life as we know it

Friday, December 3, 2010

Water Works

Yikes, something is wrong with me today! The tears have sure been flowing, and for good reason I suppose. Let's put the pieces together. December 1st was World AIDS Day which helped raised awareness to HIV prevention and for people to take action to reduce prejudice against those diagnosed with HIV/AIDS. I've been seeing some videos related to this topic and articles (like the one featured in People Magazine about Project Hopeful) but have been extremely busy with work, so I finally found some time today to catch up. Of course, click on one thing and it will lead to to another, and another, and another. Until I stopped on the following video. Although not related to World AIDS Day, this video touched me deeply. It's the story of the Wahlberg family who answered God's call to adopt. What I can say is that this family didn't just change the life of their little girl Bale, but have a story that will impact many, including me.

 Of course this hits home for me as Nick and I are in the process of adopting a child from Ethiopia, but this goes to a deeper level for me. See, one of the children in the orphanage I volunteered in was a boy with no physical impairments but significant cognitive deficits. He was always in a dress because he would go the bathroom at random times and the caregivers got tired of changing his clothes. He has a large scar on his face. The only phrase I ever heard him say was "be careful" as he repeated what he had heard me say. We were careful when he was around the babies because he tended to unintentionally be a little rough. But the joy of this child's dancing, oh the joy! I loved dancing around with him. I'm not sure how the beat of clapping sounded to him, but it usually initiated a contagious dance party that made everyone smile. He was called Mingi. I knew it was only a nickname, not his real name, but I had no idea. No idea what this meant or the depth this phrase has in Ethiopia. It meant he was a cursed child. And I called him this. Oh, hurt my heart. Ignorance is bliss? I beg to differ. I hope we can all embrace the idea of opening our eyes to the injustices of the world and do something. I hope you find as much joy in this child's dancing as I did. I just wish I knew his name.

These are a few of the best videos I have unfortunately; sorry for the orientation.


  1. I read your posts today and watched the videos with much emotion, tears flowing down my cheeks, too. To say I'm proud of you that you want to make a difference in this world is an understatement. With all of your many accomplishments, this is what I'm the proudest are truly a beautiful person inside and out. Your passion and compassion come across in your words...through the computer over hundreds of miles. You are doing something remarkable in your young life and again I say, I am truly blessed to have you as my daughter and Nick as my son-in-law. Mingi is not a cursed child in your eyes or in God's eyes. Sometimes people for reasons that I'm sure makes God sad, too, make a decision based on their own insecurities and ignorance about who is to be adored and who is to be shunned. I have tried to figure that out and struggled with that since I was very young, before I was even in school...I remember particular situations...God is with you always as He is in this journey. I believe that things happen for a reason and that life unfolds as it's supposed to, especially when we turn our lives over to a bigger purpose that ourselves. Take good care of yourself throughout this process...I've learned the importance of that. You are going to make someone a wonderful mother, and you are touching lives with what you're doing. I know God has big plans for you and is putting the people and situations in your life to make it all come to pass. I wish I could give you a big hug right now. I hope you can feel my love through the computer, too. Take good care my dear child. Somewhere on the other side of the world is a child or a child who is yet to be born, who you will hold in your arms and will call you "mommy". You will give him/her a name and it won't be will be child who is loved and blessed. Maybe you will get to see Mingi again when you go back to Ethiopia and you can call him by his given name. I love you, Kelly. Mom

  2. No way... really? I always thought Mingi was just short for Mengistu (like the Derg president dude) I had no idea it was a derogatory term?!!
    And second, I'd like to tell everyone who may be reading this that Kelly should not apologize for the filming of this video sideways... I take full responsibility for that and apologize!

  3. I remember watching the videos of him dancing. Such a happy and free spirit. He brought a smile to my face back then and still does. Maybe you will meet him again one day when you return. And if you do you can show him once again what a wonderful child he truly is. So for us watching, his name does not mean that he is cursed. To us it means all of the joy he brings to others with his love of music.

  4. No, ignorance is not bliss as the saying goes. But you know I never had even heard of mingi until we helped start the Drawn From Water orphanage. The beautiful thing is you can pray blessings over this boy even if oceans separate you. I am so glad you are blessed by our adoption testimony. Adoption is amazing and we feel like Bale has been a part of our lives forever. I would die for her just like I would the children I have birthed. We have 3 other friends that have just adopted (2 from DFW and 1 from private) and more friends adopting. It is God's heart. You will be so blessed!