Mohale’s first haircut causes us to look back AND want to jump.

Mohale’s “First” Hair Cut

As we cherish our new son and watch him beautifully grow in countless ways,
several sad, telling, bald spots inspired us towards getting him a new style-
Mohale’s first professional haircut was scheduled.

We love how his hair naturally ends up in stylish, tight, tiny black curls all over his head.
Therefore, his stylist did not cut anything off of the top:)
Mohale was certainly tentative about getting his hair cut while sitting in a children’s airplane-shaped barber chair…he held my hand tight.

Our Kid’s Cut’s “model” afterwards contemplating his “First Haircut Certificate”:
Wheeeeee!  Paper airplane!

Looking back….

Mohale sported a darling shaved head when we first met him at the very awesome orphanage
in October.

Day 1-
Liam and Leora with Mohale only hours after we met him.
Growing boy…
Since then, Mohale’s sweet, joyful, bubbly personality, bonding confidence and hair have all grown-
along with his precious, amazingly cute, tiny, tight, raven black curls,
several large, harsh, bald spots appeared on the back and sides of his sweet head- evidencing the two and a half years that our son waited for a family.  He repetitively rocks, and rubs his head back and forth whenever he is left alone in his bed.   Often in the dark of night, he curls up into a little ball, face down like he’s cold and bangs his head gently on the mattress- over and over and over and over.  Except, he’s not cold.  Self-soothing behaviors such as these are common among children who have lived in orphanages.
Some children pull out their hair, scratch their skin, bite themselves, bang their heads on harder surfaces than Mohale does… It’s hard to make sense of this response to a neglected, repetitively broken heart.
His first night with us- three months ago in beautiful Lesotho, our hearts ached as, for the first time we saw him rock and gently, repetitively bang his head on his new mattress that first night in his bed.  Because we’ve become aware of similar behaviors in orphaned children, we were not surprised.  Yet, through tears, our hearts agonized as our son’s pain was bubbling up- out into the open.
David and I were up often that night trying to comfort him out of that behavior. 
Each time his rocking or head banging stopped-
only to start up again later.
No doubt, his pain was further exasperated by the fact that his new parents were total strangers to him- strangers who had, without warning, basically abducted him from all he’d ever known.

Every night since his first night with us three months ago, we have spoken his name and rubbed his back in the night when we hear him rock or bang his head.
The “heart” wounds which cause broken, self-soothing behaviors are slow to heal.

The orphanage that cared for Mohale is an incredible jewel of an orphanage.
Children there are highly regarded, loved and cared for.  A superb standard of care is upheld.
Yet, to an orphaned child, alone and afraid at night, even the best of orphanages is not the same as a committed, loving family.

This fact is heart wrenching because the vast majority of suffering orphans and foster children will never experience the love of a committed family-

The vast majority of orphans will never even experience the care of a good orphanage like Mohale did. 

In light of these truths, we hold and cherish our seven treasured children tightly and pray for ways to comfort even one more out of those millions who are not being safely cared for tonight.
(Our family can certainly make room for more.)

A glimpse back at two treasures:

I mentioned this picture below a couple of months ago- it moved our hearts.  Mohale had been in our care for one week when we returned to the orphanage with him for a visit.

 In the photo, David was holding two treasures- Actually, they were holding onto him…  
The remarkably brilliant little boy above was Mohale’s best buddy.  When we stepped into the room, he called to Mohale over and over “‘HOLLY!!!!  ‘HOLLY!!!”  After running and climbing over toys and children to get close once again to Mohale.  This little boy then, clung to David.  Oh how deeply we wanted to bring him home- we wanted to bring so many home. 
The little girl in the picture held tight to David’s shirt for the entire time he sat there.  After climbing into his lap, silent tears spilled continually down her wet face.  Occasionally she’d look up at David’s face and then wail in grief.  We don’t know her story- but her grief was clear and deep.  Her heart was broken.  David held her close.
Then we left. We left grieving children behind- grateful that at least there are beautiful staff and volunteers who care for her. 
Grief spilling from the little girl was painfully familiar-  I’ve endured seasons of dark, suffocating, agonizing, lonely grief that gripped my soul so hard I could hardly breathe- and perhaps didn’t want to breathe, because one I loved was gone.  In that valley, I could not imagine ever smiling again. Yet, I grieved while surrounded by family and friends committed to me and in a comfortable life where my other needs were met.

Tragically, millions of orphaned children, and widows, grieve 
 cast out, banished, terrified, homeless, unheard, despised, vulnerable, starving, thirsty, sick and even wickedly abused- with no one to comfort OR protect them.
God says He’s close to the broken hearted.  How often does He ask us to be His voice of comfort and arms that hold broken hearts close?  (Isaiah 58)
The volunteers at this orphanage are His arms, His ears, His voice of comfort.

Specific desires are often placed into our hearts for a purpose.

Take delight in the Lord,
    and he will give you your heart’s desires.
Psalm 37:4

To encourage those who have a desire to volunteer at an orphanage:
Volunteers loved our son.  Because of the love he experienced, Mohale is bonding far easier than most children adopted at his age!
Volunteers can make a world of difference in the lives of orphaned children.
Link: Beautiful Gate Lesotho

For those who may desire adoption: 
Check out my Resource Page here: Adoption Info

For those who may desire to foster or mentor a child:
Here’s one of numerous resources: USA KIDS

To those who desire to pray with fervent purpose:

The earnest prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. James 5:16 

This is war! (Eph. 6:10-18)  This side of heaven I doubt we will ever realize battles won through the prayers of unseen warriors behind closed doors fighting on their knees.

Can I encourage you?
Along with us, research ideas on what to do with unique desires in
your heart-

Most purposeful desires that can be used to bring comfort are not even mentioned here such as…
art, cooking, encouraging, supporting, speaking, writing, teaching, comedy, banking, organizing, building, babysitting, sports, networking,……etc etc etc.


Then JUMP out of the boat 
where miracles are required.

You may walk on water!
“No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9

David and I each shudder to think that we could have stayed in our familiar and recommended boat, ignoring the desires of our heart.

We could have waited for the perfect circumstances….(which never really come.)

It’s painful to consider, we would have missed out on at least 4 of our children-
and much more.

We can afford to loose everything this life has to offer for those who suffer alone and vulnerable,
we are held by the LOVE of One we cannot loose.
Deut 31:6, Romans 8:31-39

Miracles happen when we NEED them, not when circumstances are safe, advisable or perfect.  
If Peter had not stepped out of the boat into irrational faith towards the One he desired, he would have never walked on water.
He would never have experienced falling and the feel of drowning and then being pulled up by our Savior and WALKING ON WATER again in His Savior’s close, secure, adoring, close grip.
Peter could have missed out.

Agonizing, vulnerable people need us to step out of the boat.
We need renewed life that comes from stepping out of the boat.

Please, pray with us for direction on how we can jump again.

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