Yesterday a friend and I had a conversation on the phone about adoption. After we hung up, I remembered a conversation I had with a stranger in Chick-fil-A about two years ago. Lauren and I were eating lunch. A mom and her three kids were sitting next to us. The mom asked if I had other children and I told her that we were in the process of adopting a baby girl from Guatemala. Her face lit up and she said, “Your daughter is so lucky. This will forever change her view of people. What a gift you are giving her.”

Those of you who have adopted will agree that this is the type of reaction you hope for but not the one you always get. I am pleasantly surprised when people are positive about adoption, particularly international adoption.

I had hoped that our adoption story would inspire others to adopt. Perhaps it will. Dave reminded me last night that we haven’t reached the end of the story.

I hope and pray that because of Carmen, Lauren is seeing the joy of adoption and the value of every life. I can’t think of a better gift.

Lauren and Carmen, July 2008, by Rashmi Pappu (