Friday, April 19, 2013

Community is...

I recently heard Shauna Niequist read this passage aloud at an event promoting her new book, Bread & Wine.  As I listened, my eyes filled with tears.  It told my story.  It told our story. It told His story.


"We don't come to the table to fight or to defend.  We don't come to prove or to conquer, to draw lines in the sand or stir up trouble.  We come to the table because our hunger brings us there.  We come with a need, with fragility, with an admission of our humanity.  The table is the great equalizer, the level playing field many of us have been looking everywhere for.  The table is the place where the doing stops, the trying stops, the masks are removed, and we allow ourselves to be nourished, like children.  We allow someone else to meet our need.  In a world that prides people on not having needs, on going longer and faster, on going without, on powering through, the table is a place of safety and rest and humanity, where we are allowed to be as fragile as we feel.  If the home is a body, the table is the heart, the beating center, the sustainer of life and healthy.

Come to the table."


Four years ago, Steve and I were optimistic and overjoyed that God had called us to a baby in Korea. We were inspired, wide eyed and could not wait to give a once orphan a home.

Four years ago, Steve and I embarked on this journey independently, not asking for help, and confident that although it was not going to be an easy road, we would be able to manage it relatively unscathed.  

Four years later....we have realized just how wrong we were.  We have had to come to the table, with our needs, our fragility, and our admission of humanity.

As we have sat at the table we have realized just what community is.

Community is a cheesecake with candles burning brightly the letters EP, with a small group singing Happy E.P. to you.........

Community is....

ten people sitting around on a Sunday night, listening through tears and praying for our aching hearts, random generous checks appearing in our mailbox,bags full of brand new clothes gifted specifically for Finley, a dear friend showing up with target bags to boot and completing a closet overhaul for Finley girla snow globe left in our car to celebrate a special girl's birthday, friends upon friends gathering around a cake and singing Happy Birthday in hopes that all in Korea could hear, a print sent because it was meant to be in our home, family gathering around Kimchee and eating it in spite of it's tastemessages sent with thoughts and prayers inside,phone calls from afar asking if there is any new news, favorite outfits passed on from a favorite friendhugs when there are no more words, long, in depth searches for korean books, notes on keyboards, twitter and every social media in between,those holding hope when I was pretty sure mine is missing, lovely ladies inviting me over to chat grieve and laugh, a bed made by hand, a Korean video purchased by the boys, Christmas gifts with Finley written atop, passed kleenex, empathetic looks sighs and words, gifts given even though our girl is halfway around the world, fabric shopping, quilt planning and patient understanding, ties upon ties donated for Finley, a dear friend's mom helping me sew for the cause, friends and family sharing Finley's story, a book given to Finley about a girl who can do anything,messages at just the right time, "our" finley spoken by manyremembering of the details of Finley girl knowing her only through pictures and stories, video sent to affirm, songs sent console, neighbors asking if we have heard any moresnow...and a dear friend sharing what the first snow symbolizes in Korea, pins pinned because Finley came to mind, likes on un.tied's pageevery bracelet, key fob and necklace purchased, every time someone speaks of her name and shares her storya hand stitched quilt with a map of Korea made with love, friends joining me in my sorrow and just listeninga friend listening through tears...often,every comment and like as we tell Finely girl's story, "Finley girl," spoken by others, continuous invitations to workout...showing N. Korea whose boss, 
the sound of her name..spoken in love.

The most important lesson we have learned through this all is that it is not just Steve and I adopting Finley girl, but that our entire community is adopting her, and one day we well tell her of their love for her.

To our community, Thank You for allowing us to be as fragile as we feel!

"We don't learn to love each other well in the easy moments.  Anyone is good company at a cocktail party.  But love is born when we misunderstand one another and make it right, when we cry in the kitchen, when we show up uninvited with magazines and granola bars, in an effort to say I love you." ~Shauna Niequist


  1. Chills... Love your heart T.

  2. Same here. Hoping and praying we meet that sweet girl soon.

  3. Oh my heart. You had better believe her Asian Auntie wants in on the adoption too. You. Are. NOT. Alone.

  4. Way to count gifts in the midst of such heartache. So proud of the person you are--don't you forget for a minute what a testimony and gift you are right back to us! Love you!

  5. I read an article in People this week about a family who met their son when he was very young in Guatemala, but had to wait 5 years before they were allowed to bring him home. They are together now- I hope you will be soon!

  6. oh theresa...blessing God that he has surrounded you and your family with such a wonderful, loving community. isn't it beautiful when God breaks you ever-so-gently of the thought,"we're just gonna pull up our boot straps and do this thing on our own"? and then watch the body of Christ surround you and shower you with exactly what you need exactly when you need it. believing and praying with you, dear one.

  7. This brought me to tears! Thank you for sharing! We have been and will continue to pray for your family to be united.

  8. No clue how I ended up glad I did!! Your family is BEAUTIFUL!! I love your kids' names! Following :))

  9. Hi Katie,

    I have an adoption fundraising idea I'd like to share with you. Can you email me at


    Matthew Lee


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