It happened every time I walked across the play yard to the baby room. And it started as soon as I was in view.

“Laurentz!” They yelled.


photo1I walked up to the tiny fence where four beautiful dark toddlers looked up at me as their chorus of voices rang out.

“Ou Mama Laurentz?” They asked.

“Oui.” I said.

“Ou Mama Laurentz?” They asked, again and again.

“Oui, mwen Mama Laurentz.” I said as I touched their faces or rubbed their hair.

I looked over them to see Laurentz on his nanny’s lap. His bright eyes were waiting for mine and when our gaze met, his face lit up. He pointed in my direction. “Hurry!” he seemed to say as she finished getting him ready.

IMG_4296IMG_4300I looked down again at the babies waiting there. One or two had their arms outstretched. It was tough not to scoop up every single one. To be Mama Nathaniel and Mama Caleb and Mama Toto.

It wasn’t that they understood that I am actually Laurentz’s adoptive Mom, it’s just that they know I came for him. I chose him. Just like visiting missionaries who get attached to a certain child get dubbed Mama Lito or Papa Guivenson, I was Mama Laurentz.

IMG_4301I glanced again at Laurentz. He wriggled free from his nanny and came charging across the baby room with his too large shoes flapping on the concrete. He held up his arms to me and I scooped him up and hugged him close.


Oh, how I love that boy!

“Ou Mama Laurentz?” The other babies kept asking, even as I walked away with my son.

Oui, I thought to myself, mwen Mama Laurentz. But oh, how I wished I could be Mama to all. I wished I could choose each one. I wished I could bring the kind of wide smile that brightens Laurentz’s face to each one of those beautiful babies.

I still wish I could say to each one: I choose you.

Those babies long for love. And when someone reaches out and says “I choose you,” it changes their entire countenance. When they know… No matter their saggy diaper, their runny nose, their too-big shoes… I choose you. Something significant shifts inside of them.

I remember that feeling myself. On my knees, in a chapel, not long after my divorce. Feeling horrible for the things I’d done and not done. Dressed spiritually in a saggy diaper, my hands dirty and my eyes to the ground. Figuring of all the people God would choose, it wouldn’t be me.

And up walked my God. I choose you. I still choose you.


And what I understand even more today is that it’s mutual. My response mattered to God. Just like when I walked to that baby room with such joy, looking for Laurentz – his joy at my arrival quadrupled my own. His smile, his delight, his wriggling to get into my arms – I loved it!

I don’t know how God does it, but He does. He chooses each one of us. He chooses you. And you. And you. In His world, no one is left behind. No one is left standing at the gate with their arms outstretched, tears on their faces.

And if my heart exploded with joy when Laurentz ran to me with a smile, how much more does our God delight when we run to him, when we receive his love and let the joy ooze out of every pore.

He chooses you. And you. And you.

And you.

Now run to him…. Let your shoes flap on the concrete as you raise up your arms and smile wide.

Because, my friend, he’s come for you.

25 Responses

    1. Everyone wants to be chosen. Thank you for choosing Laurentz. As he gets older, he will realize that you were chosen by God to be his precious mom. As I read the article, I could feel your joy.

  1. Oh Elsa, it was so good to see you and meet Savannah the other day. I’m so sorry I was in such a rush I didn’t ask about your other children(besides Sam). Thank you for updates. Blessings to you my Oki-CO friend!

  2. Darling Elsa – wow – what a powerful message – your writing has enriched us so. What an awesome journey your family is on – please take us along in spirit and travel with our daily prayers for all children in the Orphanage. love, Toby and Denny

  3. What joy you send out to all of us – I can just see your grin. I feel as if I know you having seen you so often in DC videos. I have been with the program for 14 years usually 3 sessions a year! I’m leaving for my seventh mission trip to Ecuador next Thursday and look forward to seeing not just the 2 girls I sponsor, but all the children who just want to be loved. The hugs from the children and adults are so amazing as everyone here is so reserved these days. But I don’t care as I hug my DC participants and CBS members and their children each week if they allow it. It brings smiles to sometimes sad faces and I’ve become known by the children at CBS as the ‘hugger lady”. I delight in the hugs our Lord gives me every day. God bless you and I pray that you and your husband will soon have a complete family.

  4. How wonderfully put your words are! Just last night at Single & Parenting I told the single moms how you were adopting the children. You exude joy and I love it. I look forward to watching them grow up under your wings.

  5. Well said, Elsa! It seems that my friends who have adopted have a much deeper understanding of our spiritual adoption by God, now that they are adoptive parents. Thank you for helping us experience this rich understanding for ourselves.

  6. Oh, sweet Elsa! My heart swells with thanksgiving as I read your post and see Laurentz’s eagerness to be in your loving arms. I see what these photos don’t capture and that is YOUR bright eyes and wide smile with open arms as Laurentz’s breaks free and runs to you. I needed to read ths tonight. I know how long you have prayed and waited to take this little one home with you and how you long to spend time with him. I am reminded of what the LORD has prepared for me and the love He has for me. I am reminded what it means to be a child of God and when I feel broken and “used up” God reminds me He has chosen me. I am approved. Beautiful. Your blog uplifted me and helped me envision the joy of being chosen. I pray for those children who still need to find loving homes. Thank you, Elsa, for your ministry and your love. God’s favor is all over you, girl! Glory to Him who sits on the throne!!

  7. Hi Elsa. What an important and beautiful message. I was just telling my son that it’s so easy to hear what the world thinks about you: you’re not smart enough, you don’t measure up, you’re not what we want. I told him we need to read God’s word to find out and remind ourselves what God thinks of us. The fact that God chooses us ties right in. It’s so wonderful to be chosen. So happy for you and the child that brightens up your life. Keep writing-love your style! !! God’s richest blessings to you and your family.

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