devozine

Spiritual Practice

EXTENDING FAMILY

Katlyn Meiners, 18

A passion for helping others had burned in all of us since our family participated in a mission trip seven years earlier. One night at dinner, Mom put our dream into words: “What do you think about adopting a child?”

Children are a blessing and a gift from the Lord.
Psalm 127:3 (CEV)

The family burst into excited conversation. My little sister imagined no longer being the youngest. My brother and I started planning changes. Our parents made sure we knew that the newest member of our family would need lots of attention and the money we had would need to stretch a little farther.

My parents went to Ethiopia for ten days and brought Dessa home. Our new sister was a beautiful, six-year-old Ethiopian child. We immersed Dessa in American culture. We labeled everything in the house and took turns teaching her English as well as reading, arithmetic, and etiquette. She quickly became part of the family.

Katlyn-Sibs DSCN1894

 

Two years later, we were all in China, picking up our new little brother. Tiger was born with a bilateral cleft lip and palate, which made eating, hearing, and speaking difficult. Our trip was filled with doctors’ appointments and meetings about the adoption; but soon we were on our way home with the new addition to our family. After several reconstructive surgeries to improve his speech and his hearing, Tiger quickly picked up the English language and now is completely at home in our family.

 

Since God inspired our family to share our blessings with others, we have become a multi-cultural family, happier and busier than ever before.

 

JOURNAL: Write about how different kinds of families reflect the diversity of God’s people.

Photo courtesy of Katlyn Meiners

—from devozine (November/December 2014). Copyright © 2014 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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