A Mother for Choco

chocoTonight, Casey and I attended a prayer meeting at our church. We gathered with several other families who have hearts for foster care and adoption to pray for children who need families. This was such a powerful time of prayer for us. Casey and I ended up in a group with a couple who has adopted a son from Nicaragua. We were so blessed to have them pray with us and for us. We have been surrounded by so many encouraging, supportive friends throughout this process, but there is nothing like being lifted up in prayer by people who have stood where we are standing. As we prayed, my friend Krissi reminded me in prayer that from the moment of his conception, Josiah has been intended for our family. What a great reminder that we were created to be his parents and he was created to be our son!

Throughout the evening I heard Josiah’s name whispered in prayer several times across the room. What an incredible blessing to have friends that are praying for our son and eagerly waiting to celebrate his arrival with us! It was such an encouraging evening, especially considering where I’ve been emotionally this week as we continue to wait.

As we prayed I felt God burdening our hearts with the 140 million children in the world who need a family to call their own. There are nearly 5 million orphans in Ethiopia, and over 3,000 children in foster care just in our state. The numbers are daunting, and overwhelming, but I feel God calling His Church to meet this need, and I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Coincidentally, when Caleb and I went to the library this morning, we checked out the book A Mother for Choco, a story about a baby bird who needs a mommy and the mother bear who becomes his mother. I read the story to Caleb before he went to bed. Later, after he was in bed, I heard him crying in his bedroom. It seemed like a sad, hurt cry, and I was afraid that he had hurt himself so I went in to check on him. When I asked him what was wrong, he said, “Choco needs a mommy.”

It breaks my heart to watch my little son come to understand just one piece of the terrible sadness in this world, but I want him to know, I want his heart to break over the things that break God’s heart. I don’t want him to grow up thinking that every child has a life just like his. We prayed just tonight that the kids in our church would have tender hearts for the fatherless, and I’m already seeing God’s faithfulness in the compassion of my small son.

Of course, I immediately wrapped him up in my arms and assured him that he has a mommy and that Choco found a mommy. And then we prayed for all of the children who need a mommy. We lifted up the fatherless to our great Father who knows each one of them by name. Caleb is sleeping peacefully now; he may never mention it again, or we may talk about it every day. But I am so convicted by the heart of a little three year old who understands how desperately he needs his mommy and how sad it must be not to have one. And I can’t help but wonder how many three year olds went to sleep tonight with no mommy to comfort them. Oh that God would break our hard hearts over the things that break His heart!


  1. And Jesus said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” At three years of age my Grandson is still teaching me at 55.

  2. Mary Beth,

    I just got an email from Michelle. She and Jeremy now have 3 more children! I know you are excited for them. Pray for strength, wisdom and the energy they need to raise these precious children.

    God has given you the passion for children and we are so excited to see you and Casey follow that purpose.

    Love to you three and to little Josiah!

  3. I’m so proud of my boy. I pray that God will continue to give him a compassionate heart for those that are hurting and that he will be a blessing to them as he grows up.

  4. God bless the four of you and others who fill the need for a mommy,
    for children who don’t have one.
    Love to all of you.

  5. Mary Beth,
    I have tears rolling down my face after reading this post and the one from yesterday. What an inspiration you are! Thank you for reminding me to be open and listen to what God is trying to tell me about his plan for my life and his timing for the plan. Hope we can see you guys soon! We are still enjoying our “treasures” from the garage sale!



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