Rediscovering Rwanda

22 04 2010

In 1994, when genocide swept through the hills of Rwanda, I was in the seventh grade.

Two years later, as a freshman in high school, I remember learning about Rwanda from one of my favorite teachers: Mrs. Joan Malkin. My family had recently moved from Boulder, Colorado to Irvine, California. I was a liberal kid plopped down in a conservative community, wearing birkenstocks and corduroy while my classmates wore cardigans and polo shirts. In the freshman social studies class, Mrs. Malkin challenged her students to think carefully and critically about how they saw the world.

Among other things, I remember learning about Rwanda and the failure of the United Nations and the international community to intervene during the genocide. This remarkable teacher sparked my curiousity for politics and economics. In college, I earned a degree in international relations. Although I’ve spent the last six years focused on loving and serving my husband and our three children, I have never forgotten this passion.

Fourteen years later, I am rediscovering Rwanda. As my husband and I have continued to learn and pray about adoption, we’re beginning to consider adopting from Rwanda. We are learning not only about the international adoption process, but also about the country, which has undergone a remarkable – if flawed – process of rebuilding over the last sixteen years.

I have many questions – and at this point few answers.

Yesterday I read Left to Tell, a memoir written by a survivor of the Rwandan genocide. I finished the book at maybe 2 am. And then I cried and prayed and tried to understand: how could a country could be consumed with such evil? How the same country could be transformed? Rebuilt? Redeemed?

I do not know where this journey will lead me. I do not know if our family will be called to adopt from Rwanda or from elsewhere in Africa. But I do feel God’s hand leading me and drawing my heart to see. And I believe that as God opens my eyes, he will guide my steps.




One response

23 04 2010

Hey Sara,
How awesome to see your passion for this.
I’ve got a couple of blogs for you!
Our friends Nick and Becky just recently brought home their baby boy Judah from Rwanda and you can follow them at:
and our other friends the Boltons are just starting the process:
Pretty awesome to see God working in the lives of these families and the children that are welcomed into them!!

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