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For the past four days I have been in Africa. My wife and I traveled here to pursue an adoption. It has been an incredible journey–life changing to be more precise. There is an image from this trip that will not leave me. We were driving through Addis Ababa en route to one of our stops during our visit. It was mid-morning and partly cloudy. The temperature was nice. The roads were crowded with people and vehicles. The city was bustling. Waiting at a traffic circle a young child appeared out of the corner of my eye from the left side of the van. The child crossed in front of the van and then continued on the sidewalk to the right of the van. I did not see the child’s face and have no idea what gender the child was. The clothes the child was wearing were in tatters and very dirty. The child had no shoes. As quickly as the child appeared, it was gone again in the crowd. I cannot know, but I feel strongly that this child was without a home. No face and no gender, this child became the picture to me of what the future of an orphan will likely be if they are not adopted. At that moment ethnicity, age, gender, and the multitude of other factors that we use to compartmentalize a process, namely adoption, disappeared. None of these things need matter, if we can truly seek to love one another as we would love ourselves.

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