Saturday, July 18, 2015

Grace's Pilgrimage

"I'm from Moshi," Grace would always proudly announce.

Yet she had never been there since she was 10 months old.  So one of the main purposes in our road trip was for Grace to finally see the city where she was born.  There's a lot of questions about her history that we won't ever be able to answer, so we want to be able to fill in as many holes as we can.  Grace needed to see Moshi and her orphanage--to put together a few more pieces of her identity.

So we drove 340 miles up north to Moshi, the city that rests in the shadow of Kilimanjaro.  She saw the building where she lived until she was 10 months old; she toured the orphanage and she met Mama Lynn, the founder of Light in Africa and the woman who welcomed her as a newborn.

This visit was meant to be all about Grace, but I found it to be a pilgrimage of my own.  It all came rushing back to me--the first time I met her, the three subsequent trips up to Moshi by myself to fight for her paperwork, the social worker who battled me on it.  I was relatively new to Tanzania, new to adoption or even any kind of parenting.  That same year, I had a miscarriage and had gotten my hopes set on two other children whose adoptions fell through.

I wasn't just fighting for a child, I was fighting to become a mom. The wait felt excruciating.  It finally ended on November 1, 2006.  Grace entered our lives with her sunshine, and our lives were never the same again.

God has been so good to us.  It was good to remember.

outside the building that used to be the baby home where Grace lived for 10 months

at Light in Africa, outside the Girls' Home

with Mama Lynn

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