Apr 19, 2010

A Party

Did you see the pictures of Victoria's birthday party? Here's what it looked like behind the scenes:

I asked if she knew how to crack an egg. She said yes. Turns out she didn't. But her smile and look of surprise was worth the mess.  It took me 20 minutes to clean out the utensil drawer, which as you can see was unluckily cocked open, and there was goopy egg yolk all over everything... yuck.


She needed that party. She needed to be celebrated. Not in a group setting, as is our custom at the foster home, but in a personal way that reminded her that she is truly special. It was a simple party -- very un-elaborate when compared to birthday parties of 6-year-olds back home… compared to her future parties. But there was something unspeakably beautiful about her joy and the rag-tag group of orphans seated around my table that afternoon.

My heart never stops breaking for them. And I never fail to be astonished at their perseverance and strength; at their unfailing hope and generous love. My friend Tara posted this video on her blog… I love imagining a mom and a dad passionately pursuing each of the children I love with the same intensity of this dad...


I'm not an orphan. But in some ways, I have an orphan's heart. I don't fully understand why… Anyway, no need to go into that, but I want to know I'm wanted and needed and valued.  And at the same time, I'm often afraid that I'll let down or disappoint the people who love me most. Afraid that I'll somehow fail to measure up to their expectations and they'll think less of me; even that I'll somehow fail to measure up to God's expectations and He'll think less of me. Just like Victoria, I often try to earn the love of others by being good, noble, honorable…

But you know what, that's not why I threw her a party. I didn't throw her a party because she is a good little girl, noble and honorable in all she does. (Besides the fact, she's not.) I threw her a party because I love her and want her to know that she's precious just the way she is.

People often tell us that we're "good people" for working with orphans. (Or some variant thereof.) But I don't think that has anything to do with it… There are many reasons we're here, but I know one major one for me is that there were some things God knew needed to be worked out of my heart and out of my identity, and He knew sending me to a place where orphans would gather around my table for a birthday party would help me to face my own brokenness and often unnamed pain and fear.

He brought me here so that He could throw me a party. And with each day, I'm getting closer to letting Him...


a Tonggu Momma said...

Oh, this made me cry. In the best way possible.

Stefanie said...

Thank you so much for sharing your heart, Carrie. It is such a blessing to read how He is molding you for His purposes... like you, I feel the pain of it sometimes, but He is always drawing me closer to Him!
Happy Birthday, Victoria!! Hope you are in your forever family's arms SOON :)

Tara Anderson said...

Carrie, the party was precious!!! I'm so glad you did that for her...what a special memory from her time at New Day! I'm so glad God takes us to a place so that we can throw someone a party...or hand someone a tissue and put our arms around them. It never ceases to amaze me how He orchestrates our steps to grow us and to bring Him glory! He is just so incredible!!!

Kim said...

Oh Carrie. I had to come back for a comment because I couldn't type thru the tears after the first read.
First of all ... I did see the photos of Victoria's birthday party and your "gift" of time and the creation of a special memory for her of just the two of you is so touching. She will carry the memory of that day and how you made her feel for a lifetime!
Secondly, I hung on every word that followed about God drawing you closer to Him thru His calling to serve at NDFH.
He has done the same thing for me. First with the twins adoption and now with our expat assignment in Asia.
I am truly longing for time with you and those precious in His sight at NDFH.
Until then,
Love & Blessings from Hong Kong,

Amy said...

This made me cry! A birthday party for orphans is such a beautiful way to care for the least of these because it cares for their little hearts.

Holly said...

Oh the wonders of His wisdom!
Thank you for sharing this Carrie.
I too have an orphan's heart.

Lisa said...

Praising the God who celebrates us everyday! Love the video!

The Ferrill's said...

TEARS! How the Lord works on my heart through my children. He reveals, He refines, He renews!

Thank you for giving Victoria a sweet party. Thank you for cleaning egg yolk out of your utensil drawer. Thank you for sharing your life with us!

TanyaLea said...

Carrie, this post touched me to the core. Tears.

Thank you for doing this for Victoria. Thank you for loving on her... I know she needs it right now. I know she is READY for her family. I can't wait til she gets to go home...but I'm glad you made this last birthday party in China such a special one for her.

Thank you for baring your heart for us to see. Thank you for 'keeping it real' every time you write. It's neat how God is using the oprhans to teach so many of us things we never knew about ourselves...how He's changing us in the journey.

I missed this video on Tara's blog, so I'm glad you posted it. I think I'm going to use it, too... it spoke volumes to me. Beautiful.

God bless! <><
~ Tanya


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