18 July 2014


A few days ago Jack and I noticed something unusual in our driveway. A small bird was fluttering and hopping and definitely not flying. Only one wing was flapping, and it appeared to only have one leg. It skittered around us, in obvious distress, and made it's way through the open door of our garage.

Little Birdie was hiding behind some boxes, and Jack and I became distressed as well. Besides the obvious concern we felt about the bird, I also thought about how this saga might end: Baby bird gets lost or trapped in our garage, dies a slow painful death, our garage starts to stink, I have no idea where the smell is coming from, I search the garage from top to bottom, find a decomposing bird, and have to call Ken home from work to handle the situation.

Let me reiterate, I was concerned about the bird. Deeply concerned. But when it came right down to it, I was also concerned about ME. Because ME is the lens through which I see the world. <<Human nature right there.

I quickly moved a box to prevent the bird from going deeper into the recesses of our garage, and the noise of the box scraping the concrete floor was too much for Birdie. Scared, he started flopping, hopping, and squealing the most pitiful bird cries I've ever heard.

Immediately, a flock of birds descended, circling our driveway. It was like a scene from Alfred Hitchcock's horror flick, Birds.

In the interest of full disclosure and blogging integrity, let me confess that I've never seen The Birds. But if it's horrible and there are a bunch of screaming, flapping, angry birds, that's what this was like.

All the commotion scared the injured bird out of the garage...and also scared the bejeebers out of me and Jack-Jack.

Picture this: Jack, one of the most dramatic, The-Sky-Is-Falling! kind of kids I know, waving his arms and yelling, "OH NO! OH NO!" And then he would jump up, jump down, and repeat.

I wonder if any of our neighbors were watching.

Anyway, I called our local animal shelter to tell them we had a severely injured, near-death, baby bird in our yard, and they dispatched someone immediately. While we waited, I assured Jack that they would take the bird to the animal hospital and help birdie until he was healthy enough to return to his parents.

The Animal Shelter lady arrived, and after a thorough inspection that lasted twenty-five seconds or less, she announced that our almost-dead Baby Bird was in fact a fledgling who was perfectly healthy.

She said it appeared the bird fell (or was pushed) out of the nest prematurely, and hadn't yet learned to fly. Apparently birds are sometimes hatched with their legs crossed against their body, and one might descend before the other...giving the bird the appearance of having only one leg. She said the bird would be just fine, that the birds circling overhead would bring food until he ... for lack of a better phrase, "spread his wings and learned to fly." It would just take some time, probably a day or so.


I may have overreacted a little, but I am confident you would have, too, if you had witnessed that scene.

Thirty minutes later Jack was in the house and enjoying his daily half-a-peanut-butter-sandwich for lunch. He was quiet for a while, and then he said something I haven't been able to forget.

"Mom, I'm kind of disappointed the baby bird wasn't hurt."
He wasn't being cruel. He simply wanted the excitement and drama of the bird being put on a stretcher, loaded into the "ambulance," whisked away to the animal hospital, and being miraculously saved.

He wanted to be the Fixer. He wanted results. He didn't like the idea of simply waiting. Letting nature take its course. Allowing time for the bird to summon the courage to fly.

Isn't that a lot like us? We (and by "we" I mean "I") want instant results. It takes a lot of patience to rest in God's timing. To let friends, family members, and our children work out their problems on their own. To find moments of joy in the journey of life, rather than looking for results.



In other news:

1. We passed another milestone in our adoption! We received approval on our revised I600a form, which basically says the U.S. government will immediately recognize D, M, and L as our children upon completion of the adoption. We had to re-submit this form because initially we indicated we were only adopting up to two children, and no older than 10 years. We are thankful we received this approval so quickly because Ethiopia requires it in order to take the next step.

2. The next step is complicated, but in a nutshell, documents must be compiled saying D, M, and L are, in fact, true orphans who have no extended family members who are able to care for them. Investigations must be done to locate family members, a court appearance has to happen with the relatives who relinquished them, and court orders have to be approved on three levels (the equivalent of city, county, and state).

All of these things take time. If you've ever stood in line at the post office, you know that government proceedings are slow. Now imagine being in a third-world country where electricity is spotty, internet is unreliable, and phones--where available--only work some of the time.

We are thankful that Ethiopia takes the care of their children so seriously and wants to ensure the integrity of each adoption. But we're praying the process will go quickly. Ethiopian government takes a "holiday" every year for several weeks, usually the end of August or beginning of September, and everything shuts down and gets put on hold. The exact dates are different every year, and they are not announced until a few weeks before it happens. So we are hoping lots of progress is made before this shutdown.

3. We also received an official referral letter from our adoption agency. We had already been "matched," but until we got approval from the U.S. for our revised I600a, they couldn't give us a contract. The signed, notarized contract is now in the mail back to the agency, and we will make one of the final payments on the adoption early next week. Then the only really big money stuff that is left is the airline tickets. Ken and I will travel to Ethiopia twice. The first trip will be for court. The second trip will be to pick up the children...so we'll be flying home with three children...who will have one-way tickets to Chicago. (The gravity of that has not sunk in yet.)

I wish we could buy the tickets in advance so we could get the very best deals, but it doesn't work like that. When Ethiopia is ready for you to come, they let you know, and you usually only have a short time to make your travel plans. (translate=expensive tickets) This expense is a concern to us, but we've seen God graciously provide for all our needs so far, and we know He won't let us down now.

That's all for now. We'll let you know when we have any other new developments.

I hope you have a relaxing weekend. Blueberry picking is on our agenda; what's on yours?



  1. The waiting makes the fulfillment all the sweeter. Praying for you as you wait.

  2. frustrated, finding no answers through my clickclickclicks, i read (another) one of your blogs that speaks to me. "Isn't that a lot like us? We (and by "we" I mean "I") want instant results. It takes a lot of patience to rest in God's timing. To let friends, family members, and our children work out their problems on their own. To find moments of joy in the journey of life, rather than looking for results."

    thanks, luann!! i needed that image. sorry, little birdie!