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Crying for Mercy



Crying for Mercy


A Factual Story



 by Sally Nelson


Completed on May 5,08


I thought I had come to terms with the pain, hurt, and anger. Tonight I found that it still rages deep in my soul. It continues to burn with a passion I had thought had disappeared. I now know that it will never leave.

                I cried, no sobbed, last night. I sobbed for Mercy. The full realization of the love stolen from her hit me like a blow to my gut. While I held my adopted sister Josie, I realized Mercy’s loss. They took from her the thing all humans crave, want, and need. They took love.

                It is hard for me to not rage at God, man, and anything I can pour my anger upon. I want to scream. I can not describe how I feel when I imagine Mercy lying awake at night with fifteen other orphans, around so many people, yet so alone. Tears rush to eyes. My throat dries up and my head aches. I feel fury, hurt, sadness, and grief all at once.

                I had so many dreams. I had planned to teach Mercy to play paintball and to ride horses. I anticipated playing dress up and helping her learn her first words. I wanted to instill my love of the written word in her heart. I dreamt of crying at her wedding and rejoicing over her first child. I imagined being her sister and friend. I will never forget how one woman’s cruelty destroyed those dreams.

                My family and I originally went to Kenya two years ago. Our pastor told us about an orphanage, Imani Children’s Home, where he volunteered. God gave us a desire to serve and we responded to that call by going to Kenya. For three months, my sister, my two brothers, my parents, and I cared for and loved orphans in the “home”. We laughed at the rotten things they did and acted like enthusiastic new parents, comparing the children’s development and fighting over who was the most precocious. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m ., we cuddled with, bathed, fed, and nurtured the orphans. My twelve-year-old sister and I cared for around eighteen toddlers, usually without assistance. At only thirteen, I learned how to handle two kids on each hip and with one hanging on my legs. I learned how to oversee the feeding of eighteen toddlers at once and managed to love each one more than I ever imagined possible. Everyday, the little children greeted Heidi and me with smiles, kisses, and screams of “Auntie Lally!” and “Auntie Idie!”. Everyday, our hearts broke a little bit more for the children, stuck in the quagmire of orphanhood and extreme poverty. For most of them, life meant pain. Life should never be like that for children.
                As weeks passed, my dad began to truly love a little girl with the most hair we had ever seen on an infant. She had dark skin, shining black eyes, and a two-inch “Afro”. Among all of the children, she drew the least attention to herself. At seven months old, she rarely cried and just watched as my dad changed babies diapers and fed them their food. When my mom met her, she melted over Mercy. Our parents introduced her to us and we all fell for her.

                Adopting in Kenya was no easy process. We researched it before we returned to America and found out that it took a minimum of six months in country. Shocked and slightly dismayed, our family talked for hours and unanimously decided that Mercy was worth it. Once back in Indiana, we waited until we were approved to go. It took nine months of waiting and praying.

                Upon our approval, we packed to go. On Christmas Eve, we boarded our flight to Kenya, anticipation growing in our hearts. We could not wait to get Mercy. Once we arrived, we went to visit her. Crying and laughing, my family held her and told her that we loved her. Sadly, we didn’t know that we would never see her again.

                My mom began working on Mercy’s paperwork. Anticipating an easy time, my mom did not get nervous when we found out that Mercy was in the custody of Irene, the head of an adoption organization. Unfortunately, we had no way of knowing the true nature of the woman and her organization.

                For our family to adopt Mercy, Irene had to relinquish her rights as Mercy’s guardian. She refused. She had no real reason to refuse us, except for her hatred towards our adoption agency. We begged her. We pleaded with her. We tried everything. None of our efforts could change Irene’s hard heart. Trying every option, my family realized that she had “goods” on many important officials and even the head of the orphanage. Irene had even created a fictitious family to adopt Mercy and many of the officials used that as their excuse. No one would help us as they knew that Irene’s  retribution could destroy them.

                The day after my sister’s birthday, my mom received a horrible phone call. The caller told us that Irene had sent one of her “social workers” to take Mercy from the orphanage. Racing as fast as we could, our family reached the orphanage a few minutes too late. The “social worker” had kidnapped Mercy.

Devastated, we drove home.

                Later, we found out that the director of the orphanage had found Mercy but had sent her to the Kenyan coast. Now, she has absolutely no hope of freedom from the chains of poverty and orphanhood. She will never have a mother and father or sisters and brothers. She has nearly nothing and one person took all of that away from Mercy.

                After almost eleven months, our family returned with a new sister and daughter. Josephine Wakanyi Nelson fills our home with laughter and vibrancy. Our entire family loves her and would never give her up but we still cry. We all still cry. We cry for Mercy, the daughter and sister we lost.



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a quickie from Ron

Hey, just wanted to add that this reporter did a
random search on the internet and found our little insignificant blog and that
is how the contact was made. It reminds me over and over that our ways are not
God’s ways so who knows what might be in store for Mercy.  Over the past
two years we have been so awed at the number of people who have e-mailed us and
say they continue to pray for Mercy. Thank-you . . . we know for sure that not
one tear we’ve shed over this little girl has gone unnoticed. The Lord has them
bottled up and will use them in Mercy’s life as He sees fit.  Anyway . . .
. Ron
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ABC news article on Mercy

When you have a minute you might take interest in
reading this ABC.com news article that was written, mainly, about the plight of
Mercy who, to this day, remains in an orphanage in Kenya.   Who knows
if this article could ever help Mercy or a future Mercy . . . that was our goal
in participating in the article. 
Always want to say, thanks for caring.  love
to your families, from our family
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News from the Nelsons

Feb 22nd 2007 became a significant and joyous day , because that was the day
our Josie came home with us. She wasn’t legally a Nelson at that point but
she was our daughter and the kid’s sister in our hearts and thinking. As we
look back and reflect on all that has happened in this year we are awed by
God’s provision and help. And we are so grateful for the incredible gift
Josie is to all of us. Josephine Wakanyi Nelson has captured each of our
hearts in such a way that we could have never imagined.

One year later, February 22, 2008 is also another significant date for us.
That was the day Josie’s namesake Ethel Josephine Nelson her great Grandma
went to her new home in heaven. I had the honor of holding her hand as she
made her journey and I told her that the only regret I had was that she
wasn’t able to meet our Josie. She was 96.
February 24th last year was the day that our friends and the Amani women
thru a welcome shower for Josie. One year later will be a gathering of
family and friends to celebrate Ethel’s life or should I say a "shower" for
Grandma’s homecoming.

Just wanted to share our news . . . Ron, for the Nelsons

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We’re Home~


We’re Home~

After a real battle getting here, we arrived on Tuesday night. We had a rough
time traveling due to visa/custom issues with little Josie. She traveled as a
Kenyan and didn’t actually become an American until she touched American soil.
Because she was a Kenyan, we had trouble in Belgium with her luggage. We had
purchased a ticket for her so she would be allowed two fifty pound bags.
Claiming and rechecking her bags became a four-hour issue because she wasn’t
allowed outside the secure area as a Kenyan. Yikes. It was extremely nerve
racking as we had been up all night and had little energy to deal with it all.
Anyway, it worked out with us arriving at our international gate seven minutes
before departure (not the recommended amount of time
J ).

Leaving Kenya and our Kenyan family/friends was
excruciatingly painful. We had our closest friends
there at the house when we left and it nearly tore our hearts out to say
good-bye. It was so different from the year before when we said good-bye in
Indiana = equally sad but it had a different flavor. Nairobi is not a safe
place, an easy place to live or a place bubbling with hope. Laboring over that
issue for days now, the Lord has comforted me by giving me a direct nudge . . .
‘trust Me’ is what He told me. I had unplugged my spiritual brain and had taken
our friend’s future into my own hands. I would love to make life easier and
safer for our friends – I am trying to get firmly to a place where I can commit
them to the Lord in prayer. I’ve got to stop worrying!!!

Josie is adjusting nicely. Lots and lots and lots of stimulation. Wow!!! 
Even our friendly, not used for security, dog has been a lot for Josie (for the
dog too). She just loves kissing her on the paws.

Want to close with —- we cannot begin to put into words what it has meant to
each one of us to feel your love and support. I truly could write a book on the
kind gestures that our family has received. We’ve been given food in our
cupboards, food in the refrigerator, food in the freezer, flowers on the table,
flowers on my bed, help in packing/unpacking, help in Josie proofing the house,
help in cleaning our unoccupied house (for a year) and our occupied house (for a
year), and the list could go on and on (both here for our arrival and in Kenya
for our departure),   Thank-you just doesn’t have the punch it needs,
but I can only say it in capitals  – THANK-YOU so much for making this past
year quite an experience. I look forward to seeing how the Lord is going to use
it in each of our lives. Most of you played an intricate part in bring Josie
home. I’m confident you’ll come to love her as we do. One orphan no longer an


Closing this chapter of our lives,


Click on the link to see the latest updates
photos of our Kenyan experience.
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Josie’s on her way

Hello America~
    Sounds nice . . . we’re on a
roll folks. We got Josie’s passport today. It’s a Kenyan passport – she’ll
become an American the minute we touch down but for the minute she’s a Kenyan.
Anyway, we’re making progress with the American Embassy too.  They haven’t
come right out and told us that we’ll be finished by the first of November but
we have every indication that we will be. 
    We had a super week-end this
last week-end. Alex’s Eagle Project went sooooo well.  It was one smooth
operation.  I couldn’t believe it. We are in Africa and the whole day was
perfect.  We never have that kind of success in Moores Hill. The day
started with donuts in a school parking lot = no fence and before you know it
five o’clock rolled around and the fence (including a gate) was up. Thank-you
Lord!!!  What a relief it is for mom and son  🙂
    Heidi and I had a little mishap
. . . a couple of guys worked together on a plan to steal my wallet and it
worked. I was out about forty-five dollars, my ATM and had a sore foot. 
One of the guys stepped on my foot so hard that I actually couldn’t move,
another pushed me into a cart and the third swiped my wallet out of my front
pocket.  Leaving Africa with that as our only family "mishap" involving
thugs gives me reason to be grateful. We have seen the results with several
different friends of what guys can do when they think you have something worth
stealing. These people do not mess around.  It’s part of the "system" here.
Sad. Our friends deal with this type of thing over and over.  The ones that
don’t have even steal from the ones that don’t have. 
    George’s wife, Millicent, got a
job at Amani this week. Nice, huh?  He’s got a job riding a motorcycle
delivering parcels and she’ll be at Amani. They may actually be able to eat
three meals a day. We are thrilled for them.
    We’ll be heading across the pond
on or about Nov. 1st. That rolls off my fingers nicely.  It ought to be a
rough flight but pray we keep the right perspective as WE’RE COMING HOME. 
If it gets crazy this last ten days or so I’ll drop you a note from the other
side . . . I do want to mention, in closing, that our trip never would have been
the same without the support we’ve had from friends and family that love and
have come behind us. I’m not a Hillary fan but I do think, "It takes a village
to raise a child" tweaked a bit applies.  It has taken a ton of people to
get this little girl out of a children’s institution and into our family and we
are so grateful for the part that each of you have played. We’ll be forever
indebted. She’s worth every single headache we’ve had. with love,
Click on the link to see the latest updates
photos of our Kenyan experience.
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