“It isn’t necessarily easy or pretty every day, but we know with certainty that out of the great sadness and brokenness of our world, this is where she is meant to be.” -Beth
Hello, I am Beth Bailey, proud Momma of two, and great fan of The Adventure Project. In January of this year, our much-anticipated, paperwork-heavy journey to becoming a family of four was completed when we brough our sweet girl home from Ethiopia. It has been more than I could have imagined, in every way possible.
The hubby and I had discussed adopting for a long time, even prior to the birth of our son Finn, (age five) and in February 2010 we felt God was telling us so strongly that this was the time, right now. We started the paperwork and by the end of July 2010 had ourselves firmly planted on a waiting list. We were told at that time that there was a great need for the adoption of toddlers and were approved for a female child, up to age three (the age of our son at that time).
On May 31st 2011, we finally got our referral for a 6 month old baby girl! Looking back I can see how God worked on our hearts at just the right time, preparing us for her specifically. She was born on a day that some very special people reached out to us amidst the adoption process, which for me, was the most isolating yet engaging thing I have ever done.
Like everyone else who has gone on this journey before us, our personal involvement in orphan work opened our eyes to issues that we weren’t necessarily ignorant of before, but that we had not yet felt compelled to invest in.
The entire concept of The Adventure Project has appealed to me from the beginning, and now, even more so because of how our sweet girl has changed our lives. With respect to her story, I can tell you why these project mean so much to this Momma’s heart. We are blessed to be her parents only because of tragedy in her life and that of her first family. Her first Momma died shortly after giving birth while the family was seeking medical treatment, as this was not readily accessible in her community. The limited resources of this farming family were not enough to sustain Stella’s life, the lives of her siblings and as much as her Daddy tried, he could not provide what Stella needed to live. She came to the orphanage at 18 days old, very sick and starving to death after little to no nutrition. The orphanages that cared for our baby, loved her, cared for her, and she is certainly thriving now as a result. But since coming home we have dealt with multiple health issues as a result of contaminated water.
These issues- maternal health, clean water, ending hunger, and sustainable job creation- are dear to my heart now. Her presence is a great blessing to our family, but these things shouldn’t be so, you know? I want to help create a world where families have access to everything they need to raise their babies. I have wandered a bit, wondered aloud, and in my head since we came home with our girl, about what I am to do from here. For all who have done it, you know the adoption process is all-consuming. I feel now that the intricacies of her story and the issues that it highlights, make The Adventure Project a cause worthy of my voice and devotion.
I was so drawn to Tiffany’s artwork- especially mine, “March on, my soul”, because I have needed that reminder every day since we came home. Although I don’t walk around with the heavy ache of empty arms waiting on my baby anymore, I walk around with a heavy baby who has turned our little world upside down.
She is fantastic, and funny, and sweet, and beautiful, and it is still really hard sometimes. She was touched by God, I believe, with an incredibly strong survivor spirit, which sometimes exhausts her parents. Our longing has been filled, but it doesn’t always look pretty. When I see my reminder to “March On”, I am reminded that we were called to do this, not because it was easy, but because it is where our longing and what we had to give, met the world’s need. But sweeter still is the reminder that “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus”(Philippians 1:6).
We have been given grace for the journey up till now, and I know that He will continue to walk us through where we go from here.