There's a curious phenomenon I'm noticing...something like a magnetic force between the hearts of people who share a common cause. Like iron shavings that come to life and are irresistibly drawn to a magnet, I'm discovering a band of people with a bewitching charm I can't resist. I find myself wondering if I'm suddenly sensitized in a new way to people who care about adoption in my world who were surrounding me all along. Probably....but there has also been a steady troupe of people showing up in my life that only God could have sent.
Early on, soon after we made ourselves officially "paper pregnant" and chose Bethany as the place to make it happen, I was unconsciously yearning for a specific new friend. I don't know anyone closely who has walked the path we're on. I've read a lot of encouraging blogs chronicling Ethiopian adoption processes of great people from hither and yon. And I rub shoulders with a bunch of amazing people who've adopted from near and far. What I my heart was yearning for was someone with all the common denominators....Ethiopia, physical near-ness, and Bethany Christian Services. My heart was yearning, and little did I know, God was already moving iron shaving hearts towards me.
It was a two-pronged approach.
The first prong began in a 4th grade classroom with a little girl who wrote a note and a teacher with a tender heart. Chloe was so excited to share our adoption news with her beloved teacher and chose to do it on paper. She made her announcement and then wrote...."We don't really know how we are going to do it (we need God's help). So we are also doing it to make Jesus famous because we can't do it without him." Well, that teacher "just happens" to have two roommates, sisters, who's family brought a brother and sister home from Ethiopia last year! In fact, the two sisters and their friend were on the verge of a missions trip back to the orphanage and birth mom in Ethiopia who loved on their siblings before they were adopted. (You can get a cool snapshot of the place our little one is likely to come from on their blog here... http://ethiopiajames127.blogspot.com/2011/06/top-ten-ethiopia-version.html) Chloe's teacher immediately sent me an email linking me to their blog and emails....pushing those iron shavings closer and closer together.
The second prong came through one of my former high school small group girls. She had gone off to Chicago for college as her parents moved to Thailand as missionaries. During summer and holiday breaks she spent time at friends' families homes, one of which she wanted me to meet . I got a facebook message from her, the same week as the email from Chloe's teacher, connecting me with the same family as Chloe's teacher! And, she happened to mention, they had adopted through Bethany.
As icing on the cake, I realized that there was a actually a third prong in this connection. Reading through this family's blog, brought me to a picture of the dad....and brought me to tears when I realized how many avenues God had been working to bring my heart just what it needed.
He was "that guy." I had glossed over Chloe's teacher's comment that the dad worked at a camp the 4th grade had visited on a field trip that year. In fact, I had chaperoned 3 forth grade field trips to this camp and come home each time with stories for Scott about "that guy" at the camp that just had something special about him. The way he taught the kids about nature, loved the world and life and connected with the kids made him look suspiciously like a follower of Jesus to me and the kind of guy who you think you could easily become good friends with. When I scrolled down far enough in the blog to stumble across a picture of him, all the pieces of God's good work for my benefit fell into place and I fell apart into tears of amazement.
We've been chatting on facebook....our unlikely band of brothers....Chloe's teacher, my former senior high student, "that guy" and his great wife and their two daughters. We've become friends, kindred spirits...and we're working on a time this month to get together in person and share life - can't hardly wait!!
One of the daughters who spent part of June in Ethiopia, Kate, has also offered herself toward our fundraising. She makes some pretty cool art....cards and canvases....and donates her proceeds towards the care of orphans. She has generously offered her newest two lines to help us bring our little person/people home! Check out her work...click on any to see more...