It’s really tempting to let this week pass without saying much about it. Because it’s never really been about me. But, this week is four years – four years of living in Indianapolis, and most importantly, four years of working at MLJ Adoptions.
I stepped into this work four years ago, with a broken heart and a bruised ego. I arrived in Indianapolis to work as an administrative assistant at an organization that originally turned me down, and hired another candidate. It would be easy to tell you that this work has been a cake-walk and full of victory. I have had the opportunity to move into the role as our Outreach Coordinator and this summer into my dream job, the Director of Marketing and Outreach. The past four years have been a privilege.
But, here’s the other truth: this job has been harder than I thought it would be. It’s harder, and it’s more complex.
I’ve seen things with my own two eyes that I can’t unremember. Standing in the orphanage in the middle of Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo seeing more than three babies sharing a crib will stick with me for the rest of my life. The broken English voices of teenagers who walked up to me in a children’s home in Ukraine and asked me to take them to America with me, will be a sound I don’t remember. Reading throughbackground information about a girl from Latin America who had been abused, trafficked and displaced more times than is actually known before she was seven is a nightmare I can’t quite forget.
It has been harder than I imagined. there have been days and weeks where I wonder if I’m cut out for child welfare. This isn’t what I studied in school. I didn’t have a traumatic childhood to cultivate resiliency in me. I run from hard things; I abhor the hard stuff. Even this recent promotion has been difficult to wrap my mind around because the responsibilities have been added to my job are not skillsets that come naturally to me.
And yet here I am. Four years into this hard job. Four years into this job that is an immense privilege. Four years into this good, worthy work.
Just last week, we pushed for a big goal. It demanded a lot out of me. Much like this job has over the past four years. When we hit this goal, I was so, so proud. I stayed in the hard, and pushed through. It felt like a tangible reminder of the grit God has cultivated in me in the past four years. It has been worth it. The children who have been brought into forever families – every last one of them- have been worth it. The kiddos who are waiting for families – they’re worth it, too.
This job isn’t about me. God cared about the orphan thousands of years before I stepped onto the scene. He’ll care about vulnerable children long past when I’m gone. But God has used this job to change me. My skin is thicker. My heart is tougher. My eyes are open. My passport is fuller. My mind thinks more critically. He has fought through my pride and privilege to remake me. To create a better me.
So as I start my fifth year at MLJ Adoptions, I praise a God who saw it fit to let me make a difference in the lives of hundreds of children all the while He made a different me.