Heart for Orphans: A Simple Man

In 2012, the Christian Alliance for Orphans is hosting a series of guest blog posts from respected bloggers from across the U.S. Each offers a fresh outlook on an important issue facing Christians committed to caring for orphans through adoption, foster care and/or global orphan initiatives. Posts reflect the unique perspective of the blogger, not necessarily the entire Alliance. Ultimately, the posts will inspire and provoke, encourage and challenge the burgeoning Christian orphan care movement.

Today’s post beautifully describes how adoption changes everyone it touches, sometimes even the ones thought most unlikely to change. Jenny and her husband Kyle have three children, two adopted from Korea. Jenny loves to write, to share her passion for adoption with those around her and she has a bit of an addiction to Pinterest. You can read more of her family’s story at her blog, A Chosen Child

As he approached our table in our first adventure in eating out with three children, I knew he wanted to tell us something about our kids. A compliment, a shared experience, an overly nosey inquiry into our family, I have become used to them in the two and half years of being a mixture of blue and almond eyes, pale and brown skin.

I sized him up, the baseball cap, the starched jeans, the tattoo on his forearm, the fact that he was eating alone. A older gentleman, a Southern man, a simple man. A small part of me tensed just in case he had an insult for us, some hatred for seeing a family of different races, white faces loving brown faces. But then I noticed his eyes, he had kind eyes and I began to relax.

He told us of his granddaughter and how she came to join their family. He said that he hadn’t understood, why would his son and daughter-in-law would want “someone else’s child” after all they are already had a son, a real son. He seemed to be admitting a secret he’d never shared, he needed to confess, he thought they were making a mistake.

“But she has made our family complete.” I bit the inside of my cheek to keep the tears in. This man who went on and on telling us about his granddaughter, how she is smarter than everyone in her class, how fast she can climb the stairs, the way she looks up to her older brother. She plays the guitar, she’s in second grade, and she knows where everything in that house is.

“You have a blessed family.” A man, who once didn’t understand adoption, who couldn’t understand loving a child born from another, couldn’t hide the fact that the love of his life is a little eight-year-old girl born in China. His joy was too big to keep for himself.

It made me smile seeing him there, a simple man, who never would have dreamed his granddaughter would be Chinese, never would have expected that what their family was missing they would find in opening their hearts to a plan that looked so much different from their own. A man who wanted us to know, once he didn’t understand adoption, but now he does.