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{Adoption Is} The Picture of Family

Lunch seemed like a normal daily occurrence. I hopped in my red bug after Voice & Movement and maneuvered the traffic on campus only to end up at McAllister's Deli. Nothing out of the ordinary. I spotted Chelsea and Amanda through the window and peeked in to say hello. My order was taken, my sweet tea filled, and I retreated to my favorite table in the back corner. I set out my laptop, binder, and pens preparing to set to work, rummaged through my bag for headphones but with no such luck. I sighed and started to work anyway, but then my attention shifted.

A precious little girl with a bright blonde pony tail bounced to the table next to mine. This little bit couldn't have been more than three. Seconds later, she was followed by two little boys, toothless smiles and two more sisters in tow, the happy family of five ready for their lunch. But there was something different about this gaggle of giggles. Something about them that said "FAMILY" even though the color of their skin may have suggested something else.

I know no specifics, but I know love when I see it. Their mother, within ten years of my own age, rounded the corner and beamed at her children. The waitress soon followed, her eyes widening for a moment before delighting each of the five siblings with their own bowl of macaroni and cheese. Each gave a polite "thank you" before digging in, and my heart melted even further. Over the 80's tunes playing throughout the restaurant, I heard chatter of "Daddy" and "special day" and even a request for a trip to Chucky Cheese's. I had work to do but it was long forgotten as I became mesmerized by this family.

FAMILYFamily is not only signified by birth and blood. Family is a bond that goes beyond. It crosses borders and boundaries, even reaches into the far corners of the earth to bring parts of a family together. This is what I saw today. That is how I want my family to be someday.

Adoption has been more and more on my mind over the past year. I hope it is not simply a passing trend but a value being engrained in the Christian culture. It certainly is becoming one in my heart. Adoption is more than addition. It takes risk and sacrifice, tears, time, and money. Local or international, adoption shapes the identity and future of everyone involved. Adoption is powerful.

"How blessed is God! And what a blessing he is! He's the Father of our Master, Jesus Christ, and he takes us to the high places of blessing in him. Long before he laid down earth's foundations, he had us in mind, had settled on us as the focus of his love, to be made whole and holy by his love. Long, long ago he decided to adopt us into his family through Jesus Christ. (What pleasure he took in planning this!)" 
Ephesians 1:3-6, The Message

I know many people who have walked or are walking the journey of adoption. The beautiful Ashley Ann at Under the Sycamore brought home her daughter only one month ago, while my youth pastor and his wife Amy are drawing nearer and nearer by the day. Our college pastors are leading by example {Lark and Bloom} and her husband anxiously await the arrival of their two little ones. Adoption is possible. Adoption is vital. Adoption is hopefully in my future.

Now back to that precious family in McAllister's. The story only gets better! Homework completely forgone, I opened my blog to begin this post, and was distracted once more. The beautiful mom, who could easily have been wrapped up in the antics of her five children, was engaged in conversation with the waitress. In a few short sentences they were talking about her children, the difficulty in being a single parent, and where their strength comes from. Without hesitation she shared that relying on the promise of the joy of the Lord is what gets her through the hard days, the business, and the good times as well. The waitress agreed and gave praise to God as well for his abundant strength. Soon, they were praying together, the children quietly drinking their water, watching with reverence as their mother and her new friend talked to the Almighty.

Y'all! I am blown away. How easy is it to get caught up in our own worlds, our own needs and business and ignore those around us. Not only did this encourage the waitress but me too! It took a few moments of intentionality, grace, and compassion and both of these women left with a new pep in their step.

Lord, may my days and my family be like this! Mould me into a woman who sees those around me and whose focus isn't on myself. Grant me compassion for children in need and prepare me for whatever my future holds in regards to adoption. Bless those on the journey of adoption and open doors for them to have their families united by the end of the year! You are God of the impossible and I'm believing for it. Thank you for today's encouragement and this beautiful glimpse into what family can mean. 

Thanks for listening to my heart today. I feel like I can conquer the world! For now, I'll stick to the homework I haven't done on my lunch break.

Fun in the Sun; Anthony & Cleopatra

Happy fall break, everyone! I'm currently in good ol' Oklahoma for our long weekend, getting a glimpse of what life will be like next year. Ah! So exciting, and more on that later. But in the midst of this, I've been pouring through pictures and found a few I had yet to share.

In the Advanced Directing class there are four of us working together and individually on projects. We each had our own 15 minute scene to direct with a two week rehearsal period. Mine was Romeo and Juliet, and the other selections included Antony & Cleopatra, Taming of the Shrew, and As You Like It. Rachael set A&C in a beautiful backyard, full of old Hollywood glamour. She asked me to take the pictures and I happily obliged. Katie, her Cleopatra, is stunning. Just wait until you see :)

Ah. I wish I could watch this scene over and over again. It couldn't have been more beautiful.
More later this week :)

A Little Life Update {A Lemony-Fresh Facelift}

Hello dears! Yes, yes, I know. I've been in a black hole these past few weeks. I didn't realize just how quickly things would escalate once rehearsals started and life kicked into gear. Do forgive me for not being around. I hope to remedy this soon. You'll see me more regularly starting next week, don't you worry your pretty little heads about it. In the meantime, I'm working on giving the blog a facelift. Something a bit simpler and sleeker. It is still under construction, so do watch out for some changes over the next few days.

Otherwise, I cannot wait to tell you how wonderful life has been these past few weeks! Busy, but wonderful! My Shakespeare scene went very well and I am relieved to have a two week break before beginning the next project. I am also finding my footing in the semester as a whole, with a pretty set schedule during the week and new free time to do whatever I wish with. Isn't that nice? Like right now: in between classes with nothing really to do! Ahhh.. It's nice.

Here is a glimpse at my version of Romeo and Juliet. We rehearsed and performed it in a cemetery near campus at 11:00pm. What an adventure! More on this later. I suppose I should be a responsible student and head to class...

What do you think of the new look? Is it missing anything?