Friday, August 27, 2010

God's Gift of Hope

We hadn't been in the city very long when we planned another trip to Chavuna-Chinjawa. This time our trip would be a little more serious. We were taking with us a representative of the Child Welfare Department. We had met with him and needed his advice about approaching the family about our love and desire to adopt Ana. He told us that in many rural areas adoption was unheard of. He agreed to go with us and help explain it to the family.

We picked him up in the city of Mazabuka and headed to the village. He knew at this point that Ana's father had only given us permission to care for her until her first birthday, which was only a few weeks away. We arrived at the village with the usual excitement from the children. We unloaded the food items and greeted everyone in the traditional way. When Mr. Colomo introduced himself and who he represented a look of puzzlement was evident. We sat down around the fire pit and small talk, and talk about Ana and how she was doing lasted for a few minutes.

Sensing the spirit of the family members gathered with us I brought up the subject of loving Ana. Both Donna and I expressed to them how much of a part of us she was. The elderly women of the village were remarking that it was easy to see that we loved her and she was " a bit OK". That meant that her progress was easy to see. As this conversation was going on Mr. Colomo would interpret, not only the words but the nuances of the conversation. Having prayed about this trip for some time the moment was at hand to talk about adoption.

Donna was talking to the women about how Ana was responding to the good food and medical attention. The women, almost in unison, told us that if Ana was in the village she would face troubles and problems. At this point Mr. Colomo brought up the point that Ana was doing well because of the way she was loved and that he was sure the family wanted her to continue to be OK. They all agreed and then he talked about the word adoption and that we wanted to bring Ana into our family as one of our children.

There was a fair amount of misunderstanding among the family members. We explained that Ana would be one of our children and she would have all of the blessings of good food, clean water and medical care. That made a little more sense to the women and I could see a little more understanding on their part. As we thought we were making progress our discussions took a sudden turn. Dominic, Ana's father, reminded us that he agreed to have us care for her until she was one and her birth date was coming. He said that because we loved her and she was better we could care for her until she was two and then he would come and get her.

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