Sunday, July 26, 2009

"you did it to Me"-Jesus

"Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry and you gave me food,

I was thirsty and you gave me drink,

I was a stranger and you welcomed me,

I was naked and you clothed me,
I was sick and you visited me,

I was in prison and you came to me.

Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me. " Matthew 25:34-36(This may be a little long, but it is part of our story)
When I arrived in Liberia, late at night, in Oct, 2006, of course the only thing on my mind was to meet my new daughter. Her birth mother had named her Blessing. We named her Alia Marie (after my Grandmother). I went down stairs with the head lady and was handed my little 15 month old daughter and told to take her upstairs to my room quickly so that her fussing wouldn't wake the other babies in the room. I took her to my room and got her settled back down on her stomach, which I quickly learned was her favorite way to sleep. The next morning, Alia was understandably unhappy. I began to find out that she was also very hungry (a deep hunger that was not satisfied easily), and she was beginning to have diarrhea. I soon learned that Alia handled her stress in one of two ways, cry and fuss loudly and constantly, or lay her head on my shoulder and need me to constantly hold her there. Did you notice that I wrote constantly twice...not an accident.
In Africa the babies are carried with a piece of cloth on the women's back. Alia would want me to hold her in this familiar way. Unfortunately, she did not like my sling because it was not what she was comfortable with. And I had learned quickly that I could only handle her intense crying for so long. I held her on my back as much as I could, tried everything and anything to bring a smile to her face. Nothing helped her. She was unhappy all the time! After several days, her intense insecurity and grief, hunger and sickness, and other feelings that come from abandonment and neglect really began to have an effect on me. I also think, now, that I was feeling the spiritual oppression and I was emotionally wore out trying to help this little daughter of mine. I wanted so much to love her and help her attach, but we were both becoming more and more drained. I was not attaching to her either as I had been able to do with our other children.
One morning, in the midst of these spiralling emotions, the LORD began to speak the verses of Matthew 25:34-36 (above with the pictures). I had never SEEN the reality of those verses as clearly as I was now. This was so perfect because Alia would require that I did everything for her...hold her glass for her to drink from, feed her even though she was old enough to do it. She was so much in need, and with nothing to give back. No smiles, no happiness, nothing. Funny enough, I looked for the verses in my small Bible, but could not find them; but Jesus just kept encouraging me with them as I took care of this little one who was hurting so much. She would scream and scream if I didn't hold her just right, and when I got too tired to hold her and tried to put her down once she bit me! It was a very hard time for both of us. Our two day trip home to America was HORRIBLE!!! That story will have to be another post. I can tell you we were both crying by the time we got to Colorado. And my husband wasn't even there because he was in Texas helping with the hurricane Katrina families. These Bible verese were such an anchor for me as I knew that I was truly giving a sacrifice of love at a time when it wasn't easy!!!!
After being home for a while, things settled and Alia became healthier and changed right before our eyes into a very happy, playful child. She became more secure and comfortable although she still gets intensely upset!! I had completely forgotten the Bible verse that the LORD had used to encourage me in Africa. One night I had a dream that Alia and I were with her birth mother. In the dream, the birth mother was wondering about her new name - Alia. She asked me what Alia means and I immediately said "Blessed of the LORD." Then she got up and left very happy. It was as if that was all she needed. (Remember, her birth mother had named her Blessing.)
That very week God reminded me of the special verses in Africa and showed me where it was - Matthew 25:34-36 "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are BLESSED OF MY FATHER (KJ); the very meaning God had given me for Alia's name in my dream! WOW! We are blessed by our Father because "whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me. God used Alia's situation in Africa, this child of mine half way around the world, to teach me in such a real way the beauty of these scriptures!


  1. i LOVE this!!!!!!

    what an awesome God.

    she is so beautiful! as is her name----and SO perfect!!

  2. beautiful... thank you so much for sharing these details. Just the traveling to other countries can tire us out physically and emotionally, then add to that meeting our children who most of the time are in need of constant attention... It is a very trying time for many. I am so glad you heard His voice in the midst of it.

  3. shonni - my heart is aching for africa at the moment. reading this post and hearing more of your precious childs story just brought tears to my eyes and pierced my heart deeply!

    oh how great our Father's love for us - how deep we can never measure!

    to tell this story to her for the rest of her life is a blessing beyond anything this world has to offer. her Father - THE ONE - who created her for a purpose brought her into your family for a reason!

    i look forward to watching Him grow her strong in Him and to see the blessings it leaves behind for all of us!

    love and hugs - thanks for sharing!

  4. Shonni-Thanks for sharing that!!! I can't wait to get back to Uganda. Your pictures have made it worse! LOL!! 21 days :-)
    God is awesome. I love how all of our children's stories are so unique but all of them point to HIM and His love and caring for us even when we want things to be our way.
    Alia was such a cute baby!! She's so cute now, I should have guessed :-)

  5. What a beautiful post!! I love that scripture..and your pictures that went with it were so perfect...thank you for sharing, kristi

  6. What a beautiful and encouraging post! And I love the story of her name...she is BLESSED indeed! <><

  7. How amazing! I have chills head to toe. What a beautiful testament to our living and powerful God!!!

  8. This is a beautiful post. Thanks so much for sharing your heart and our Father's heart. His love never fails!


  9. Oh my goodness, my friend, I have tears. Isn't God just amazing the way He works out ALL things? I am so deeply touched by your testimony. And, she is just the sweetest little angel--such a blessing. Wow, how far she has come!

  10. I love the message from this post...very moving.


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