OK, so here's the scene. We're sitting on a couch with the orphanage staff watching 10 of the sweetest little souls sit in a semi-circle celebrating the festivities of "Baba-Marta" Day (March 1st celebration in Bulgaria). Melanie and I are waiting for the social worker to bring in our sweet Sophi, and we are excited because today will be our first glimpse into the daily life of our little girl (seeing her play room, sleeping room, etc.) Finally, she appears and greets us with that sweet look of "Hey, you're my mommy and daddy!" She hops on my lap for all of 5 seconds and then decides to make her move. Like a bolt of lightning she darts for the snack table...and attacks! By the time we realize what has happened she has managed to confiscate several into her mouth. Before I can gather all the necessary information and react, she reveals another handful that she had escaped with. Yep, straight into her mouth! (Blackmon Boys you would have been proud!) By this time, she had at least 10 of these things in her mouth and the rest had disintegrated into a snowdrift of crumbs all over me! I'm still trying to figure out what just happened, and now she is struggling to go back again! The snack food looked like giant (as in super jumbo) cheese curls that were white but without the cheese (think Veggie Tales). Needless to say, the staff walked her up and down the hall as we watched the rest of the program and preserved some of the treats for the other little boys and girls.
I can envision it right now. The Blackmon Boys sitting right there with us, and then there goes Sophi! Hank says, "Oh, boy!" Web hangs on to her arm trying to be the good big brother and restrain her all the while being dragged as he calls for parental reinforcements! Palmer watches in frozen amazement as he restrains his urge to cheer her on! (Inside he's thinking, "Go girl...more, more, more!") And following along with some pretty impressive speed himself is Barrett with a look of "Why wouldn't we dive into the snack bowl placed at kid height just right there for us to grab!" Boys, you should have seen it! Boys, you probably will see it soon enough!
I am smack-dab in the middle of a chapter in John Eldredge's new book about Jesus that talks about His playfulness and, particularly, His sense of humor. You think the scene that began our day didn't have His fingerprints all over it? Sure it did. And here's where the enemy sneaks in and tries to steal the moment, blind our perspective, and kill our hearts. He whispers things like, "You can't do it", "She'll always be this way", or "What were you guys thinking adopting"! But the truth is, it really was kind of funny!!! The girl had 200 Cheetos in her mouth, and the other kids were looking at her like she was some sort of national hero!
Can we really know how to parent this precious little girl? No way, but He can! And we're holding on to His hand real tight! Will she always be this way? Maybe, but He's called us to a faith so much greater than that! He can! We'll follow! We'll see! ALL FOR HIS GLORY! As to what we were thinking...we weren't! This is all faith! We are way out of our comfort zone which means we are right where He wants us to be! Lord, we believe, help our unbelief!
Now, if you had asked me how funny it was when Sophi was stuffing her face, I might have looked a little pale. But I'm certain of this: He knows exactly what He is doing. And we will need our sense of humor for the journey! (Wait until you hear the pure joy in this girl's giggle!) And while this whole eating thing is a big deal for children coming out of orphanages, my Father is reminding me to relax, loosen up, and not make everything so heavy. He reminds me to give my burden to Him and never lose sight of the truth that nothing is too hard for Him. Right now I'm sure He's laughing!
Now to the whole "Baba" thing. Our morning visit quickly turned out to be a blessing (after the whole Cheeto incident, of course). We enjoyed time with our little girl, got to meet her "Baba" (caretaker), see the crib she sleeps in, and learn some of the songs they sing to her to soothe her! When we were leaving, her "Baba" gave her to her mommy to say good-bye for the morning. Sophi clung to Melanie's neck, turned and looked at her "baba", and waved bye-bye to her! It was a priceless gift from the Father that knows how to give good gifts.
Leaving Sophi tomorrow will be hard...
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in Heaven give good gifts to those who ask Him? Matthew 7:9-11
XOXO, Will & Melanie