A mother with two adopted siblings teaches her young daughter, Zion, about the joy of adoption and the importance of praying for the children who wait
I still remember the drive to Des Moines, IA to pick up my new baby brother, a 13-month-old from Korea who I had never met, but longed to hold for the first time. Or when I looked at the picture of a little girl — my sister — and wondered how much longer we would have to wait for her! I remember knowing right away that these children belonged with us, and that I was blessed to call them my family.
Because of the wonderful experiences with my brother and sister, the idea to raise my children to know and understand the great joy and blessing of adoption was only natural. I have felt very passionate about adoption and have even longed to make a child part of our family through this wonderful journey as well.
In March 2011, my husband and I decided to pursue two beautiful babies we had seen onHolt’s waiting child photolisting. As a family, we prayed constantly for them! We put their picture on our refrigerator and their beautiful faces even graced the screens of our computers. We petitioned God on their behalf that they would find their forever families, be it us or not. So when we got the news that we were not the family chosen for them, heartbreak would stand to reason. However, that was not what we felt. We felt joy that God had answered our prayers and that their heartbreak would soon end through the love of a family they could call their own! We still felt like God had given us that experience for a reason, and we knew that the love we felt for them was not in vain or without merit. We then considered another child on the photolisting, and started praying for him. Shortly after, we saw that he too had been adopted.
I thought, “Lord, why are you giving me this love for these children, but they are never meant to be my family?” Whenever I am going through something hard, all I want is my family to pray for me. I felt like God was saying, “Who will be the family that prays and pleads for these children?” This is what adoption is all about is it not — to love someone despite relation and to long for something better for them? I remember thinking, “We will be that family for these children, Lord!”
We began showing our daughter Zion, who at the time was only 3 years old, the pictures of the children on the photolisting, and telling her about the needs of a child waiting for a family. My husband and I would explain to her that an orphan has no mommy or daddy to hold them and kiss them. We told her how thankful she should be that God had given her a family who loves her so much! We told her that God wants us to pray for those who don’t have that yet.
I remember when I showed her a picture of a child with a cleft palette. She started to cry because she was afraid his nose was going to fall off. I quickly ran into the bathroom, grabbed a mirror and showed it to her. I asked her if she thought she was beautiful, and she said “yes!” Then I lifted her little lip up to her nose and asked her, “When you look like this, do you still want to love other people and know that they love you too?” She said yes. Then she quickly found a little girl on the list who had no arms. She placed her arms behind her back and looked into the mirror. Then she yelled with excitement “ Momma, I am still Zion, and I am still beautiful inside and out!”
It gave me such joy to see this little girl realize such an important lesson at such a young age. It is just like Grandma Holt said, “Every child is beautiful when they are loved!” Now she really knows that. From that day on, her passion for the children waiting for their families has grown. She started to ask to see the lists at night when we tuck her in and say our prayers. We began to give the kids nicknames so we knew who she wanted to pray for that night. When she asks for, “the little boy who likes to take baths, and says ya ya a lot,” we now know she is asking to pray for “Owie.”
Her dad and I love to hear her say, “Ok, and what can this baby not do?” She never says, “What’s wrong with this baby?” We know that nothing is “wrong” with them! All children have been fearfully and wonderfully made exactly the way God wanted them to be made! We now know many children’s likes, dislikes and special needs, and we go to God every night and ask Him that someone would see how beautiful they really are and make them their family. But until then we will be their “praying family.” Our dream is that one day we will be able to be that family that the banner across a little boy or girls picture refers to, but until that day comes, we know that this is what God has called us to do! Oh, and our daughter’s last request to God is always, “Please give them a family who tucks them in at night too!” Because even she knows that missing out on those little things is what makes their waiting so hard.
Lindsay Evers Carroll Babcock