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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This Writers Life
[caption id="attachment_1244" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Photo credit: Sarah Joslyn of SarsCreative, originally created for SheLoves Magazine.[/caption] My friend and fellow writing group partner, Christiana Peterson, invited me to share some thoughts on my current writing projects and writing process. How could I not play? First, take a moment to visit Christiana’s place and read about her process (she’s currently working with words around themes of farming, intentional community living and death – so you don’t want to miss out on any…
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The Adopted One
This past November I was invited to share at The Simply Jesus Gathering in Denver, CO. The mandate was simple - share something you are currently discovering about Jesus. I knew instantly what I'd share since these past fourteen months I've been seeing Jesus through a new lens. Here is my offering to the Jesus conversation...   https://vimeo.com/81340536 Afterwards I was approached my birth moms, adoptive parents, adopted adults and soon-to-be adoptive parents to share stories about living adopted. I…
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{ Deeper Story: Our Gratitude }
[caption id="attachment_1280" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Celebrating with Emma (Photo by Tina Francis)[/caption] We brought her home when she was eighteen months old. It felt like we snatched her from death and disease, from a life defined by a hospice order and lived out in a small orphanage. Her homecoming was heavy-laden with healing. She entered our home as a celebrated and cherished child, my Emma. A few months into our shared life we sat in her room colored with lemon sorbet…
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I am from…
[caption id="attachment_1194" align="aligncenter" width="500"] Laughing as we wrote... photo by Tina Francis[/caption] I am from an immaculate house, heady with ammonia and lemon. I am from a room with eyelet bed skirts, piles of ruffled pillows and the daily expectation of a perfectly made bed. I am from books and a chalkboard, dance recitals and satin ballet shoes, straight As and honor roll.   I am from Saturday chores inside and out, father’s forehead covered in sawdust, mom elbow-deep in…
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{ ShePonders: Fearfully & Wonderfully Made }
I scribbled the word abortion with my teen-age cursive in my Study Bible. My youth pastor told us that Psalm 139 proved that God made us, knew us and determined that we each should live. Proof positive that abortion is a sin, he declared. And so I marked the margin of my Bible, determining to never forget where God stood on this issue. Maybe as an adopted child I grew up with the acute awareness that I was a candidate…
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adoption: a free write
I am from the company of the adopted, once relinquished but swiftly redeemed and daily resurrected by the care of a father and compassion of a mother. I want my own children to feel that redemptive energy running through their veins, fortifying their sense of self, the adoptive sacrament sweet on their tongues. I feel responsible to impart blessing on each of their days so they, too, will taste and see the goodness – not the abandonment. I wonder sometimes,…
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War Photographer: Tandem Stories
[caption id="attachment_927" align="aligncenter" width="500"] [Photo Credit: Ellen Olive Photography][/caption]While I haven’t birthed my children, I’ve birthed their stories. In the early days our adoption tale felt legendary, laced with Spirit-whispered promises and just in a nick of time departures and a medical miracle for good measure. To tell these stories was to tell my story of deep formation during the adoptive arc, revealing my eventual status as an accidental mother of two Burundian babies only possible in the imagination of…
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{ Deeper Story: Birth Mother }
Today my son asked me about his birth mother – again. Why couldn’t she keep him? When you adopt, you must be all kinds of strong, tender and honest. Best we can tell she abandoned him roadside, only days old, umbilical cord still in tact. She wanted him to be found, why else wrap him in her bright African block fabric skirt? I imagine her watching from the bush, waiting for someone to carry him to a better life. Another…
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ex nihilo
I never liked babysitting. I only did it to earn enough money to buy my first topical study Bible, and then I was done. I didn’t volunteer to help in the church nursery – ever. Kids and I weren’t an easy fit. I knew early on I wouldn’t be a mother. When I married, my husband was of the same mind. As an African from a large family, he reasoned he already supported a tribe of siblings, a hoard of…
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