As we drove home in the car the other day, my 4 year old daughter suddenly (we were not talking about the subject) said, "Mommy, when I grow up I'm going to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia!"
Soon after she also announced that she wanted to be a puppy dog when she grew up to which my 6 year old informed her she could not be, and World War III broke out in the back of my SUV making me wish for the partition that limo drivers have to seal off the driver compartment from the noise of the rest of the vehicle. But then I may have missed those 13 words:
"When I grow up I'm going to adopt a little girl from Ethiopia."
And those words are yet another precious illustration of what the process of adopting a child into our family has done for our family.
I think I could talk all day for months and months about loving others - people who are not your family or even your friends but people created and loved by God just the same - to my kids and not get through to their hearts at all. But this adoption process has changed all of us in ways I never would have expected.
We are thinking more about other people, loving them, even. I believe it is one thing to feel compassion for people in need, people from other parts of the world, and it is a whole other thing to think of those people as your family.
We bought those Africa shirts in the picture above through Children's Hopechest and they are in turn providing shirts and a pair of shoes to 5 orphans in Ethiopia. When I imagine those children getting their new things, they are not just children, orphans in a far away place. No, now that orphan is potentially my child, my daughter, getting shoes for the first time in her life to protect her little feet. And it all becomes very personal.
My 6 year old son keeps giving me little bits of his money from his bank or his allowance, "This is to help pay for the adoption, Mom," he tells me.
How many times have I prayed for God to create in my children selfless, generous, loving hearts?
I never imagined he'd do it like this, but God's ways are always better than ours, aren't they?
"As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways." Isaiah 55: 9
Find more Thankful Thursday, Thursday Thirteen & A Thousand Words Thursday.