Adopted available for pre-order!
One month from now Adopted: The Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World will be released into the wild where readers roam. Why am I so excited about this one book? Because I wrote it! Yes, the past couple of years I have been writing, editing, and collaborating with the good people at Eerdmans (look at their Fall catalog... *swoon*) to give birth to this work. I have been talking to my writing group and a few others incessantly through the…
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African Grandparents
It wasn’t too hard to rouse the excitement in my parents regarding the impending adoption of our son - they were adoptive parents themselves, after all.  Their transition into adoptive grandparents came easy. While the international adoption process felt foreign to them, the broader brush strokes of the adopted life were indigenous to their heart. The arrival of the next adopted generation excited us all - but I’m sure for them there was the added satisfaction that they must have…
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Spouses enter adopted living, too
Adoption is about the creation of a family, the joining of a child to parents for a lifetime of love and belonging. Most conversation about adoption stems from this understanding. It’s common to hear stories about the complicated adoption process, all the waiting for a placement, the jubilation of homecoming, and the adjustments to the new life together. We listen to scenes from the life of the nuclear family and easily assume adoption only affects them. Limiting adoption to a…
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Adoption Ambassador
It is Adoption Awareness Month. In that spirit I share some snapshots from my early years, growing in the company of the adopted. *** “Did your parents find you in a dumpster?” I just about spit my juice across the table in disbelief mingled with hilarity. Who could think such a thing? A baby in a dumpster, who does that sort of thing? But there at the elementary school lunch table I got my first question from a bona fide…
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{ On the Shore of the Great River }
Born into privilege, Pharaoh’s daughter was nursed on narratives of Egyptian greatness. She grew up among the elite, watching them parade through the palace with their curried favor and entourage of servants. She never lifted a finger and never knew any different. Life was good alongside the Great Nile River, which seemed to wind and bend to her father’s command. She’d often visit the various balconies of his household and observe the slow rise of the mighty pyramids. She marveled…
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{ Red Letter Christians: Adoption Lament }
“What was her name?” my daughter asks. “Did anyone save a picture of her?” “Do you know where her house is so I can see where she lived?” Her questions come fast these days; always asked with great curiosity and sometimes intensity. A salvaged photograph would mean she could see what her birth mom looked like – do we share brown skin, did I get my long lashes from you, is there any resemblance between us? At night she burrows…
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{ Adoption, Once & Always }
I sat in my study leafing through yellowed documents stiffened by time. I read the letter typed in courier font by Sister Bertrille telling my parents they’ve been approved for the placement of a child. I notice her clear, careful signature. In a subsequent letter she happily grants their request to adopt me saying, “This will be a truly wonderful event for you and your little one.” Again I study her tilted cursive, the seal on my holy writ. The…
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lighting the yellow candle
[caption id="attachment_1519" align="aligncenter" width="700"] My strong and brave girl. Photo by Tina Francis.[/caption] My daughter asked to light the yellow candle. “Why the yellow one?” I asked, as I always do, giving her opportunity to voice her heart. “Yellow because my birth mom misses me, yellow because I want to thank her for letting me be born before she died.” I struck the match. I lit the wick. The candle burned for the next couple of hours, a sentinel guarding…
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Summer Lessons
[caption id="attachment_1457" align="aligncenter" width="600"] PHOTO CREDIT: Tina Francis[/caption] My summer is nearly done. In a matter of days I’ll pack suitcases, gather passports and make my way home in time for the first day of school. Glancing through the photo album of summer days, trying to discern if he hit a growth spurt between my arrival and departure, I realized another kind of growth. These are some of the things my son learned this summer… 1. You can talk to…
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My son’s birthright
This past Friday our small family piled into our car and drove to Bubanza. We celebrated the completion of the first academic year of Kwizera Academy, a school we founded just last year. On the drive home, slicing through the Burundian countryside, I thought about what this landscape has come to mean to me. I felt more deeply what I hope it means to my son who is native to this place. I'm not a poet, but these are the…
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