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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

.One Year Later.



One year ago today we flew into Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Hours later we walked into Jamesy's baby room and scooped him up forever. Being in Jamesy's birth country and witnessing things that I still cannot talk about without completely breaking down, things that still haunt my dreams, was the privilege of a lifetime. For God to choose to allow me to get away from my small, sheltered narcissistic life and get a tiny glimpse into things that break His heart every single day has changed me. The tiny taste of suffering I was allowed to witness, that I had before been ignorant, and even more regrettably, apathetic to, shook something deep inside of me. This journey was about more than an adoption, more than Jamesy, more than even orphan care or social justice, and most assuredly it was about more than me. After a year out, I can confidently say that a big part of this journey was God removing my blindness and the callouses upon my heart in order to reveal to me and allow me, to partake in the pain and suffering of others. It has taken me a year to be able to honestly say that it is a blessing to see things a little bit closer to how God sees them, to enter into human suffering and pain so beyond anything that I have ever dealt with. To feel and live and know with this new bruised heart is a gift. My heart lurches and my stomach tightens to realize and accept that except from the grace of God, I could have lived and died this small, shallow life with a cold, hard heart thinking that this was how God meant for me to live my life - a water-downed version of Christianity - an impostor of a disciple, but that was not His plan. I now choose pain rather than ignorance or numbness. It is a blessing to feel. It is a blessing to step inside the suffering and pain in this world, because I carry inside of me The Hope and The Answer to this world's suffering.



I honestly do not know how or what to write today. This past year I have been part of something so much greater than myself. I have witnessed redemption in a tangible way and come face to face with the reality of what my own redemption and adoption cost God and His beloved Son. Redemption is costly. It is so costly. God has written me into a story I never imagined or in and of my flesh even desired, being part of. I was graced with a front row seat as God grafted an orphan into our family and miraculously (but not easily - redemption is never easy) made him our son. Jamesy's story unfolded before me as he transitioned from living in an orphanage to living inside of and becoming part of a family. I saw firsthand the sorrow, brokenness, and sadness that follows a child who has been orphaned. Fear that was palpable has been heavy in our home and has still not released her clutch on our son. 15 months in an institution and 12 months with his family is just starting to heal the wounds that our son carries. I was not adequate to integrate Jamesy into our family. This has been the hardest year of parenting yet. There were many dark moments and at times days, because I could not heal my son. I could not fix his wounds. I could not take away the first fifteen months of his life which were stolen from him, where he was orphaned, alone, mistreated, and rejected. I could not replace the nine months that he laid solitary in a crib, too malnourished to even lift his head. There were days that I tried to do it, but I could not. And somewhere along the way, I finally realized  God never asked me to do it. He just asked me to be His vessel, to let Him heal Jamesy's heart through me, and He did and He is and He will. It was all God. I was simply invited to participate.






I have learned so much in this past year being Mommy to Jamesy. I have learned that God delights in magnificent transformations that only He is capable of. I have seen him transform sadness into joy and ashes into beauty. In one year, I have witnessed a redemption miracle right inside of my home. A miracle that is not complete, for there is far more work to be done. Work in my stubborn heart and healing in Jamesy's, and perhaps this year I am more prepared and ready for it.



God isn't finished writing this story. I am patiently awaiting the tilt of His pen, and the turn of the page as He inks a new chapter onto my life.


Happy one year Gotcha Day, Jameson Yonas Byron, I am so thankful to be chosen to be your Mama, and grateful that we both rest in the arms of the only true Refuge and the One who cares for His children

 jamesy gotcha anni1

This is/was our "adoption journey" song. Someday it will appear in our adoption video - whenever we actually get that done. {grin}


angie said...

love it - just beautiful! we are (almost) 4 months in from being DTE and i feel like God is changing me already in incredible ways. it is amazing what a daily utter dependence on HIM can do!!

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