy Zaidi's homecoming

A great man in India named Joy passed away yesterday.

I met him on a summer mission trip almost 10 years ago.  He and his wife (Grace, "a love match" in a society of arranged marriages, he proclaimed) run a non-profit to spread Christ's love to some of the most vulnerable in India's complex society.  They care for trafficked children in a home, they take in children abused to the point of being disabled and find expert care for them, and they minister to the poor women in the sex industry there and those with HIV.  These are some needy people, people.  And Joy loved them.

I spent one of the most eye-opening, game-changing days of my life with Joy.  We wound through the maze-like red-light district in his town, through alley after alley too narrow for a car.  We had coca-cola in the stall of one of the women indentured there.  I fought tears and talked to several young children wandering in and out.  Then we went back to his home for lunch.  There were about 8 of us at the table, and Grace dished out food from a big pot at the end of the table for at least a dozen more.  Who are all these poople? I asked.  They live here.  Or come here to eat. Joy replied.  His home was open to whoever needed a place or a meal.

In his last letter to me, just days before his death, Joy rejoiced about a young man from a Hindu background who just asked Christ into his heart.  He praises God and asks for prayer that he will remain firm.

I'm quite sad that he died.  But I'm so inspired about how he lived.  I pray that I can live and finish as beautifully as he did.

I have been thinking about joyful homecomings for adoptive families, how thrilled they are to have their children home with them.  I get all teary thinking about the joyful homecoming Joy is having in heaven.  Surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, praising God and what God did through Joy!  Welcomed into God's very arms, and being told, "WELL DONE, my child."

Because of the people he devoted his life to, and the responsibilites he took on, Joy could have been counted as one of the least, here.  HERE.  But NOW, in his forever home, Joy is GREAT, indeed.

Please pray for Grace and the many children under his care.  I'm not sure what will happen with them.  His website is  http://soupindia.com.

Feb 16, 2012

welcome home buddies!

Welcome home to Hosanna and Asher!  We missed the airport party, but Lucy and I really wanted to welcome these sweet ones home!  I had the priviledge of meeting both of them in Ethiopia, and they're precious!  Lucy and Hosanna were bunk-mates for a time--she can't WAIT to catch up with her buddy!

Praise God for answering prayers and bringing these babies home!

Lucy is still really into her "I'm adopted" song (by Slugs and Bugs).  Another verse of it says,

"Once I was a stranger to my God and King,
but He saw me there, from His throne above,
and He sought me and He bought me, and now I sing
of a brand new life, and his endless love. 
Love had a plan for me.  And a great big family! I'm adopted, I'm adopted!
Love came and found me, wrapped arms around me, I'm adopted!" 

I'm reminded SO often that the passion that I felt to bring Lucy home and the passion this family felt to go after thier children is a lovely (but dim) picture of the passion that God feels for us, to love us and make us his family. 

Feb 8, 2012


Last night at my parents house, we held hands around the table and my mom prayed.  A split second before mom could get to it, Lucy surprised us by debuting a new word, "Amen!"  She seemed so pleased with herself.  We thought it was pretty dang cute.  And BIG progress, since she just started allowing us to hold her hand (at first it was a horrible imposition on those busy hands!).

And this morning I was feeling under the weather, and she patted my back several times, and then carried my house shoes, one at a time, to my closet and put them away.  What a sweet baby!

And, in case in my elation over this sweet girl I lead you to believe that things are always perfect, I'll share a few tidbits from the last week or so.  First, Lucy accidently poked me inside the nose so hard that I had my first ever nose bleed.  Then I looked over the other morning to see her genltly swirling my hairbrush in the toilet water.  Fun times!  Finally, tonight she was sitting in my lap facing me and sneezed, sending little bits of soggy graham cracker all over my shirt... and she then picked out a few of the most delectable already-chewed bits and ate them.  And I let her. 

This picture sums up what I'm talking about pretty well... kind of smeary, bits of food everywhere, strawberry juice stained, but her smile (like her shirt says) is JOY for this mama.

Feb 4, 2012

new things

More new things... Lucy seems to do something funny and new every day.  She is such a joy!

This may be too much detail for everyone else, but I want to put it here because I am enjoying every bit and I wish I could freeze time and trap every sweet detail.

Lucy is BIG into little songs, especially Itsy Bitsy Spider and Patty Cake.  She also LOVES a song on an awesome CD (by slugs and bugs) called I'm Adopted.  It's a Christian kids CD and it has this song that talks about how we're ALL adopted.  It says... I'm adopted, I'm adopted, love came and found me, wrapped arms around me...  It's really very sweet, and reminds me again how our stories of adoption are beautiful but the most beautiful story is how God adopted us as sons and daughters.  Anyway, she just started chiming in from the backseat whenever this song came on.  I think it's precious! 

She plays little games (you can see it on the video) where she crosses her arms and then looks to make sure everyone does it too.  She also touches her head, and then we all have to copy that, too.

And I think my favorite thing in this video is that she looks at the camera several times, and once near the end, it cracks her up.  She's SO funny.  

PS. Sorry for the smeary screen... lots of messy fingers on my camera!