From Bananas to Adoption

Anyone who has known me for a long time, knows that I always wanted to have ten kids. Yup,  t-e-n 10.  I wanted 4 of my own, and to adopt 6, preferably with special needs. Most people who knew this thought I was crazy and I’m sure Mr. Incredible still thinks I’ve gone bananas…

And here we are with 4 kids of our own, 2 with special needs. We are well on our way to that 10!  Well, maybe not anytime soon, but I can always hope 🙂

I have been reading a couple books lately. One is “Kisses From Katie” by Katie Davis and the other is “Choosing To See” by Mary Beth Chapman.

Kisses from Katie is an amazing true story about a young girl, Katie, who at 18 moves to Uganda to care for the orphans and help in any way she can. She fell in love with the people there. One of the most inpactful things I learned from reading this book is that we really need to SEE the needs of the people around us, and to do what we can to meet them. Katie is so amazing.  She would see a child in need, whether for food, education,or clothing, or for medical attention, and she’d do all she could to help them.  All she could…to the point of taking them in her home and nursing them back to health, and starting a foundation called Amazima, to raise money so she could help more and more.

At one point, she was introduced to a tribe whose needs were so great it was overwhelming, and she heard Jesus speak to her heart and tell her he is not asking her to care for everyone. Just the one in front of her. Just the one she is with now.  Just who is there at the moment. One life at a time.  And that is what she did. She ended up adopting 14 children by the age of 22. She believes that adoption is a beautifully biblical picture of what God has done for us…. which leads me to the next book…

I didn’t pick these books, or the order in which to read them, on purpose. It just kinda happened.  I wasn’t thinking about the Chapmans adoptions from China when I downloaded the free kindle book “Choosing To SEE”.  I just love to read about people.

Anyway, adoption is one of the major themes in that book as well, as any of you who are familiar with Steven Curtis Chapman’s music and story already know.  But Mary Beth put into words her view of adoption which hit home even more profoundly.


After feeling afraid that she would not be able to love the child she was about to adopt as much as she loved her natural children, she finally saw and instantly deeply, passionately, loved her baby.  As they handed her to her, she said, “It was like God was speaking to me directly. Mary Beth, you thickheaded woman, do you not understand now that this is the very way I see you?  You are this orphan! I adopted you and you are Mine! I bought you for a price! Do you see how you love this baby?  That’s just a faint reflection of how much I love you! …I saw it.  The second she was placed in my arms, I would have fought to the death to protect her. I loved her with everything inside me.” p86

I had not thought of it like that.  I know that God has adopted us as his children, and that He loves us with a passionate love. BUT, I didn’t really consider that He loves us adopted children, just as much as his own child, Jesus! Just like all my friends that have had the priviledge of adopting children love their adopted JUST AS MUCH.  Of course they do, and I would and we would too!  How could you not?

At this point, you are probably wondering if I have gone bananas what the heck bananas have to do with this?

Well.. let me tell you a story:

I was coming home from Whole Foods and there was a guy who was homeless, asking for help as I was driving home.  The car in front of me passed him so they didn’t have to see him.  He was clearly frustrated by that. He seemed kinda new at it…very frustrated at the lack of help instead of the expressionless face you often see.  Anyway, It was hot and bright and there he was holding a sign. He looked slightly familiar, like one of the guys at our church who plays guitar.

I really felt bad for him. I remembered part of the Kisses from Katie book where Katie talks about doing what you can–even if overwhelmed with the large need, we can often do something…we can offer something. So I looked.

I had may change purse from Peru that my friend brought back for me  when she went on a missions trip.  I got out the quarters out for him. Then I just saw how hot he seemed and imagined how miserable I’d be standing out there. So I thought about what I’d just bought, and realized I could easily give away a banana and help him out a lot, and I wouldn’t even miss it!

So I gave him a banana and some quarters. He came to life. I felt the tingling go from my hand that was giving him food, down my arm to my heart and I had chills all over. He was more than thankful. Heart felt “God bless you!”‘s were given.  I think though, that I was blessed more than him.  I was in tears. I couldn’t talk to him b/c the light changed but I also couldnl’t talk because I was so tearful and overwhelmed. It was like giving food to God. Like I saw Jesus in his eyes, just like you hear people talk about.  It was really amazing.

I was thinking about how easy that was. I reached for my drink…an unopened bottle of water that I kept in a cooler so I’d have a cold drink for the way home. I could have given him that too!  He really needed it more than me.  Then I was thinking about bananas.  They are nutrition packed fruit of the potassium, but also their peels are great for writing notes on!  And, you don’t have to wash it first before eating!  The peel if discarded is biodegradable so no worries about finding a trashcan or littering. It really is the perfect thing to give away!
So now I’m thinking of making up bags with water, bananas with notes When I see those people on the side of the street, I can give them that instead of looking the other way…something, unfortunately, I usually did.  The bananas may carry on them a note that tells the people about the God who SEE’s them.
Now I’m thinking about how I can love others…because Jesus does.  He wants us to do what we can to help those in need, even if just one at a time..help the person in front of you.

1 John 3:1  See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are!

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4 Comments

  1. Terry said,

    June 19, 2012 at 6:15 PM

    Hi Merri – thanks for this post – you made me cry just a little, and I really needed to see this today. I’m strangling in my own self-pity and sometimes I don’t see those around me. Thanks for bringing this to my mind and for showing God’s love to me and others around you – love ya!

    • Merri Lewis said,

      June 19, 2012 at 6:18 PM

      Aww, Hi Terry, I am glad it encouraged you! Sorry you are having a bad day though.

  2. Barb Seagle said,

    June 19, 2012 at 6:35 PM

    Such a good idea Merri! It seems it’s gonna keep getting Hotter, and cold water and a banana is perfect! I guess we are used to hearing the folks down and out are just trying to get money for some wine or something! This gives me hope.
    When it comes to having so many Children, well I have settled for rescuing and fixing the Feral cats. I am done rescuing and love my Cats!

    • Merri Lewis said,

      June 19, 2012 at 6:40 PM

      Ha! I love cats too Aunt Barbara, I have also taken in many who needed homes and placed them. I thought about starting an agency for that once LOL. I know, it’s hard to look past what some do (use money for alcohol, etc.) to see the true needs. And actually, a cold water and banana will help those who drink a bit much even more!


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