some reflections upon reading Wish You Happy Forever

I just finished reading Wish You Happy Forever: What China’s Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains by Jenny Bowen, founder and CEO of Half the Sky. It’s the story of her adoption of a little girl from China in 1997 and her efforts thereafter to encourage truly nurturing care for the children remaining in China’s orphanages. She started Half the Sky, an organization that now works all over China to help care for those children most in need.

The book was particularly moving for me, because our little Madeleine CaiQun spent much of the early years of her life in an orphanage that benefits from a Half the Sky program.

Dang Cai Qun1 2013-1-2

So many children who have been adopted have almost no information about their lives prior to adoption. Because of Half the Sky, we have early pictures of CaiQun, bits of information about what her life was like, and progress reports on her development from the time she spent in China.

And while CaiQun was behind developmentally when she came to us, I believe it is in part because of Half the Sky that she was able to grow and develop as much as she did while in China. Orphanage life is never ideal, but the work Half the Sky has done to improve physical conditions and cultivate environments of loving care within orphanages is huge.

It’s shocking to me when I stop to think about it how far we have left to go in our world today, how much evil persists, how much cruelty and how much negligence there are, how much need there is.

And when confronted with that reality, I’m always forced to stop and wonder, am I doing enough??

I don’t know.

This stage of life, home-schooling and caring for 3 kiddos age 5 and under, feels pretty full to me. I find that most of my time and energies are spent serving our little family and doing the normal rhythms of our life – trying to be involved in the art community in our city and be involved in our church community, going to shows, having people over for dinner, and other such daily-life type activities.

I want to be continually evaluating, though, whether there are other areas in which I and we can serve within this world. Matt and I have started talking more concretely about our next adoption – when and how to proceed. There are so many children in the world in need of parents, so many children we would love to love. We’re looking forward to adding to our family again.

And beyond that, we’ll have to see what God might have for us!