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forever changed by a child

Value: to consider with respect to worth, excellence, usefulness, or importance.

We live in a day and age where we place great value on things.

Our homes must be in the right neighborhood, furnished with the proper accessories, bought from the right stores.

Our children must wear the right clothes—designer labels speak of class and good taste.

Our cars must be less than five years old or they get labeled as being too old for anyone’s good.

We’re bombarded with advertising that sells perfection, infinite beauty, wealth, and prosperity.

Great value is placed on sending our children to very best of schools (for which we/they will pay back for the next thirty-one and a half years!).

One degree is useless—we must go back and get three in order to be valuable to anyone in the business sector.


We seek it daily.

In our relationships.

In our work.

In the things we spend our hard-earned dollars on.

And sadly, in people too.

There is great value in the star student who aces high school.

Very little gets given to the treasure who works just as hard, yet scrapes by.

We place inestimable value on the football player who never misses a catch.

While the boy who attends every practice and tries with everything that is within him sits on the bench…

…every single game.

We strive for perfection. In all things.

I understand that. Shamefully, I used to be that person.

As Anthony and I prepared to welcome our firstborn child into the world, I didn’t care if that baby was a boy or a girl or whether he/she would inherit his daddy’s olive Lebanese skin and dark hair, or whether he would be fairer like my side of the family. I didn’t care about whether the baby would arrive via C-section or natural birth. And I didn’t even care if, for some reason, I would not be able to breastfeed.

I was obsessed about just one thing:

That he would be born without physical deformity or any disability whatsoever.

I remember the day like it was yesterday. They took our baby out of my womb and before I could even hear the words, “It’s a boy!” I was asking Anthony if everything looked “normal.” I made him count every finger and every toe before I felt like I could finally exhale.

God has changed my heart so much over the years. What I then feared, I now embrace as precious and valuable.

Almost two years ago I looked at the first pictures I would ever see of a tiny, desperately malnourished teenager.

Fourteen years old.

Fourteen pounds.


Hanging on for dear life.

Broken in body.

But not in spirit.

Neglected beyond human understanding.

They left her there. In a crib—the only life that she knew.



But never forsaken.

“Could we do it?”

“Should we do it?”

“What are you calling us to do, Lord?”

We prayed without ceasing.

On bended knee we waited for the answer from heaven.

We found many reasons to walk away.

But one very good reason to say yes.

Fear keeps you in the boat. 

Walking on water means looking into His face, casting aside every fear and every concern, and getting out of that comfortable boat!

We desperately wanted to walk on water.

She would become our oldest daughter. Because He said so.


A beautiful gem crafted by the hand of an Almighty Father.

So precious in His sight.

The Father named her “Hasya”–a Hebrew word meaning “to have mercy.”

As we celebrate Hasya’s one-year anniversary of being home, I struggle to even find the words to express how much God has changed this broken, abused little being…

…and us.

Adoption does certainly change children and gives them opportunities to learn, grow, belong to families, and receive much-needed medical attention.

But the truth is…

They change US more!

I am no longer the person I used to be.

No longer do I see value in absolute [worldly] perfection.

I see perfection in all things…

…precious feet that look different and cannot go where “normal” feet go.

Beautiful eyes that cannot see…

…but know that you are near.

Arms that struggle to straighten…

…but hands that reach out to grab a finger and will not let go.

The completely dependent.

The discarded.

The ones tossed into laying rooms and mental institutions because they struggle more than others—because they weren’t born perfect in the eyes of the world.

Because of the Almighty Father—the Great Potter—He made her unique—fearfully and wonderfully sculpted by His glorious hand.

This child. This sweet and amazing blessing from heaven…

She has been one of my greatest teachers.

Even though she has never uttered a single word.

She has taught me how to SEE. Really SEE.

SEE infinite value in those the world deems worthless.

SEE potential and ability in every single human being—no matter what that looks like.

She is valuable beyond description and loved beyond words.

She has astounded us in how far she has come in just one year. Not because of anything special or amazing that we have done.

But simply because she is loved and treasured for who she is, just the way she is.

I get it now. I finally get it so deep down in my own heart.

The value of a child can never be found through the eyes of the world…

…it is to be found through the eyes of a God in heaven who is absolutely incapable of making mistakes.

He does ALL things with perfection.

A display of His splendor.

For His glory.

The things of the world…

…they really do grow so strangely dim.

When we turn our eyes upon Jesus.