This morning Russ wrote this letter about Zoe. It completely touched my heart. (read here I cried like a baby) Then Zoe read it and broke down crying. She said it was a "happy cry cause that was the sweetest letter." Love that girl. Anyway, I just had to share it with you. I asked him permission to post it here... then asked Zoe if it was ok. She said, "Sure!"
So enjoy.... Hugs, Angel
For those tagged in this note, whether adoptive families I respect greatly or friends who walked Zoe's journey with us, hoped you'd be encouraged by this today. Julie ... thought this went right along with your post about transformation today :o)
In almost every way, today is ordinary. But while driving to work this morning, I realized that today is something particularly special. Four years ago, a sick and broken little 7 year-old girl was grafted into my family through adoption. Today, that little girl is 11 and she's leaving me for 2 weeks to go minister to people that she can UNIQUELY relate to - an impoverished people in South Dakota.
For many girls her age, this would simply be another trip, but for Zoe this is so much different - it's a milestone of restoration for a girl who faced a childhood of neglect, abuse, sickness, extreme poverty, days without food, mass death through natural disaster and child labor. For my Zoe, today begins a pilgrimage back to her sorest place and past. She will wrestle through memories of her pain and the loss of her childhood as she connects with people in similar circumstances. She will face her past head on and her mother and I will not be there with her. She may be too young still to recognize the significance of this or what lies beyond that door, but I am confident that she is now ready to face it.
For me, today I realized a tremendous blessing of adoption. Once again, I'm shown that adoption has little to do with what I can do for my children, but what God shows me through it. In only 4 years, I have watched a resilient girl overcome untold odds and today, she is restored ... not in the way that she doesn't hurt, but in that the pain and fear that once reflected in her eyes has been replaced with a calm softness. Today, her brokenness is not a weakness ... it's an asset that helps her connect with and minister to other broken people in a way that I cannot.
It wasn't an attractive process watching all of the pain that went into her come pouring back out onto us. But today ... today ... it just hit me that God has succeeded again where the world has failed. A girl with every excuse to harbor bitterness has grown into perhaps the softest, most sincere and biggest heart I know. While He put Zoe in our care, He did not leave the job of restoring her to us. Instead, He is restoring US through restoring her. This realization has made an ordinary day quite special.
For all of you who have adopted or will adopt, I hope that this will be your blessing too. Thank you Zoe for this gift. You are a blessing, INDEED!