Here are two of my four kids...I'd like the other two for Christmas.
I visited Africa for the first time when I was a sophomore in high school. We were in Egypt and Sudan. Two nations whose beauty have marked me forever. Perhaps you have been there? Then you know I am not talking about the landscape. It's the people. With their deep skin and knowing eyes. Then they smile. It's a genuine smile. A grateful smile. They have earned those smiles. Years of hardship, pain I would prefer to forget, and a future that is uncertain. And yet they live. And yet they smile.
It has been a privilege for me to visit five African countries so far in my 30 years. I fall in love more each time. This December marks 2 years that we have been in the process of adopting from Uganda. We have a little boy & a little girl that are waiting to be a son & a daughter.
That is the first thing I want from Africa for Christmas. I want my kids. I want to hold them. Tell them all the reasons I chose them. That they were wanted, fought for and needed in our family. Some days the wait seems like too much emotion to handle. Other days it seems like a distant goal - one that is often referenced but never achieved. I think of them everywhere I go. I want my kids for Christmas.
The second gift I want from Africa is their wisdom. They celebrate life in a way that I can't seem to muster. I have been in a room of women dying from AIDS and I have heard their laughter. The kind of laugh that comes from deep joy, not superficial satisfaction. I have sat in a refugee camp in southern Sudan and watched tribal dances erupt spontaneously whenever they locate another villager among the thousands of displaced people. They have an identity in who they are and who they belong to. And they know how to celebrate their family. I want the wisdom of Africa in my heart.
So many things from Africa that I want for Christmas this year. Here is a clip to a video that says it better than I can.
I pray that no matter what is on your wish list this holiday season, you get a bit of Africa for Christmas.