It’s been a few weeks since I returned from Latvia and things are quieter than I would like. Word from those I love back there are few and the days seem long. Life here crowds in to fill the spaces and the hours.
Living without a part of your heart is possible but not always pleasant.
But to think of the alternative, to think of a life without having met Sunshine and Sprite and all the rest…that is a colorless world, indeed.
And so we move through this distance and we sit in front of computers and we rearrange our entire day when we hear the ping of Skype.
I know I will see her again. I just don’t know how. Finances and distance conspire together to keep us at bay. But I will not sit passive. I look for new and creative ways to get to these dear ones again. Check out my photos for sale here. All the proceeds go toward hosting and adoption costs. You can also donate directly using the link on the right side of this page.
And then there is the weight of the new ones I met. To see them and to hear their voices and know…they have no me. They have no family in America ready to jump any boundary just to hold them in their arms again. They have no woman to Skype and hear words of guidance and see smiles. They have no shorthand of love with people who choose them. They don’t know the blessing of love unconditional.
It is a weight that I need to stop carrying alone.
So for the next few days I want to tell you the stories of some of these children. I want to share their faces and the ways they touched me. And if you feel like perhaps you should be involved in their lives, go here to view the kids and get started on hosting. Share their photos, their stories with others who might be able to host them. Support them with scholarships.
Today, I want to talk about a couple teen girls I met that reminded me of Sunshine in different ways.
This girl was a tough one when she walked in. All bravado and confidence with her bright pink hair and stylish clothes, she answered all of our questions easily, most of the time in English. Until the last one: Do you have any questions for us? Suddenly, her eyes were in her lap and she hugged herself closer. “I cannot say this thing,” she whispered. We said she could ask anything. And she looked at me with tears slipping down her face. “My siblings were adopted to America. I never got to say goodbye. Maybe I can see them?” We told her that it might not be possible, but to be in the same country that they were was clearly important to her. And I cried too, for the broken heart of this girl, hidden under her persona, waiting to be comforted. She might be a tough girl, but she needs to know that it’s safe to speak her heart as well.
This girl is the opposite of the first. Quiet and extremely shy, she gave very short answers to all our questions. That is, until we mentioned America and asked if she had gone before. She lit up and quickly went to her room to bring us a book. Six years ago, a family from another program brought her to America and she loved it. But that was at a different time before social media and Skype, and her biological family ties were complicated; they lost touch. But that book, worn from the looking, sits as a reminder of what could be. In these last six years, her biological family has abandoned her and failed her in deep ways. She has siblings, but she feels very alone. She desperately needs that connection to something that is irreplaceable.
And this last girl is one closest to my heart. I held her and touched her and have loved her for over a year now. She is one of Sunshine’s good friends, and my weight for her is impossibly heavy. I know her much more deeply than most children who are listed, and that means I know both her needs and her flaws. She is a sassy one, convinced that she doesn’t need anyone, but so clearly hungry for connection. Her story is sad and as a result, she doesn’t really have an understanding of what “family” is. She needs a two-parent household (with or without kids) who is ready to pour missional love into this girl. She might complain the whole time; she might tell you that everything you do is ridiculous; she might have an answer for everything. But she doesn’t know what it means to be loved through that. She doesn’t know what it means to be a part of a family. She doesn’t know what it means to live within a group of people committed to including her no matter what her response. If you are willing to truly invest without expectation of return, if you know that what you speak is life-giving regardless of response, if you know that Truth does not return void, then this is the girl for you. Please contact me personally about her if you are interested.
If any of these girls might have a place in your home, please go here and sign up to view the listing. You can also contact me directly for more information. Or if you would simply like to sponsor this mission work, please give using the link on the right.
I’m not good at these transitions yet; I don’t know if the leaving ever gets easier. It’s been difficult to not hole up in my little space and hold these things close. But I know that weight shared often makes the carrying a little easier. Thanks for helping to carry this weight with me.