She sits in the dirt outside the cinder block house at the edge of the village—the house reserved for foster children.
She kicks her feet over the rough red dirt and waves her chubby hand at the mosquitos shrieking around her ears.
Despite the heat and the bugs, despite living without a mother or father for most of the year and a half she’s been alive, she is a happy, thoughtful little girl.
She hums the notes of a song to herself as she watches the other children play. They play tag, bobbing up and down behind one of the grown ups in the yard, and she smiles.
The grown ups who run this place are good to her. They help her stay clean, give her food when they can, medicine when it’s available. They give her water, and sit with her through the fevers, when malaria comes and she struggles to breathe.
And most of all, they wait with her.
They wait with all the children. Wait with them for a forever home. Wait with them for their “chosen” day.
Lots of people are born with families. Lots of people are born chosen. But for this little girl, and for all those in the cinder block house most everyone forgets, a chosen day is something you can only hope for. A day made of dreams.
A chosen day is a day when a mom and dad, sometimes from very far away places, in strange villages with funny names, say, “I pick you. You are no longer forgotten. You are no longer abandoned. You are not invisible. You are not rejected. You are chosen. We will fight for you. We will wait for you. You are ours.”
The little girl knows some children in her village wait their whole lives and never get chosen. Never know what it’s like to be wanted.
But she is wanted. Desperately, passionately wanted.
A family on the other side of the world carries her picture with them every day. They live in a safe village where there is no war, and lots of clean water to drink. In their house, they have a room with a real bed and lots of stuffed animals, just for her. In that room is a closet as big as a palm tree, with shoes and dresses no one else has ever worn, just for her.
This family keeps a chair open at the table every night, just for her. And her brother, who is bigger than her, but not too much, prays every night before he sleeps that God will protect his little sister and bring her home.
Her new mom and dad are very special and very brave. The bravest. They have worked and worked and worked to make a way for her to come live with them, they’ve worked for so many days and so many nights, it feels like forever.
And they won’t give up. Even when it costs so much they have to give up other things to pay for it. Even when they feel so discouraged and so tired they wonder how they can go on.
They keep on working, and sending piles of important papers to offices of important people, and paying more money, and answering more questions, and fighting to keep up their courage, because they love God and God loves her, and He helps them when they’re sad.
She knows this, because the foster parents in the cinder block house tell her so. And the letters from her far-away family tell her so. They tell her she isn’t forgotten. That she just has to wait a little longer. Just a little longer. They tell her she is chosen. They tell her they are coming.
In a world where there are so many forgotten children, so many desperate needs, it shouldn’t be so hard to do something good for them. To give them a safe place and a home of love forever. But adoption is one of the most emotionally, financially, logistically, and spiritually grueling processes anyone can undertake. Adoption requires extraordinary perserverence, bravery, and courage.
My brave friend Katie Ganshert and her family are almost through this process. I’ve seen Katie keep going, month after discouraging month, through hurdle after hurdle, setback after setback, and line after line of red tape. And I have been amazed by her heart, her courage, and her faith.
After so many delays, Katie desperately needed a dose of good news. So I was beyond ecstatic when she learned the donations in their adoption fund were enough to allow her to fly to Africa to see their little girl again.
Their adoption process still has months to go before the last pieces of paperwork are finalized, but Katie’s heart is aching for her little girl, and Baby S needs to see her new mommy again, to be reminded that she is not forgotten.
When Katie booked her flight for November, all of us who’ve followed her journey rejoiced. This was compounded when we learned that Baby S had been battling a rough case of Malaria, which can be fatal without proper medical care. What a gift for Katie to be able to hold her little girl in her arms once again, to see and be certain she is okay, after feeling so helpless and far away during the illness.
And then came the gut blow:
The balance in their adoption fund was wrong. Inflated by a clerical error completely outside their control.
They did NOT have the money for the ticket.
The problem is, the ticket is already purchased. And Katie and those at the children’s home have promised this sweet little girl her visit from her mommy was coming. She’s been counting down the days.
So. What to do? Cancel the ticket? Sell their car or sacrifice something else important to cover the financial gap?
Katie is a warrior, and she has fought so long and so hard in the adoption battle. But this news, as you can imagine, has been deeply discouraging for her and their family.
It makes me sick at heart to see her excitement for this long-awaited trip snatched from her. It makes me doubly heartsick to think of a little girl, waiting in the red dirt, for a mommy who now might not get to come.
I want to do something, you guys. I want to FLASH MOB THEIR DONATION ACCOUNT!!!
Katie needs $2500 to cover the shortage. If I had that money, I would give it to her right this second. But I can give some. And I can post this note, and post her donation widget, and ask you to join me.
Would you help this priceless mom make that flight, so she can hold her little girl again? Would you help this priceless little girl’s countdown become reality?
If 100 of us gave $20, she’d be almost there. This weight might be too big for Katie, and too big for any one of us, yes. But together we can make a difference. We could literally take the grief and weight off her shoulders by the time the weekend rolls around. That’s the power of community.
The donate button below connects directly to the Ganshert Family’s adoption account. It doesn’t go to me, or anywhere else, and all donations received through this button will go directly to this need (unless we do something utterly amazing and donate extra, and then those donations will go toward their many, many adoption expenses ).
Would you please hit this button, and contribute what you can? Could you do $20? All donations are tax deductible.
And would you be willing to share this post with anyone who might join us? You can do that by hitting the share buttons below, or by using the lovely little banners, designed just for this purpose by friend and adoptive mom Amanda Dykes.
We can be the strength to Katie in her time of need. We can be the help and hope to a little girl waiting for her chosen day. Let’s do this.
Right click and save image or save target to download any of these to your desktop. Then feel free to use them on Facebook, your blog, or anywhere else, along with the link to this post: http://kellistandish.com/2013/09/chosen-day/
Thank you so much.