Friday, June 17

a sweet conversation I had in the airport. . .

On our flight home, we had a layover in Washington, home of many Ethiopian immigrants. There is even a section of DC called Little Ethiopia.

As Rob and Galeta were entering the airport bathroom, the worker asked, "Is he Ethiopian?" pointing to Galeta.

I smiled and said, "Yes, are you?"

She said "Yes." And then thanked me for adopting an older boy. She told me he was handsome and that he was lucky.

I stumbled over my words and told her, I thought I was the lucky one. That I could not believe I got to be his mom. And honestly, I was embarrassed by my response. Did she understand what I meant? Did she get my heart?

She continued by telling me that many of her friends killed themselves in Ethiopia because there was no food and killing themselves was better than dying a slow death of starvation. She said that is why so many Ethiopian have come here to DC.

She asked me if my boy's mom and dad were dead.

I said yes. She nodded as if to say, of course they are.

I told her adoption was not the ideal. That I wanted Galeta to be in Ethiopia with his mom and dad. And that sometimes the world was not fair. Again, I wondered did she get me? Not because she did not speak or understand English. . she did and spoke it very well. . .but did she really get that I loved this boy like my own flesh and blood.

She nodded. She said she knew well that life was not fair. She then asked why I would adopt a child that was not related to me. I was a little taken aback by the personal questions and began to think, "Where is Rob? He always knows just what to say, has the right words." I am so not a fast thinker.

But Rob was still in the bathroom with Galeta and so with tears in my eyes, I just told her the truth.

I told her because deep deep inside me. . .how could I say no to a kid who needed a mom and dad when I could give him that. I told her that Rob and I had a good marriage and promised to be together forever.

I told her because deep deep inside me. . .how could I say no to a kid who wanted to belong to brothers and sisters. . .who wanted to belong to a family. . . when I could give him that. I told her that I had 4 other children that were so excited for Galeta to come home.

I told her because deep deep inside me. . .how could I say no to a kid who needed a home when I have been blessed with a house that could easily hold one more.

I promised her that I would always love Galeta and always take care of him.

She asked me if I was a Christian.

I said yes, that is the real reason I can adopt this child. I told her that God gave me this love for this boy. Again. .wondering if I was speaking the right words. . oh, I was so nervous.

She asked what kind of Christian?

I hesitated knowing that this is where our different backgrounds might confuse us. So I simply said, "One that loves Jesus and wants to show His love to others."

She smiled. And at that point I think she got me. We were on the same page. We both knew that injustice is wrong. We both knew that all kids are made in the image of Our Creator. We both knew that we were put on this earth for more than our own pleasure.

I am sharing this story at:

where women are talking about The Practice of Faith.


  1. what a neat appointment God gave you. :)

  2. Wow. What a way to witness Him!

  3. I love this story. Thank you for giving me a positive reason to tear up! LOL! I love you and your family so much. You are such shining examples of love... Thank you for representing ALL of us (your family in Christ) so well.


  4. this is a wonderful story! I love those divine appointments God gives us to share our Hearts and His! thank You for sharing.

  5. I believe that the Holy Spirit was working in you that day, you certainly DID have the right words and made a fellow countryman of Galata's feel good about his new home and family. Galata is truly blessing by the Soutter's.
    Susan Vartanesian

  6. Love your heart, Su! I think your words were perfect :-)

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  8. Oh me, I love this post. As I read it, I was picturing ripples on calm water. Who knows the impact that your obedience will not only have on your family, but on the world for years to come. It gives me chills just thinking about it.