Sunday, November 2, 2008

"From Caring Comes Courage"

I was going into Burger King earlier today and I noticed this little poster on the window in the entrance advertising something for the Disabled American Veterans organization. There was a quote on it that I found to be profound and very meaningful to me. It is,

"From Caring Comes Courage"

-- Lao Tzu
Four little words. But consider carefully the truth in them.

Where do ordinary people get the courage to do extraordinary things? From something they're passionate about. What are you passionate about? Are you passionate about orphans? How about the orphans of Ukraine?

Where do you get the courage to open up your life to strangers?

Or the courage to spend a small fortune on an adoption when you can't afford it?

...The courage to ask your boss for a month off from work?

...The courage to be away from your kids at home for a month?

...The courage to use all of your vacation time, and if there's not enough, to take unpaid leave?

...The courage to travel to a place where they don't speak your language, don't understand you, and don't even want to?

...The courage to lose all of your status that you have back home and to be treated like a dolt by Ukrainians?

...The courage to be at the mercy of the SDA regarding the referrals they present you with?

...The courage to put all your faith into a Ukrainian businessperson to help you over there?

...The courage to deal with the capriciousness of all of the government officials that you absolutely cannot avoid?

...The courage to take in a small child that may have health problems?

...The courage to take in an older child who might have emotional baggage?

...The courage to shatter the status quo back at home and alter the dynamics in your home?

...The courage to teach foreign-born children the English language and the ways of Americans?

...The courage to deal with the adaptation issues that will arise when you bring an orphan into your home?

...The courage to deal with small-minded individuals who treat your struggling Ukie poorly?

...The courage to press on, even on the trying days when you feel like you've made the biggest mistake of your life?


I try to follow a lot of Ukrainian adoption blogs, and, every day, I see ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Take for example, the Wolff family, who, as I write this post, are in Ukraine adopting two teenage girls. Recently, the Wolff's posted an entry to their blog called "Goodbye", which seems to have touched many of their readers. It is about the day that they went to pick up their girls from the orphanage for the last time, and the difficulty of leaving behind so many others.

Sometimes it all seems so futile, but it isn't of course. The Wolff's write often about rescuing their girls, from an almost certain terrible future. So, it isn't futile for them.

The truth is, if everyone reading this blog, and all the others, caught the vision for adoption, especially of older children, think of the impact that could be made! All it takes is for caring people to get over whatever fear they have that is holding them back, and get the courage that flows from passion.

Last summer, I posted about an adoption story that appeared in an Ohio newspaper. It is probably my favorite post of all that I've done, so far. Take a look at it, if you haven't before.


Some say that the following words were written on the wall in Mother Teresa's own room. Wouldn't you say that they fit her life? How about yours?

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered. Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives. Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies. Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you. Be honest and sincere anyway.

What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight. Create anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.

Give the best you have, and it will never be enough. Give your best anyway.

In the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.


Julie said...

Alan, did you see my post on October 27? “Out of difficulties grow miracles.” — Jean de la Bruyere

reminds me of your quote. :))

I really enjoy your blog and see that a LOT of your readers end up on my blog too. Thanks for sharing :)


Conethia and Jim Bob said...

What a great blog on what makes courage. BTW, you've been tagged.

MamaPoRuski said...

I love this post! Thanks for the focus, and the last line of Mother Theresa sums it up for me!

Jeri said...

She was also quoted as saying," I wish He didn't hold me in such high esteem sometimes." Or something very similar. This was partly in jest concerning the challenges in life that come. I'm with her on that...sometimes I wish He thought I was a big ol' wuss that needed an easier path.
btw, is your son traveling with you on your adoption trip?

Alan said...

Julie: I hadn't seen that post before. Reminds me of the saying, At the end of me is.. God.

Conethia: Well thanks for the tag! :-/ I want to let this post sit a little before I respond.

Jeri: We are planning on taking Mark. Our thinking right now tho is that Nancy and Mark will return home after court. But nothing is settled yet. It would not be good for Mark to miss a month or more of school.