Cake, Surprise on the Dance Floor, and Cribs in the Back of the Room

Last Wednesday I started making my first tiered cake. It was for my friends’ adoption gala. I spent countless hours combing through websites on how to move the cake, how to stack the layers, how to stack the tiers, etc. When time came to assemble the cake, I am surprised I didn’t have to breath into a bag for a few minutes in efforts to calm myself. But with the help of Paul and my friend Heather, the bottom two layers were assembled on Thursday afternoon and Friday morning.

Another friend, Lynsey Driver, made the cupcakes for the Gala and she helped with the final assembly and finishing touches of the cake.

And somehow…miraculously…the two of us were able to get the cake to the table with no incident…well, almost, but like they say, “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” Or in our case, “What happens in the little kitchen at Pinebrook Country Club, stays in the little kitchen at Pinebrook Country Club.”

Here’s the finished product:

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This is Stephen and Ally. You may remember them from the Sunday Lunch Bunch post I wrote a few months ago.

I bet you’re asking, “Why in the world, MacKenzie, have you put up this picture of your friends?”

Because 60 seconds before this picture was taken…
this happened on the dance floor at the Gala. And Ally was surprised…and she said yes if you couldn’t guess that from the above picture. 

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The Gala was great. The food was good, there were great things to bid on in the silent auction, the music was stellar (both the play list and Wesley Johnson). But we weren’t there for the food or for stellar music. We were there to help Chase and Kelley bring their children home. Kelley spoke a little bit about their adoption process and also gave some facts/statistics. I’d like to share them with you if you will indulge me for just a few moments.

-There are 153, 000, 000 orphans in the world.
-There are 4.3 million orphans in Ethiopia.
-In Ethiopia one in six orphans will not reach their fifth birthday.

As disturbing as all of this was for me to hear and as hard as it has been for me to digest it, the hardest thing was this: They’ve been told from other couples who have adopted from Ethiopia that  they should pray that their babies are in cribs in the front of the room because the babies in the back of the room hardly ever get held or touched or changed or talked to or played with or even looked at. I can hardly even type this without being overcome with emotion and heartache. As Kelley said, it is the luck of the draw for the children. They have no control over what bed they are in, it’s just whatever crib is available when they arrive. The workers in that country have over 4 million children to attend…an overwhelming and I can imagine somewhat defeating task. But those innocent children have no voice. Those babies in the back of the room have no advocate. They are alone, in the back of a room.

But where does all this leave me?

I have broken down more than once since Friday. My heart is aching and broken. I want to go and hold every child that has never been held, never known a loving touch, never heard a lullaby, never heard “I love you” whispered in their ear. I am broken…absolutely broken. This isn’t something that has happened since Friday. Adoption has been in my mind for a while. But when Kelley shared with us about the cribs in the back of the room it became very real for me for some reason. I don’t know why that is what has stirred me but it has.

I know that I cannot hold every child that has no mother. But I could hold one or two maybe. Couldn’t I? I ask and hear, “Not now.” And I keep asking, “When? When, O Lord, will I get to be a mother to the motherless? Provide a home for the homeless? Sing a lullaby to the child who has never been sung to as he drifts off to sleep?”

And He continues to say, “Wait.”

So I wait. And now, I pray for those babies in cribs in the back of the room.

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