While abroad, we weren’t just visitors, but actively involved in and under their legal processes in that huge, foreign land aligning us with the sentiments and emotions of those who live there. We spoke, hushed, with our friends about the government, the people who rule and how the country is run, and although the main feeling is fear, there is predominately a sense of surrendered hopelessness to make the changes any of them would hope for. Hands tied, nothing that could be done about the many things the people would want changed.
At first, our American unruliness bristled, our spirits sparked against these sentiments, how could this be, because surely, something could be done. We expressed our mutual desires, reminding them that they have a voice…
If only enough people… Enough voices, but wait. This was not America… and that realization, made us feel a heavier burden on our shoulders while there.
America. And two people who would have never really considered themselves to be patriotic, looked back with a new awareness.
But by the third trip, we sensed it too, knowing our best bet was to wrap up politely, and exit. Back to where freedom had taken on a new meaning.
Arriving home, we felt grateful. Clutching our two skinny children as we step into their new land, down the stairs for the first time off that plane, the American flag greeting us, felt like a breath of relief. Freedom. We had made it…
I suppose our country still has things to work on, but just the ability to work on it, the ability to change, to have a voice, to be free from fear, to be able to make a difference, to live your life with equality and justice for all, these are things not afforded to most people in the world. It’s one thing to kind of know that, another to experience it.
I have friends adopting children with special needs from other countries, and while walking down the street with their precious children, people spit at the kids, glare at the children, that they would be out in public, would exist. They are not equal, not good. Say what you want about America, but people have a chance here.
I think that as Americans we can take the role of complaining and pointing out flaws, without even realizing all the good it has afforded us. Not to say that the complaining and seeking to change problems is bad, it is a luxury not to be taken lightly and when used wisely can cause much good, but that in the process of experiencing this excellent right, we could grow embittered to something that most people around the world would gladly give up anything to be a part of.
Andrew and I love other counties, we love other cultures, we are blessed to have dear friends abroad, but there are many times, in many places that we have felt heartbreak for the youngest, the ones in most need of help, being cast aside and scorned because of the influence of the society.
Established on the basis of freedom and human rights, for the good of the people, not the government. People can be greatly influenced by the society that they live in without even realizing the effects, for good or for bad, and these are things I am learning.
So, with that, we celebrated. And we had all the kids wave flags. And march. Children who were born here, and brought here, and live their lives in freedom because they are here means more to us now.
“For what’s the party, mama?”
“It’s America’s birthday.”
“Ohhhh!!! Mama, I give ‘merica special present for birthday, because ‘merica very special…” -Maria.
“Mama, I love this day!!”
Maria and Lainy, such sweet friends! (Their family is hosting a Ukrainian orphan this month!)
Elliette loves Andrew so much 🙂
Love these dear mamas, and their presence in my life. Thankful for people who chose to live their lives with purpose and love, and that we can raise our kids as friends.
Sweet Elijah, what a dreamboat!
“Oh, you guys are trying to throw it in here? Here, let me block is for you guys…”
Just after Elijah took a little cat nap on papa.
As the sun set, we busted out the s’mores.
Then we all piled onto the front patio and watched in amazement as bright colors, burst in the sky.
And the chickens were real happy with our leftovers…
Land of the free…