Happy Birthday Faith!

My baby girl is turning one. Half a world away. She will wake up in a room full of babies all crying for attention. Everything is on a schedule. One day is the same as the next - sleep, play, eat all in the same room with a brief break outside to get some some. There will be no balloons, no streamers, no opening gifts in jammies, no cupcakes for breakfast, no day full of complete spoiling and junk food. There will be no overly loving relatives, no siblings trying to open gifts for her, no mommy in tears behind the camera because her baby is turning one. There is no stress over whether to wear the pink dress with white polka dots or the white one with pink polka dots, the last minute rush to get that one gift we forgot, no video of her smashing into a first birthday cake.

No these things will not happen now. But the WILL happen very soon. It will not be on her actual birthday, but there will be a celebration and balloons and cake and all the crazy chaos that surrounds turning one. Someday very soon. Because we have our daughter's birth certificate. She now officially has her Daddy's name, middle name Kevin, last name Judkins. This is customary in Ethiopia. It is such a beautiful thing to see an official document that states she is forever part of Team Judkins.

Our country specialist told us that she has never received a birth certificate so quickly after passing court and that all the staff in Ethiopia is working very hard to get her home soon. The next step is our final approval from US immigration, a passport and a medical exam and then we can go get her. Keep praying! We are praising God for what He has already done and that He will bring her home very soon!!

Birthdays are such a huge deal at our house. We have festivities that drag on for atleast a week or more. It got me thinking about all of the 147 million orphans around the world who wake up on their birthday to just another day. No one to celebrate the fact that they are alive and loved and an incredibly special gift from God. I cannot imagine my little boys waking on their birthday with no one to shower them with love. The need can seem overwhelming. So many children are in need of love and health and family. But I will not let this sink me into a pit of inaction. Whatever I can do however small it is one step towards helping these children in desperation. When I think about Faith, I often think of the story of the starfish.

Two people were walking along the beach. The shoreline was full of starfish that had washed up on the beach. If they did not make it back to the water they would not survive. One man began to throw the starfish back into the ocean. The other man said,"You will never be able to save all these starfish. Just throwing back one starfish is not going to make any difference." And the first man answered,"Well, it makes a difference to this one."

Each one of those 147 million children is not just a number. They are not a condition, a disease, an epidemic. They are not a faceless see of humanity. Each one has a name, each one has a story, each one is a person in need of love, in need of family. And so while we may not be the solution for every orphan in the world....there is one little girl who will never again know what it is like to not have birthday.

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