Kindness is friendly warmth. Kindness is always generous and considerate. It gives in service.
Kindness is affectionate concern.
It is helpful thoughtfulness. Kindness is unselfish.
It is compassionate and holds sympathy and charitable understanding close. Kindness is big-heartedness. Kindness has concern for others. Kindness does random loving acts.
Kindness is caring for others. It is always helping others. Kindness cultivates caring.
It is devoted loyalty, and the tender mercies of God. Kindness is love in motion.
“I love you,” Alexandre (Dre) said in English. Everyone’s eyes flooded with tears, from the Brazilian judge and the psychologist to the social worker and the translator.
“Eu te amo,” I said in Portuguese as tears dripped down my face. Dre had captured the room with the universal language of love. I plopped Ezequiel (Zeke) on my lap as he looked up with a shy grin.
Abandoned and orphaned early in life, we adopted Dre and Zeke when they were already 12 and 8 years old. Sitting in the darkened courthouse room in a tiny village of Brazil, we learned more details of the trauma our sons had already experienced. Our sons were born to us out of that womb of understanding. They walked into our lives with old clothes, broken sandals, and all they owned in a Spider-man backpack.
As mothers, we have the unique privilege of partnering with God to give life to our children. Our sons did not have the safety and refuge of being born into a life-giving family. Sharing love with our sons was not as simple as bonding with our daughters at birth. They were not held, cuddled, and looked at as babies.
If you met Dre and Zeke now, it would be difficult for our sons to look you in the eye. They still arch their backs when hugged and pull away from touch.
How different Dre’s arrival into our home than the arrival of his sister, Sarah. Both of them were born the same year, only six months apart.
Looking back at Sarah’s arrival into our home, I remember the sun streaming in through the windows and dancing on the cheeks of our four daughters. Weakened by the delivery of Sarah Faith, I sat propped up in bed as Rachel (age 6) and Angela (age 4) nestled close. It was 2-year-old Hannah who pushed everyone out of the way to get her turn at holding “my baby.”
What a stunning contrast found in the utter delight of welcoming the miracle of a newborn into the circle of safety and familial love. All of us were looking intently at Sarah. We welcomed her. We loved her. We cherished her. But it didn’t happen that way for our sons when they were born.
Rather than being celebrated and cared for, Dre and Zeke were left to fend for themselves in Brazil. At an early age most orphans have suffered abandonment, loss, rejection, poverty, and sometimes indifference. The basic needs every child- to be held, fed, cared for, and loved- have been denied an orphan at some level. The wounding of many orphans begins while they are in the womb of their biological mothers, who may be taking drugs and drinking alcohol. Remember, God’s Word says,
“Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father
means caring for orphans and widows in their distress
and refusing to let the world corrupt you.”