Everybody has a passion for something right? As a teen, I caused a lot of gray hairs for my family, got in a lot of trouble for minor things, was very independent and had my mom scared that I would turn into a drug addict. Fortunately, mom was wrong and I've turned out fairly decent. And I'm not about to write an autobiography, although I'd love to someday, but I do want to mention a passion or two that I have.
In high school, I went on my first missions trip. It was amazing. Now I had just turned 16 and so my reasoning for going was different than why I'd go today but I still went. And it was amazing to see a 3rd world country right before my eyes. I was so impressed and had such a heart for the people there that I went back - in fact I think I went 7 times. I have tons and tons of memories from those trips but several stick out in my mind. One little boy became my buddy. Jesus (think spanish: hay-zues) was from a large family and his little sister was very quiet and shy and that same year attached herself to my brother. Each year that I went back, I revisited that original church plant location and found my little buddy. He was 13 the last time I saw him and working at the corner store. Many times, I went prior to the rest of the Team to help entertain children while several men worked construction for several days prior to the start of the psuedo vacation bible school that we provided.
In those years, I developed a love of sharing with others in need. That doesn't necessarily mean people in 3rd world countries as we have lots of folks in need within a few miles of where most of us lay our head at night. My heart aches for those in need, those who don't know where their next meal will come from, those who seemingly have no hope. My first year out of college and living in Iowa, I felt this need to do another trip. And at that time, I didn't want to wait for the annual Easter week trip to Mexicali plus I was no longer living in CA. So, I looked around, prayed a lot and eventually found the perfect opportunity. I spent almost 2 weeks (if I remember right) in Nicaragua learning how to teach people to compost and garden. It went very well with my degree in Ag Education and plant science, my career in conservation and my heart for helping others. And since the day I returned from Nicaragua, I've been ready to go again.
Now, I also have a heart for adoption. And I'm not sure where it comes from but I can think of one specific story that might have played a role in the way I think today. One year in Mexicali my little buddy was a sweet little girl. You could tell that her mother worked diligently every morning to bathe and nurture her child before she sent her out for the day. I assume she also wore her best clothes which were quite possibly her only pair of pants. It was warm, in the 80's, and this precious little girl wore bright pink snow bibs every day that week. Anyway as we were preparing for an evening event, this little girl's mom came up to me (I was maybe 21 that year) and asked me to take her daughter home with me and give her a better life. She was sincere and serious as it gets and it broke my heart that a mother would give up her daughter to give her a better life. And that thought brings me to adoption. What a beautiful opportunity to love someone, to give them a future and something to hope for. Its a perfect, real example of how God loves us. I've had a passion for loving others who need some extra love for a long time and I can think of nothing better than to adopt children.
The most amazing thing is that I can put those two passions into one. I could spend time in an orphanage in Africa, Thailand, Korea, Mongolia or wherever else loving those little kids and then ultimately bring one of them into my own family. I think about this all the time. And this week as I've been listening to some podcasts from Cornerstone Church, it has lit a fire under me. Just yesterday I heard a message from a guy who just returned from Zambia. And what amazing things he learned there. I so want to go. So why haven't I? International adoptions cost anywhere from $30k to $50k these days. I don't have that kind of money. Rather than stepping out in faith and taking on that kind of debt load when we have an unknown debt load on the clinic (been waiting 2 years for those numbers), I've opted to let insurance pay for the birth of two children. Grr, I really want to adopt. Why do I write all this? I really don't know. just wanted to share....