Yesterday was my birthday. And since I didn’t have a blog on Mercy’s b-day, I thought I would post a letter I wrote to Mercy on her first birthday. It reminds me of God’s gospel and glory.
February 17, 2009
Mercy, I thank God for you. Every morning I look forward to seeing your smiling face, your smooth, beautiful dark skin, and hearing your noises. You light up a room and your waddling with speed is dangerous but adorable. I love your hair, your headbands, your bows, your clips, and your products (Thanks goes to mommy for all the education and hard work on your hair). I thank God for how He constantly reminds me of His love for me as I increase in my love for you. It is an intense love. That is why adoption still stuns me. I struggle to wrap my head around the degree to which you were an orphan. I stepped on the broken concrete dust-filled streets of Addis Ababa; I talked to the people; we drove past the area where you were abandoned; I pictured your birth mom laying you on the street and running away or maybe crouching down behind something to see if you would be taken; I smelled the exhaust-filled air; I walked past beggars; I visited the orphanage you were taken to – little sanitation, no soap that we could find, dirt floors, small rooms, and tons of kids. The only redeeming fact was the sweet people who ran it and the kids themselves. All these less than perfect moments. The poverty, the hunger, the pain – surrounding me, consuming the city and her people – stand in stark contrast to our comfortable, safe, American inner-city life. You were an orphan and now you are a child. Heir of nothing and now an heir of…everything we have. Contrasts are helpful for me as I contemplate my adoption. The setting was more unpromising in my heart. The only reason I wasn’t left as an orphan in the dirtiness of my heart was grace – not my goodness but God’s grace. God sent His Son to die for me and His Spirit now indwells me to remind me that God is my Father and I am His child. Mercy Bethlehem, in this one-year-old birthday season, I thank God for you and how you teach me about God.
Happy Birthday little girl, I pray you will understand the joys of knowing God as your Father one day.