My momma always said, “Thou shalt not bore.”
With those words in the back of my mind, I do not want to bore the readers of this blog with a long detailed analysis of yesterday’s events with Birti. There were plenty. . .
– I could write about the ‘good-bye Birtukan’ party her orphanage gave her. . . but I don’t want to make you cry.
– I could write about the spinach and cheese tartlets I ate (who knew there were such a thing as ‘tartlets’?) . . . but I would love for you to come visit Ethiopia some day.
– I could write about how she snuck out the back door of the room where we are staying and took off (lightning fast) down the drive that leads to the guesthouse lobby before Katie and I knew she was gone. . . but I don’t want to talk anyone out of adoption.
– I could write about how difficult it is to communicate ‘no’ to a child who knows ZERO English, while at the same time assuring her that you love and care for her – though she has only been in your custody for 24 hours. . . but I don’t want you to know how ignorant and helpless we feel.
– I could write about how unbelievably precious it is when she takes off (lightning fast) towards me when she sees me from a distance and, in her own sweet Amharic voice, begs me to put her on my shoulders. . . but I don’t want you to think that adoption is always good, fun, sweet, and warm.
So let me close out this week in Ethiopia with this thought:
Pictured above is Birti back at her orphanage yesterday, where they always give a party to the newly adopted orphan. One of the many things that struck me was how different Birti looked from the rest of the orphans and how different she looked from herself just 24 hours earlier . . .
She had new, never been worn before, bright clothes on.
She had taken a full body shower in a tub, with just her; rather than in a bucket with a dozen other children.
She had brushed her teeth twice with a new toothbrush – once the night before and once that morning.
She had been able to stretch out in a twin size bed in new pajamas, rather than be balled up in a wooden box.
She had been able to sleep as long as she wanted, without any distractions from a room full of other children.
She had eaten as much as she wanted at meal times and any snack of her choice in between.
She knew she had parents who loved her and were going to take care of her – in the present and the future.
She just beamed. She looked different. She was a different child in a sense. She had been adopted into a family, was under the ‘ownership’ of new parents, had been under their care, and now was back where she had come from. She was different from the others.
That’s what happens when you are owned and loved and cared for by Another, isn’t it? When a fatherless soul is adopted by the heavenly Father – they are changed. They get new clothes (Matthew 22:11). They are washed (1 Corinthians 6:11). Their souls are at rest (Matthew 11:28). Their souls are satisfied with rich food (Psalm 63:5). They are loved and cherished (Zephaniah 3:17). They are made new. When they go back to where they came from, they are different. They don’t look the same anymore. They’ve been affected by their loving new Owner.
Every single one of Birti’s friends knew she was changed.
What about you? Have you been affected by the heavenly Father to a degree that it’s obvious to all who know you that you are new?
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself. . . ” (2 Corinthians 5:17-18a)