Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Single Mom at Christmas

My 20-month-old daughter woke up from her nap, sobbing. For nearly five minutes, she refused to be comforted. I combed her silky hair with my fingers, whispering, "What's wrong, sweet girl? What's wrong?

Avinly took a jagged whisper and finally croaked out, "Daddy's working! Daddy's working!"

And for 17th time that morning, my heart broke. My military husband was gone again, this time on an anti-terror mission, and apparently our youngest had had enough of it.

Avinly with her daddy just a few minutes after he returned from his latest multi-week absence
Just a few days earlier, I had received a letter from Albertina, Wilmer's mom. Wilmer is our youngest son Jude's Compassion International birthday buddy and, I'm guessing, the cutest boy Bolivia has ever produced.

I mean, seriously.

Wilmer, like our Jude, just turned four. He loves his black kitty named Simon and playing toy cars with his cousin Jhessenia. So even though he's a world away from us both geographically, culturally and financially, raising Wilmer is a lot like raising Jude, I'm thinking.

Albertina is doing so, by the way, alone. I don't know how old she is, if she was ever married to Wilmer's dad, or even if the dad is in the picture. And obviously, having a loving husband (even if he can be gone for up to six months at a time) is a far cry from being a true single mom.

Still, I felt such a connection with Albertina when she wrote, "Jude is also as beautiful as Wilmer. I think they would be very good friends. We are very happy and glad to know you through the picture. I will stick the photo on the wall of my room to see you every day."In the midst of one child screaming for a marker, another using the glass door as batting practice and the last climbing up my leg, I quieted inside.

We're raising these sons, sometimes alone. I'm pretty sure that like me, Albertina feels overwhelmed at the prospect of raising her little December dude, wondering if she can pull it off. Then realizing that without Christ's help, she can't.

So we follow the example of another mom who raised an amazing son, sometimes afraid, sometimes alone, but always with guidance from the ultimate Father.

Will you take a moment and pray for the Compassion parents the world over who are going it alone? For the beautiful moms like Albertina who are raising the next generation of South American, African and Asian boys?

Albertina has our photo on her wall -- a fact that humbles me every time I remember. I, in turn, won't forget what ties us together: a compassionate love for our babies and the desire to raise them into God- and people-loving men.

Kind of like another single mother on another Christmas so very long ago.


Along with being a Compassion advocate, Crystal is an American military wife, freelance writer and mom to three littles currently stationed in the UK. Her highest hope at the moment is that her beloved Oregon Ducks win the Rose Bowl and then the National Championship this January. Prayers would be appreciated. 
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