Too Many Goodbyes

Hi All…here is a post that I wrote yesterday on my journey home from my trip for work this past week…it was hard but so worth it, I hope this blesses you :)

As I write this, I am sitting next to a 13-year-old boy from China, who 18 months ago was adopted into a family in the United States. Today, his family said goodbye to him in the airport and the two of us boarded a plane on our journey to Texas. For sake of his privacy, I will call him Sam. Sam was found abandoned by his biological parents in China when he was an infant. He didn’t have the chance to say goodbye to his “real” parents as he calls them but they said goodbye to him. Next, because he is partially blind, he ended up in an orphanage for children with special needs.  He spent time there, bonded with the other children and mothers who took care of him but before long it was time to say his second goodbye to his orphanage family as he went to live with a foster family in China. He stayed there for a while, 9 years in all, growing, bonding, becoming more of the child that God wanted Sam to be. At the age of 12, it was starting to look like Sam would never get adopted. In China, if you aren’t adopted by the age of 14, then your hopes for adoption go out the window.  Sam knew that he was approaching this age and was still without a family to say, “You are our son, forever.” But then something remarkable happened, a family from the state of Washington met Sam while they were on a medical mission trip to China.  The family was Chinese themselves and they had immigrated to the U.S. around 20 years ago. The dad was a physician and they decided that they felt called to adopt Sam as their son, especially because they thought they could help Sam medically due to the father’s medical background. 

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A New Job…A New Season

So some of you, but maybe not all, maybe have heard that I have started a new job.  I know, it was a surprise to me too.  While I was in Ethiopia I had a little bit of an identity crises, realizing that in the busyness of our first year of marriage, I had stopped doing some of the things that I really loved and had passion for.  Two of those things specifically were orphan care and being involved with different cultures.  I had been involved in the orphan care movement in our church before moving to Ethiopia, but since my move back to Austin, it seemed like something always got in the way of me going to the meetings.  In Ethiopia, as I sat one morning through tears, I realized that it was time for me to start re-exploring what it would look like for me to get back involved.  Because I didn’t really think I had time for a job or the energy to seek one out, I started brainstorming volunteer opportunities.  As soon as I got back to Austin I signed up for Refugee Services volunteer training class so that I could start working with refugees in the Austin area.

And then about a week later on a Tuesday night, I was driving away from Capernaum and I got a phone call from a random number.  This usually means one of our bride’s is calling but the person that was on the other end of the phone was someone entirely different.  Her name was Robin and she called to say that she had received my resume from Scott Brown (VP of Gladney Adoption Agency) and that Scott had told her she needed to hire me.  The funny thing was, I had given Scott my resume probably 2 years ago so it still had Moise listed as my name, and my parents Houston address listed.  Robin had no idea that I was living in Austin (where I needed to be living for this job) and that in the time span of giving Scott my resume, my name had changed.  The next 20 minutes of our conversation was a blur, I heard her say things about a new adoption agency, international adoptions, Haiti, Korea, special needs adoptions, working with families in crisis…the list went on and while I couldn’t quite put all of the pieces together, something deep inside my heart was stirred and Robin and I had an instant connection.  

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Thankful for Closure

This trip to Ethiopia has been so great for my heart.  As I have processed and mourned the loss of Ethiopia over the past year in Austin I have felt like part of me is missing, that I have not been quite whole since my return to the States.  I loved my job at the Cherokee House more than any job I have ever had and I felt this incredible sense of purpose in my life.  I am realizing now that I may have put Ethiopia on a pedestal that it was never meant to be on.  To me this country is the place that changed my life.  During my summer in 2007, I saw Jesus so clearly through the boys with special needs at Mother Teresa that I worked with (see a photo at the bottom from my visit to Mother Teresa’s a few days ago!) In 2009, my heart fell in love with adoption as I had the opportunity to introduce Ethiopian children to their adoptive families. 

And then in 2010, I packed up all of my belongings, sold my car, and took one of the largest leaps of faith I have ever taken, surrendering to God fully and leaving my family, friends, and comforts for life in Ethiopia. 

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