Achy Bones & Beautiful Faces

My body aches from lack of sleep in relation to jet lag, swollen pregnant feet from the heat and frequent standing, and my physical body is screaming at me, “what were you thinking traveling overseas at 30 weeks pregnant? Didn’t you realize you wouldn’t have as much energy with your 3rd pregnancy as you had with your previous ones?” I lay sprawled out on the sidewalk awaiting our taxi ride to our hotel. I was seriously starting to question my intelligence. 15+ hours in flight had certainly taken its toll. Every time we landed I had this crazy sensation that I was going into labor. Such strange tightening, spasms, and dizziness.

I questioned…“why am I here?” It was at this moment that I looked up.

All around me I saw faces. Petite, oval, dark, beautiful faces. Beautiful unique faces. Each one fashioned with such intricateness. Each one filled with such yearning. I am shocked to see the huge smiles and welcomes etched across them. I am filled with such a love for these precious people. God loves each and every one of them. He has a plan for their lives and wants me to love them too. I see the longing. I see the hunger. The mad rush of bodies outside the airport communicates the rush and speed of life. Nothing slows down. It rapidly speeds on towards death and separation from God apart from the manifold grace of God. These faces need Jesus.

Her tears are etched across my soul. A poor Grandma, retired and aged without possible income beyond the $28 monthly pension her husband receives. Here she sits before me struggling to raise their only grandchild. Angel is an adorable girl of four with pigtails in her hair and a cute little ballerina skirt around her waist. A precious life that was abandoned at 2 months old by her mother on the doorstep of her Grandparents home. She hides her face in her Grandma’s skirt as we greet her. She is shy, reserved, and quiet and we hardly heard a peep out of her throughout our time together. But slowly…the smiles started to imerge. Playing with sand, going down a slide, savoring a small cup of strawberry ice cream, and enjoying her favorite chicken and gravy. Here she was…four years old. Just like my own precious daughter. Angel loves playing house, hide-and-seek, and babies. Sounds like my own Karis.

Grandma Ida keeps calling us Angel’s new Papa and Mama. At first I am turned off by her declarations of us…but then I begin to see more clearly. This little girl needs lots of love and nurturing. And though we may be thousands of miles away, we have adopted her in some way today. She has stolen a place in our hearts. We have the awesome opportunity to pray for her by name. We can express God’s love for her again and again in our letters. Letters that have power to communicate love, affirmation, and a friendship across the miles. We learned that such letters can improve their educational wellbeing as well as their over overall development. Grandma Ida’s eyes filled with tears as we prayed over them in our parting and partnered with Grandma in the loving nurturing of Angel.

The Lord has graciously given us the opportunity to invest in her life. To provide the means for giving her the holistic services in her emotional, physical, economical and spiritual well-being in order that one day, Lord willing, she might become a responsible and fulfilled Christian adult. That falls right in line with our desires for our own children. Why not adopt her as our own? This is why Compassion International exists. I look forward to exploring how Compassion fulfills that in 56,000 children here in the Philippines as the  week continues.

About Lindsay

Lindsay Edmonds is first a lover of Jesus, wife, mother of four, homemaker, and writer. She loves inspiring women around the world toward simple, natural, and intentional living for the glory of God.

17 Responses to Achy Bones & Beautiful Faces

  1. Lindy Lothian October 24, 2011 at 7:58 am #

    Great Work

  2. Megan June 3, 2011 at 6:18 am #

    Do you have any tips for traveling while pregnant? Did anything help to ease the “going into labour” sensation? I’ll be flying back to Canada from Uganda in August at 28 weeks pregnant and I’m definitely feeling a little nervous!

  3. Lindy Stewart May 31, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    Lindsay, Thank you for sharing your struggle. Trust the Lord for His strength. I will be praying for you!

  4. Ann [email protected] Experience May 30, 2011 at 7:34 pm #

    God bless you for loving like our Jesus…
    You show us and your children the way…

    With humble thanks,
    All’s grace,

  5. Meghan @ Spicy Magnolia May 30, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

    I’m also 30 weeks pregnant and can’t imagine traveling half way around the world right now! :) Thank you for traveling on behalf of those of who don’t have the opportunity (yet) :) to extend actual physical, loving arms to those precious ones!

  6. Joelle. @goldenchances May 30, 2011 at 5:06 pm #

    Lindsay, thank you for this post. You are the hands and feet if Jesus. Blessings, Joelle

  7. oh amanda May 30, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Our sponsored daughter calls us Mama & Papa, too. And she even has both of her parents! It’s miraculous the way God knits two families together through $38 and a few letters.

    Thank you for taking your unborn baby to another country to tell us about God’s great work there!

    Praying for you this week!

  8. Linda May 30, 2011 at 1:44 pm #

    Yay for ministering to the whole person. Thanks for being an example in this.

  9. Jason May 30, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    “A poor Grandma, retired and aged without possible income beyond the $28 monthly pension her husband receives.”

    Wow. Talk about a kick in the teeth. We spent more on dinner last night than they make in an entire month. Humbling indeed.

  10. Teena May 30, 2011 at 10:02 am #

    Wow. Deep, touching…. love it. Praying for all of you. So excited to follow…..


  11. Susan May 30, 2011 at 10:01 am #

    What a lovely story and what a beautiful place you are in, Lindsay. And by beautiful place I mean how awesome to be carrying your precious 3rd child with you and your husband as you meet your adopted daughter, Angel. What a blessing you are to her family! Thank you for sharing this incredible post. We are all praying for you all!

  12. Kim May 30, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Praying for you.

  13. Danielle B May 30, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    Awesome Lindsay!! Angel is a beauty!

    Dehydration WILL bring on labor pains. So make sure you are hydrated even moreso now that you are traveling. Water water water. And make sure you EAT.

  14. Jill Foley May 30, 2011 at 6:57 am #

    Congratulations on your new “adopted” daughter. Praying for your trip.

  15. Amanda Jones May 30, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    Beautiful! I will be praying for your strength during this trip. Bless you for traveling at 30 weeks! What a trooper!

  16. Stacy @ Delighting in the Days May 30, 2011 at 6:30 am #

    What an amazing mix of emotions! Praying for your health and safety.
    God bless.

  17. Allyson @ A Heart for Home May 30, 2011 at 6:20 am #

    We’re praying for your trip and God’s continued blessing. Hope your pregnant body can get at least a little rest. I’m right behind you at 28 weeks (4th pregnancy in 4 1/2 years) and this cumbersome belly is beginning to take its toll. I’m so glad your husband was able to join you.