Joy and sorrow. Elation and grief. Every adoption is borne in tragedy and loss. A mother dies. A father dies. Children are left without the most basic need: someone to care for them. Someone to love them.
But God. ... He places the lonely in families. He cares for the orphans. He makes beauty from ashes. He turns mourning into dancing.
Today 168 pages of documentation have been sent to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. Fifty-six pages for each child we are adopting...proof that they are indeed orphans. Testimony from witnesses who know their family and can verify their parents are dead and they are in need of care. Birth certificates. Death certificates. Official translations.
Ken and I knew much of the children's history, but there's something about seeing their parent's death certificate in black and white.
A mother died. I wonder what her final thoughts were. I try not to think about it too much. The thought of it is almost too much for my heart to bear.
But joy... The documentation also includes baby pictures of our three Ethiopian children, pictures I had never seen before. They are black and white, and photocopied on the world's worst photocopy machine. But I see their eyes. I see their little ears and mouths and all the things a mother loves.
Tears of joy, tears of sadness.
The next part of the process usually takes 12 weeks, and then we're getting really close to the Big Day. Twelve weeks from today would be just before Christmas.
I can't think of a better gift.