on that day she began to finally live

That day marked the beginning of a new life of acceptance, belonging, confidence, love, and purpose – no longer a cold, lonely existence clouded by pharmaceuticals and subhuman treatment.

Ushering in a new year means ushering in another birthday season in our home. Our family of six celebrates birthdays in January, February, March, May, and June. Mason and Kami actually share the same birthday in March. I remember how that date jumped out at us the moment we opened her electronic file for the first time in 2013. We knew it was a sign for us to proceed with her adoption!

This summer will mark 3 years home for Kami Joy. We’ve celebrated her 8th and 9th birthdays with her, but both years it’s felt a bit strange celebrating such a bittersweet day. She was placed in the orphanage less than a week after her birth. We can recount all of the details of our other three children’s births, complete with scrapbooks and special stories, but we don’t have any of those for Kami from March 2007. At that time, Mason and I were two months away from our long-awaited wedding day. We were 21 and 20, and we never could have guessed that our fourth child had just been born on the other side of the world!

I’ve been turning over in my mind the idea of making our annual Kami celebration not her actual birthday, but the day she left the orphanage with us. July 28 has felt like a much more special and sacred day than her birthday. I had shared this idea with Mason and the other kids, but I don’t think I’d quite made up my mind about what we should do until a few days ago.

Mason and I had just watched Torchlighters: The Amy Carmichael Story, and I wanted to learn more about Amy Carmichael. She was an Irishwoman who lived at the turn of the 20th century. Among other things, she rescued young girls in India from Hindu temples where they endured socially acceptable abuse. She also provided a place of refuge for little boys and abandoned babies, and these children often didn’t know their actual birthdays. They would select as their new birthday the day that they came to her haven, because it was on that day they began to finally live. What a perfect way to say it! July 28, 2014 marks the beginning of Kami Joy’s life. That day marked the beginning of a new life of acceptance, belonging, confidence, love, and purpose – no longer a cold, lonely existence clouded by pharmaceuticals and subhuman treatment.

So this year Mason will get his birthday in March all to himself, without us awkwardly wondering how we should commemorate our daughter’s physical birth. Birthday season will now extend all the way to July, when we close it out with a celebration of the day Kami Joy’s real life began. You can expect me to share about that day when it comes, and leading up to that point I’ll be sharing  more about how she came to us and how far she’s come. Mason and I have been amazed at the amount of people who’ve been cheering her on since day one. She has quite a team of fans and prayer warriors behind her, and we want nothing more than for her to one day find her own voice to share about God’s amazing rescue plan. Until that day, I’m her voice.

Making each word a gift,

          Christen

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