The Privilege of Adoption


My daughter is in the front row with Ethiopian orphans.

We leave in a week for a two-week medical trip to Ethiopia. I certainly have mixed feelings about this trip. In fact, every trip has been hard for me this year. I think a decade plus of mega international traveling has caught up with me. Even as I write this, I realize how bratty my attitude is.

The thing is that once I get there and begin interacting, I will forget my temporary discomfort. And it is true the rewards do far outweigh the minuscule effort put into the trip.

Today my husband and I spoke with my daughter on the phone. She is in Cyprus now and getting ready to participate in an outreach to Israel. Hearing her voice reminded me of her trip last year to Ethiopia.

We adopted our daughter from Guatemala twenty years ago. She never thought of herself as an orphan, but before we brought her into our home, she was. During her trip last year to Ethiopia, she spent some quality time in an orphanage. One little Ethiopian orphan girl clung onto her and would not let go. It was so hard to separate from her that my daughter was in tears as she left.

Then it suddenly dawned on her that once she was an orphan just like the clinging little girl, and that she could have lived her whole life in an orphanage, except the fact that God opened a door for her to be adopted and raised in our family. This revelation impacted her greatly and caused gratitude to grow in her heart for God’s perfect plan for her life.

She came home full of thanksgiving, also asking our forgiveness for previous attitudes of ungratefulness and entitlement. That experience was life changing for her and for us.

Of course, each of us that has entered into the family of God through faith in Jesus knows what it is to become adopted by the heavenly Father and given things we did not earn or deserve. We know that it is a privilege to be adopted.

Every intersection I have had with extreme poverty has deepened my gratitude, strengthened my faith, and caused me to want to give me to others. I am so happy for these experiences and am expecting nothing less in my next Ethiopian adventure next week.

 Who knows? Maybe I will come home with one of those cute kids myself.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. Tara says:

    It’s amazing to me the things God teaches our children when they leave home and encounter life lessons without us….and subsequent revelations that bring a grateful heart home with them when they return.

  2. Tara says:

    By the way, a cropped version of the above photo is the one I selected to accompany your “Love You Forever” article about Julia in our next issue of Vibrant! Magazine….it will be out in April.

  3. Bonnie says:


    Great to hear from you. I am eager to see the Vibrant! magazine, as always.

    Yes, our children often shock us with their attitudes, both good and bad… just like we do to our own heavenly Father.

    Miss you,

  4. Tara says:

    Miss you, too!

    I’ll send copies of the mag as soon as possible 🙂

    Have a good trip!

  5. Serah says:

    have i mentioned how jealous i am that you get to go to my beloved ethiopia? be blessed! we’ll be thinking of you and all that are involved in that trip.

    oh, and while you’re there…bring me home one of those kids too…

  6. Diana Terry says:

    Once again I find myself wondering back to your blog while at work. My heart is just not here. I really have to work at it any more. Dennis is now director of MBK, My Brother’s Keeper at EHC as well as Biblical School of Theology. I will be graduating this May and I really didn’t think I could do it with my mother’s lengthly illness and her passing, my dad remarrying so very soon, plus dealing with the fatigue from the auto immune, plus my 40 hr week secular job, butt GOD!!!!! I am excited needless to say. What a glorious opportunity God gave me, I am so very grateful! It was tuff, but I made it with His help! Well, better get back to work.

    Be back soon! (smile)!!!!!!

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