Every tree limb overhead seems to sit and wait, while every step you take becomes a twist of fate.
Up on the watershed, standing at the fork in the road...

If you are new to our adoption blog please take a moment to scroll down to the archives at the bottom of this page and start with July 2009 post "Watershed."


The Promise

"When does God begin a special plan in a life? Is it when he makes a promise or when he finally brings the promise to pass?" (from the Strength of Mercy)

I read this book last night in 2 hours. Today thoughts of promise and calling have been following me everywhere.

When I was 16 I volunteered in a migrant camp in Mexico full of children under 12. Anyone over 12 spent 18 hours each day in the fields working.

I was the girl they couldn't get back on the bus at the end of our week at the camp. I was the one with my hand through the fence holding the little brown hands on the other side. I was the one offering to give up my hairdryer if I could just stay with them. I was the one who didn't leave and go home and just resume life as normal.

I went home with these things:

A blue plastic bracelet. (A gift from Elena, an 11 year old in her last year of childhood.)

A promise God gave me that my calling would allow me to love and help children.

I thought I was bringing this promise to pass through a well-planned career. First working in social work with children and then in international development and child protection. I thought big. I thought global. I thought it was a good thing that finally, after so many years, I could travel and not want to give my life for every child in need. I could flip past the Fe.ed the Chil.dren ads on tv without batting an eye or shedding a tear. I hoped a stronger heart could help more children. I thought that was what I was called to do.

A part of me still pondered that individual connection.

Then I read a blog. A father describing how his little adopted daughter clutches food in her hands everywhere she goes. She sleeps with cookies in each hand, she rides in the car with crackers in her hands, her rare smiles are for food. She was hoping to find food wrapped under the Christmas tree. She is that scared that she will be alone and hungry again. She's 2 years old.

It completely broke me. I felt like I was reaching back through that fence in Mexico. God's promise came at a time when I was most susceptible to molding. It shaped who I am. But I forgot over the years how personal it was. This adoption process has brought me back to where I started. The desire to help children on a large scale is still there. But to be a mother, day in and day out in a child's life, to make sure that he or she is never hungry or scared again, never has to live life in an orphanage... That is redemption. That is fulfillment of a personal promise.

The words from Sara Groves (sorry for the Sara obsession - fyi I'm sure it doesn't end here) about redemption of life and work are so touching to me. Finally returning to my desire for a child through adoption has redeemed this life and work I have been so focused on. It brings meaning to my work for children and families. It connects both my heart and mind when I talk about ensuring that every child grows up in family.

I hope it is hard to find my child. I hope there are not enough children that need me. I hope he or she only comes to me as a very last resort. But when all of his/her other options have been exhausted we'll be here waiting for little 3.



  1. Me and Owen are so excited to see you guys embracing adoption and we are here if you need anything at all. I know you guys are going to make wonderful parents and we can't wait to meet the child God blesses you with:)

  2. Amanda, these are some of the most amazing thoughts, words and heart-felt emotions I have ever had the privilege to read! (and, mind you, I have read Strength of Mercy 3 times!!)

    I am blessed to have gotten to know you in Ethiopia.
    and I am blessed to be peeking in on your journey (I don't care if Jeremy doesn't like that term.....it IS a journey!)

    I will continue to pray for you and can't wait to hear more!


  3. crying because you're afraid you will go w/out food again makes the crying I do seem so insignificant and pretty. Thanks for a glimpse of reality today.


About Me

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J and I have been married for almost 15 years. We have shared many adventures and a lot of watershed moments. In 2009 I began blogging and in 2010 we adopted our daughter from Ethiopia. In March of 2012 we began the process to adopt a little boy from Haiti. This blog follows the many twists and turns on the road to our two children and beyond.