In the beginning of every school year our church presents Bibles to Grade 1s and their parents. So today I sat in a pew and watched proud parents and smiling kids walk up to accept their very own Bible. The parents had been able to go into the church before Sunday and write personalized notes to encourage their kids in their personal walk. Those parents would pray for their children, and answer (to the best of their ability) all their questions about faith and life. And those parents would love those kids, as only parents can.
I thought I was done grieving my kids I left in Africa, but as grief often does today it came rushing back when I least expected it. No one would give any of my beautiful children Bibles when they got to Grade 1. No one was there to dedicate them after birth. No one was there to tuck them into bed every night and read to them from their very own Bible. Needless to say I was lost in my emotions and thoughts.
It's not fair. There is nothing fair about life, I know that. But every child deserves love and the opportunity to grow up in a family. Through reunification or adoption. My heart wants to tuck every child into bed and tell them how much I love them, and more importantly how much Jesus loves them. I'm going to he totally honest with you guys. As much as my heart aches to go back to Uganda I'm so scared. I can still remember how my heart hurt after I go home. Crying myself to sleep because I was so far away from the children I loved so much. Wondering whether in all my pain I even made a difference in their lives. Wondering what I can do to make a difference from home.
I am a selfish human and when I think only of myself I would never want to go back. I want to put the blinders back on and forget everything I saw. But here's the thing. Scripture says once our eyes are opened we are responsible. And when I think of all the kids living without love, when I put them first, I would go back in a heartbeat. It is always easier to not know. It will always be easier to live a life where you don't know that 30 000 kids die a day of starvation or preferable diseases. Or where you don't think about the 147 million orphans. But that's not the life I want for myself. Because when I think about my beautiful kids there is still grief but then I remember dancing with Trevor or Peaces' first smile. Or when Susan walked on her own for the first time. Or how Gift glowed when we threw her a birthday party. I pray in my brokenness God allowed those moments to mean something. That my kids will always know that they are loved, most importantly by our Heavenly Father.
So I chose to stand with eyes wide open. Sometimes it's harder to know and see but the rewards are far greater. In this life and the next.