My weeks at home with my precious baby girl and my handsome boys are flying by. I am loving every single minute of it. Sometimes it is a little chaotic, but we have a nice routine and I am reluctant for it to come to an end. We are bonding with Abigail and she seems to be settling in well. Her face lights up when she hears her Daddy's voice and she adores her big brothers. She is such an easy baby and friendly to everyone she meets. It is like she has always been a part of us.
When we share our adoption story with others most of them exclaim how lucky Abigail is and how she is certainly a chosen one. A few people have even stated she has hit the "jackpot". Truthfully, I am very uncomfortable with these proclamations. I do believe with all my heart and soul that Abigail is blessed and she has certainly been chosen. But, saying she hit the "jackpot" when we adopted her is highly debatable! In all seriousness, most have it backwards. Abigail is our own angel filling our home with sheer joy. She brings us blessings.
Her birthplace is filled with poverty and hunger and parent less children. It has been called the cradle of civilization, and it is a land we feel privileged to have seen and experienced. On a personal level it has been an eye-opening, life altering experience. It has prompted self examination, and I am not happy with the results.
Everyone is quick to tell us how our trip to Africa must make us feel thankful for everything we have. Not really. I have always known that I am blessed beyond measure. Africa confirmed this fact for me, but it did not spark it. Actually, Africa made me ashamed of myself. You see I had very definite ideas about what I NEED and those ideas went to hell in the proverbial hand basket when I walked into those government orphanages.
Understand that Shawn and I faithfully pay our tithe from every paycheck. We regularly support missions and help with various benevolence projects. By the world's standards, and dare I even say the church's standards, we have been good stewards. However, I have searched myself and I am lacking. The conviction is as strong and true as anything God has ever spoken in my life. Suddenly I read the parable of the talents and I have a different perspective.
As I walked the streets of Ethiopia so much of my life came into perfect clarity. It is not about being thankful. It is about living thankful. I have been a really good receptacle of all my blessings, but I have not necessarily been a really good distributor. I could have done so much more with what I have been given. I could have touched more lives and made a bigger difference. Even as the remorse washed over me I could hear a still, small voice whisper, "It is not too late..."
I sense the turning of a page.