A “Take Your Breath Away” Moment
Last night was my daughter’s holiday music concert, and it was such a special evening. I was enjoying every song the kids sang, and then I had one of those moments that I think many parents experience occasionally with their kids. I looked up at my daughter on stage, standing there in a formal black dress with a festive Santa hat on her head, and I don’t know if it was a recognition of her confidence at that moment, or the joy I saw in her eyes as she was singing…but everything she had overcome since she was left on her own as a newborn washed over me so powerfully that I began to cry.
Does anyone else have those sudden intakes of breath where you simply can’t believe you got the privilege to parent a child who was born to someone else? I was crying with awe that somehow I get to be her mom, and with gratitude that my heart was opened to adoption, and with sadness that there is a family in China who might never get to see this incredible person they gave life to. What an immeasurable loss for them not to know this child — their newborn who was at that very moment belting out “Santa Baby” in a school gym across the world in Oklahoma. I have a feeling I will still be having these “take my breath away” moments when I am 90, because even after 14 years of being her mom, it still is all so miraculous to me that we are FAMILY.
This morning, as I was reflecting back on that moment at the concert, I was thinking about how many families have adopted children who were helped by LWB. Over the last ten years that number has now reached the thousands. It is always such a joy when we are able to connect with a family and pass on their child’s life history with us in China, through photos and reports and stories. I think those photos are such a powerful reminder of just how far so many orphaned children have come. Just this month alone we were able to celebrate Jenny, Braxton, and Elizabeth being adopted from our Heartbridge Healing Home. Oh, the prayers and consults and medical care poured out on those precious babies who were born with complex medical needs.
This holiday season we are asking our supporters to “Give What Counts.” We are asking everyone who cares about the lives of orphaned children to make a donation to further our important work with kids who are hurting. When you take the time to do that – to invest your compassion into a child who has already suffered the enormous loss of their birth parents – I truly believe you are giving a gift that cannot be measured. You are giving real hope and the chance at real love to a child who deserves so much more than what life has dealt them.
I hope everyone who makes a donation this holiday season will realize that your gifts not only impact lives in an immediate sense, by giving medical care or a foster family or an education. Your gifts can go on to impact lives for decades. Each and every time a child is adopted from an LWB program, I like to imagine that at some point in the future, his or her mom or dad will be sitting in a school gymnasium with tears streaming down their faces, having their own “take your breath away” moment when they realize just what a miracle it is that they are a parent through adoption. This is what people who donate to our programs do. They give healing and hope and love to children who are often desperately in need…and they also impact entire families and generations to come through the honor of adoption.
Make your year-end gift by December 31st and know that you truly gave something with untold worth this holiday season. My heart is overflowing with gratitude for all of the children whose lives you have allowed us to touch in the past. Let’s work together to give the same priceless chance to many more in the coming year.
~Amy Eldridge, Chief Executive Officer