Friday, April 3, 2009

Choking Up

I love writing. Educating and entertaining are my aims; the stat counter on the right is my report card. While being read is every writer’s dream, my sense of purpose and responsibility comes less from numbers and more from action my writing impels others to. Learning my words were God’s gentle prompting, helping usher a hopeless child into a family, is a thrill I’ll never outlive.

My remuneration is the sheer joy I derive from pounding out clarion calls. A few months ago I wrote about a mom from my March 2008 trip, struggling to raise funds for fourteen-year-old Inna’s adoption. (Struggling, 2/2/09) A lady who works part-time as a tax preparer read Inna’s story, called me, and offered an entire week’s salary to help get Inna home. Knowing my writing prompted this generosity from one who felt the donation’s pinch was as good as having been paid myself.

February’s first post featured Ekaterina, a girl with aspirations of being a chef. (Marching On, 2/2/09) One of the kids on March’s Grand Rapids trip, she was in imminent need of a family before her birthday. After seeing the post and photo, a dear Oklahoman was led to host her in Michigan. Yearning to be in a family rather than on the street, Ekaterina yesterday opined to a babushka that nobody wants a fifteen-year-old. For dinner tonight Ekaterina baked chicken but ate crow when my friends asked her to be their daughter. She joyfully consented amidst tears and hugs, asking the translator, “Do they really want me?! Do they like me?!” Being wrong never felt so good.

Less satisfying are the blog hits from Monday and Tuesday. After my post about Nikolai, his best friend Sergei’s new parents forwarded the link to everyone on their e-mail lists, straining to find the family God has chosen. Monday, the day I posted Nikolai’s story, my blog set its record for daily traffic; Tuesday, it was dramatically eclipsed, doubling Monday’s short-lived benchmark. Flushed prematurely with pride in the numbers, the less gratifying reality was no resultant calls. Sergei’s dad confided he was severely choked up reading Nikolai’s post, adding, “If I’m any kind of a good dad at all, I need to be able to tell my son that I did my best to help find his best friend a family…” I repaid the compliment by choking up at the sentiment, the effort, and the lack of response roused by our college try.

Today I conversed with a caller, adopted herself at an older age, about a child I worried might be especially difficult to place. At the close of our discussion, she offered the most heartfelt thanks I’d ever received. Thanking me for what I do for kids, she said that someone adopting her when she was older “made an eternal difference,” adding, “I am where I am today because someone did it for me.”

Pondering this profundity, and trusting Nikolai might one day echo it, I resolved to fight on in faith to make this his testimony, too.

And talk about choking up...