Pin It
Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Adoption and The Gift of Hope

By
Barmaliejus - Fotolia.com

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13: 13)

My children tell me the story of when they were in the orphanage in Ethiopia and how they had lost hope that a family would adopt them. We adopted three children who were siblings. Most of the adoptions they had seen were of one child at a time. So they had lost hope. I have been told stories of children who were near death and ended up living once they found out they had a family coming to adopt them. They had hope. I have heard of children dying due to lost hope. “Why should I fight? I have nothing to live for!” is what they would say when asked to continue to defy their illness.

I have been thinking a lot about the concept of hope when it comes to our children. This scripture talks about putting childhood behind us to think like a man and mature to a place of knowingness: “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.” (1 Corinthians 13:11) Hope means confident expectation. There have been times in my life I have been so sure of something that I truly carried a confident expectation into a situation. But true hope has been rare in my life. Hope is something I believe comes easier to children. When you have most of your life ahead of you, you have a lot to expect.

My kids tell me that once they found out they had a family they were filled with hope and excitement for the future. We sent them gift bags with photos of our home and of their brothers and sisters. Our daughter Grace was excited to have a baby sister and a teenage sister. She confidently expected to be happily living her life in unity with them. My son Jared had always hoped for a big brother…he got one.

We left the orphanage after a going away party in Addis. We were all dressed in traditional Ethiopian whites. As the door slammed behind us from the compound that held the orphanage, we walked down the broken road toward the taxi, which took us to the airport. Grace turned to me and said, “America go now?” She was excited and had hope for the future. When she got on the airplane she couldn’t sleep for the 22 hour plane ride. She now says she was too excited to sleep. She wanted to see America so stayed up constantly looking out the window hoping to see it.

And hope does not disappoint us, because God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given to us. (Romans 5:4-5)

When we were about to land, Grace was beside herself with joy. She looked at me and gave me a big hug and said, “Mommy I very very happy!” Her heart had held onto hope.

We teach our children all about faith, hope and love—the greatest being love but the most overlooked is hope. But hope is what brought love to our kids. Now as they get older we teach them one special fact. Hope is not something that can always just appear to another person without it being carried into the life of another. As children of God, we bring hope to others. For us that meant bringing hope to three children who had lost everything. I hope that what we have taught our children is that hope is a powerful thing and they can be life changers by encouraging others who have nothing, expect nothing and could possibly die with nothing. So we use our hands and feet to bring confident expectation to other people who could die without hope. Grace now says she wants to go back to Ethiopia one day to help the orphans and tell them they can be someone important one day. Her life has changed since hope was brought to her, she tells me. She now brings the gift of hope to others.

© 2011, Deanna Jones. All rights reserved.

More Great Stuff You'll Love:


How I Made My Forgotten Native Language My Child’s Strongest

I started off by speaking dodgy Cantonese. No word for remote control? No problem! ‘Pressy thingy.’

10 Things Not to Say to Parents of Multilingual Children

Have you been guilty of any of these?

Are French Kids Better Behaved Because They are Spanked?

Should spanking be part of your parenting toolkit to have well behaved kids?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Deanna Jones is the author of the number one Amazon adoption book To Be a Mother and is the founder of Mother of the World (mothertheworld.org).

Leave us a comment!

1 Comment
  1. CommentsAnne   |  Tuesday, 17 May 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Beautiful. Thank you.









Notify me of follow-up comments via e-mail.
Or leave your email address and click here to receive email notifications of new comments without leaving a comment yourself.

Get weekly updates right in your inbox so you don't miss out!



Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get

Travelling with children, while definitely more of a mission, contradicts the old saying that “life is about the journey, not the destination.”

A Diverse Book for Preschoolers in Celebration of Multicultural Children's Book Day

A book that honestly and simply celebrates the every day diversity that children experience.

Why My African Feminist Mother Gave Me the Identity of My Father's Tribe

She gave me an identity so different from her own.

2 Children’s Books about Jamaica

Explore Jamaica with your child.

Costa Rica with Kids: Two Weeks of Family Travel

Two weeks of Pura Vida in a country with so much to offer families.

Should I Worry about My Child's Accent in Her Foreign Language?

See why Dr. Gupta takes offense to this question and where children learn accents from

How to raise trilingual kids when exposure to Dad's language is limited

My kids only get 1-2 hours of the minority language per day-help!

What Cultural Norms Around Bare Feet Taught This Mother in Guatemala

Her baby's bare feet ended up being a lesson on poverty and privilege.
Hi Kim! I am so glad that this article was useful for you and made you feel validated as a parent. It's not often in this judgmental world of parenting we get that, right?! That's the main reason...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
I love reading your work. I can olny imagine what it would be like to have such beautiful customs and true community. I understand why it is so very very important to keep these traditions alive. Be...
From No Kids Allowed: How Kenyan Weddings are Changing
Your mother in-law seems somewhat reasonable. Many Chinese Mother In-laws are not. In their scenario, they would be number 1 to the child and you would be number two. Many want to have a bond closer...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
I think Konstantina is actually responding to what is probably more familiar/praised/or preferred socially as well. I was an English teacher in Poland with a distinct accent. I struggled to get Engl...
From Should I Worry about My Child’s Accent in Her Foreign Language?
Noor Kids' title "First Time Fasting" is another great rea...
From 6 Favorite Children’s Books about Ramadan
This article was shared in a community I run to connect globetrotting parents and everyone LOVED it. You should join us! We all relate to your experience. Many of us, including me, are in the same b...
From Why I Travel 13 Hours Alone with My Kids Every Chance I Get
Please help: I Love my wife and my son. I am also EXTREMELY involved as a dad. I had to move to china ( in a tiny tiny town) where I am the only foreigner so that my wife can take over the family bu...
From How My Chinese Mother-in-Law Replaced my Husband
Thanks for writing this!! My baby is 7 months, and I love having her sleep in my room. I don't mention it too often to people who have had kids because they seem a little judgy on it. So tonight I...
From The West’s Strange Relationship to Babies and Sleep
Honestly, it looks like the author married into a very backward and old fashioned family. Not stimulating children's curiosity, differences between boys and girls, and women slaving in the house, wh...
From French versus Italian Parenting in One Multicultural Family

More The Religious Life of Children