Friday, July 25, 2014

Purifying Love

Nicole with one of her ponies
   In a small village in west-central Slovakia, a transformation of lives is taking place.  Dreams are becoming reality.  The change began several years ago when Anna began to spend her free time helping out at a center for special-needs children.  Through relationships Anna made, she became aware of the number of Roma children who are never adopted from the state-run orphanages in Slovakia.  Anna had dreamed about having a child of her own.  That's when she met Nicole.

   Nicole's birth mother left her when she was just a few hours old at a baby-receiving center in the Czech Republic.  Though Nicole had no family, it was determined that she was Slovak and she was shipped off to an orphanage in Slovakia.  Anna fell in love with the then two-month-old Nicole and in time decided to adopt her.  A caring mother plus a child in need of a family.  It was a dream come true.
   But the decision to love and adopt Nicole was costly for Anna.  Nicole is Roma, minority Slovak; Anna is majority Slovak.  Anna spoke honestly about how her closest friend - a friend for whom Anna had been the witness at her wedding, godmother to her children, life-long pals - cursed her for adopting a "gyspy" child.  Convinced that a relationship with Anna would some how contaminate her own life because of the darker-skinned infant, she cut off all contact and refuses to acknowledge her former friend.

As Anna shared this heart breaking story, she looked over at Nicole and said, "What could a small child do to change my life?  She changed everything.  I am richer now than before . . . she has purified my life."  Love has a way of doing that.

Anna and Nicole now live on a farm with lots of ponies, miniature horses, cows, and goats.  They occasionally host days where other ethnically-mixed adoptive families or families with special-needs children can come and enjoy a day on a magical farm.  "What kid does not love a pony?" Anna asked as we strolled across the pasture to where the horses were pinned.  Their dream of a permanent playground and a magical farm is still only a dream . . . a dream which one day may come true.

(Nicole and Anna are not their real names, but the story and the farm is real.  We'll keep in touch with them and see what doors God may open.)