One Little Boy

We sat together, a group of friends, sisters, really.  We had been meeting for some time now, trying to honor our commitment to grow in our faith.  We were studying bible stories, sharing our hopes, failures, dreams and concerns when the message came.

Shon clicked on her lap top to check her e-mail, something she had done hundreds of times over the past several months.  She was looking for the answer to her heart’s deep, deep prayer.  We all stood in awe as she opened the attachment from an Orphanage in the Congo.  And there he was.  Her son.   From the very first image, his beautiful eyes sent the unmistakable message that he was longing for her as much as she for him.

Waiting to be united, Shon was sometimes disappointed, frustrated and discouraged yet she was pregnant with hope, excitement, and peace.    Encouraged by photos, notes and updates from parents who had gone before her in the adoption process, she plowed through the paper work, prayed and persevered.    There were two trips to Africa.  The first, a brief visit to finally meet her son and the second, a few weeks later,  when her husband traveled to bring him home.  Shon patiently endured the long final days of waiting.  Moise officially became part of Shon’s family on April 22, 2011.   Those of us who know this family realize that he was always theirs.

Moise is an incredibly engaging, happy, little boy who lives with his mother, father and brother in Georgia.  We thank God for this one captivating child.  Other beautiful children are currently living in the Kaziba Orphanage in DRC where they receive love and shelter from disease, hunger, violence and despair even though there is never enough food, medicine or supplies.  Perhaps you feel compelled to help.

Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then just feed one.”  Click on the link below and give. (mention Moise in the comments)  A tax-deductible letter will be e-mailed to you right away.

Be blessed.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Mind the Gap

You ask about children in adult places like fancy restaurants.  I answer with a story and a poll of my own.

There once was a woman who spent most of her time at home with a precocious five-year old daughter and a rambunctious baby boy.  She lived in a strange city far from her mother and her southern roots.  She learned how to manage her time and her children as she waited for her husband to come home from work.  Sometimes the waiting was almost unbearable for he traveled several weeks a month in his new job and she had no outside help or knowledge of a single good babysitter.

She fought the weariness of diapers, mac and cheese, sesame street, laundry and the sound of her own voice.  And then there was the snow.  Lots of it.  She didn’t get out much because of the enormous effort it took to bundle everybody up and she worried about the slick pavement.  She learned how to shovel the walk and clear a path for the mailman whom refused to deliver the mail if she didn’t.

One evening her husband was due home after a four-day trip and she had every  intention of preparing his favorite meal.  The day got away from her and there was nothing on the stove or in the oven when arrived.  He cheerfully announced that he was taking the family out for dinner.  Not the typical fast food family restaurant, but a “fancy” restaurant.  Overjoyed at the prospect of a much-needed break, she jumped into action, readying herself and the children.

They arrived at the restaurant, not exactly 4 star but fancy enough, and took the table in the corner that the hostess selected for them.  The woman put her toddler in the high chair and then sat down with her husband and daughter.  Smiling, she ordered her favorite dish and anxiously waited.  As she waited the baby began to fuss.  The mother reached in her diaper bag and brought out a pacifier.  It calmed him for a bit.  Then he fussed some more.  Out came the crackers and juice.  The baby got a little louder.  The husband and the daughter jumped in, trying all their tricks to calm the unhappy child who relished the attention.

Finally the meal came and everyone was happy and calm.  The mother was about to take her first bite when a woman from another table stormed over and yelled  at the little family for spoiling her dinner.  “I didn’t come out to dinner to listen to your baby cry,” she fumed and her voice shook with rage.

Shocked and embarrassed, the husband asked for the check and told his wife to take the children and get in the car.  She grabbed up the baby, took her daughter’s   hand and walked out crying.  He paid the bill and left the restaurant, never acknowledging the nods of sympathy from many of the diners and the untouched food on four plates.

Please take a moment and answer my poll (click on results to view)

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How long is “NOT LONG”

MLK (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968)

Tell your children and your children’s children about a man, a movement and the legacy they enjoy as a result.  Help them imagine a time when black people and white people operated under a different set of rules and were not allowed to live, work, or play together.  If they are confused, angry or saddened, tell them anyway.  Tell them about the time you remember before the Reverend, Dr Martin Luther King jr.

Truth crushed to earth will rise again“, he said. And some tried to crush the message by striking fear into the hearts of the messengers, taking away their jobs, making it more difficult for them to vote, threatening, beating and imprisoning them, burning crosses in their yards and murdering them.  But the truth kept popping out all over the country; on buses, and in drug stores, on bridges and at water fountains, at voter registration centers, in schools,  and on the determined faces of proud, peaceful protesters.

You reap what you sow“, he said. And some scattered seeds of hope among us.  Hope for a better country,  “a promised land where all men would be judged, not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character”.  The method they would use would be one of non-violence.  They would commit to forgiveness over revenge and would be tested in this over and over.

No lie can live forever“, he said.  And the lie that there is one type of people  inherently superior to another and deserving of preference in all things is a lie that has been circulating and believed for centuries in every tribe and nation.  Can that lie ever be extinguished?

The Arc of the moral Universe is long but it is bent toward justice“, he said.  And Martin Luther King, Jr. pointed us beyond the United States, beyond our world and out into the universe for an explanation of ultimate truth that inherently we all believe; that right will triumph over wrong and that love is stronger than hate.

Who we are as Americans is shaped by the hearts of our people.  Martin Luther King Jr. and his band of brothers and sisters represent the very best of who we are and who we have the possibility of becoming. They took a mirror of reality and had the courage to hold it up in front of our faces and caused an entire nation to take a long look at its’ reflection; an image so loathsome, that collectively and individually, a decision had to be made.  Do we try to fix the ugly blemishes, repair some of the damage,  allow for major reconstructive surgery, or smash the mirror?

Somehow black Americans were able to hold on, like a woman in childbirth, believing in the promise to come.  Was he offering hope to the many exhausted and bloody from labor or a declaration of premonition about his short time with us?

How long? Not long,

How long?………Not long,

How long?………………..Not long,

he said.