Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What's On My Mind Lately

The first day, we arrived in time for the midday meal. Sanitized our hands and left our shoes at the front door, cautiously slipped in and were handed a bowl of split-pea-colored mush that wafted a thick smell of dusty cupboards. We fixed babies in the crooks of arms, met their eyes, smiled long as they eagerly accepted each spoonful of sustenance.

So many babies. So few workers. Once one baby was finished, we fed another. All the while, the radio played on a shelf nearby... Focus on the Family with Dr. Dobson... interviewing a woman... someone knowledgeable in the area of foster parenting. I looked over at LeRoy to see if he heard the program, too. He did. Our mutual expression -- unified thoughts -- as we wondered at the moment.

In Africa every moment is all encompassing.

Later music played on the radio and the women who care for the babies... oh! Can they sing! And dance! And pretty soon the babies rocked back and forth, bobbed their heads, clapped, and everyone laughed.

Other visits simply entailed lots of cuddling and playing...

...Our children were naturals at the loving and cuddling. (Ezekiel is holding one of the twins we still pray for by name... after inquiring about adoption of the twins and being told no, we adopted them "anyway" in our hearts...)

Other visits were more exasperating... arriving with babies in tears, "mamas" (caregivers) with only so many hands, messy bottoms, cloth diapers, babies bathed in dirty brown water flowing from the faucet, and our eyes watering from the stench of a full bucket of dirty laundry. Our family of a dozen hands formed an assembly line of sorts. Diaper duty, a sponge bath, finding an outfit and dressing, and finally the cuddling of those sweet, sweet babies.

We loved and cuddled those babies as if they were ours. We spoke amongst ourselves and then gazed into their eyes, "You are loved. You are priceless. God has a plan -- a destiny -- for your life. Maybe you'll be a doctor or nurse or president or a scientist. Maybe an artist, musician, or athlete." We brushed our lips across their foreheads and the tips of their noses. We prayed over them.

Even now, we look at these photos as a family and my children laugh with memories, "Oh, she was a fireball!" Or, "Remember how little he was?" And, "Didn't he have the sweetest laugh?" They remember them -- and pray for them -- by name.

"Let the little children come to me... for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Matthew 19:14


  1. Precious and heart wrenching all at the same time! I love the words of life you spoke into them! :0)

  2. One of the MANY things I love about you and your family. I cannot even imagine how hard it must have been to leave them. It is tempting to think "all we can to is pray for them" but the power of prayer is so much greater than we will ever know on this side of the Jordan. I know that you praying for them by name will be used by God as a seal of protection over them. Such beautiful little faces...