While we wait for the bread to bake on Thursdays, we often sit around and chat. We are usually somewhere near the oven, because I’m still not spectacular at remembering to set timers. We play games, like a little rock game the kids have taught me; we literally sit and play with rocks on the floor, as three adults. Last week I introduced them to Uno (or the Burmese version, “One card I have!”), which they loved.
Last week there were three of us: Pyo Pyo, who is 23 with a four-year-old son; Nyein Nyein is 20 with a baby on the way; and Chit Ne Oo is a 15-year-old high school student who was off school for the day. They were looking at some family photos and asking who everyone is. I tried to explain who each sister was, who she was married to, and how many kids she had for both Stephen & I. I explained that Hope is “adopted” into our family, because they are often confused in our family pictures! It didn’t take long for them to see the trends of most of our sisters having children, so they asked about us not having children.
They’ve asked many times before, since it’s common for 19 or 20 year olds to have their first child. At 27, I’m behind schedule for here. But I guess they thought maybe it was an American thing?
But then they saw our families…was it just us?
That’s mostly what they were asking: it’s odd here, but it’s odd there, too?
I wasn’t sure what to say.
I’m not sure what to say to you either, and that’s why I mostly don’t here! But I tried, in broken Burmese and broken English…I told them that we have always wanted to adopt. I told them it was complicated, though, because we live here, where there are lots of children to adopt, but they don’t have papers. It gets messy.
Or at least that’s what I think I said. Those are a lot of vocabulary words I don’t know.
Mostly I said I just didn’t know; we were praying about it and waiting on God.
Nyein Nyein smiled. She said we had so many children—she started naming off the children playing at our house, and pointed to each of them—three adults or nearly adults!—and said they were all our children. She said we didn’t need children, we had so many!
There are so many things I don’t have answers to in the world and in our own lives, and this is one of them. I don’t know how the things will come to fruition. I don’t know if we’ll have children or adopt them or just love on children & adults with families our whole lives! I don’t know if we’ll have a namesake.
But I know that God sends little messages through these friends, and it was a beautiful little moment. They don’t have to understand the story or the prayers or the questions or even the culture.
A few years ago, I wrote about a little girl coming to our door, and the idea that in me giving her water, I could be Christ to her; but that she could be Christ to me, too. I am still mulling on this, as I spend more and more time in the community. Over the years, this community has taught me so much of Christ. There are so many days that they have been Christ to me, even not following Christ.
That day, I had spent all day baking bread with two women and play Uno on the floor, trying to show them the love of Christ. And yet, they gave me Christ that day: he hears our prayers and questions. And he sends them to tell us that for now, for today, he has given us an abundance of children!