Monday, February 3, 2014


You are in for a treat friends! I want to introduce you to Awara Fernandez. She and her husband Ernesto, church planting pastor of Iglesia del Redentor, are in their 25th year of marriage and have four children; Kathryn & Amanda, their biological daughters, and Benjamin & Cristian, their sons adopted from Peru in 2010. In 2009 Awara began an adoption support group, pure1.27, to provide encouragement to adoptive families in their church and community. The family lives in Indian Trail, NC, where together they are journeying "further up and further in" every day!

“What is for eat?” my new son Cristian began to ask soon after we brought him home from Peru. It is such a charming phrase that we did not correct him but simply enjoyed his language learning process. And I answered that question hundreds of times over the first couple of years, carefully telling him what was on the menu, hoping to quell some of his anxiety at being in a new (different) place, with new (different) people, family, friends, and new (different) clothes, a new (different) home, a new (different) school, a new (different) language, a new (different) climate, and new (different) foods.  So I answered his question again and again, until . . . I didn’t.  
We were traveling home to Charlotte after visiting family in Atlanta, a trip that takes us from five to six hours, and we were just finishing our lunch when Cristian piped up from the backseat of our van. “Mommy?” he asked as he was shoveling the last few French fries into his mouth, “what is for dinner?”  He had graduated to this less charming, but more acceptable, phraseology, and I was stumped.  Not by his language, but by the fact of the question itself.  I began to get irritated as I wondered, was he ungrateful that he could not enjoy his meal and the satisfaction of being well-fed for just a few moments?  And, how could I possibly know where we would be on the highway in a few hours, and what restaurant choices would be available to us, and what if we needed to stop earlier for gas or a bathroom break? One thing we have learned in our dealings with children who have suffered trauma is that if you tell them you will do something, be it read them a story, jump up and down three times in a row, or stop at a specific place to eat, if you do not do what you have said (promised), they believe that you have lied to them. And they have one more reason not to trust you. And they may shut down or explode in a tantrum, either one. There is, at least at first, little give and take with them. I think it is because these children from hard places have had lives that were more take than give, and what was taken from them is incalculable. I knew that I was walking through a mine-field and any one of a dozen different responses was sure to set off a reaction that the rest of us would have live with at close quarters (our van) for the next few hours. And I felt my anxiety rise as I realized that it was simply impossible for me to answer him.  
And then the Lord gently spoke to me and said, “The question Cristian is asking is not the one he is asking.” 
And I realized that what Cristian was really asking was not “What is for dinner,?” but “Will there be dinner?” And I breathed a sigh of relief and a prayer of gratitude to the Lord as I turned to Cristian and said, “Cristian, I do not know what we will eat for dinner, but I promise you that we will eat dinner.” I reminded him that he had not missed a meal since we brought him home from the orphanage and I told him, again, that we would take care of him. And that answered his question. His real question. And he was satisfied.  
And, I have wondered . . .  how often when I speak with the Lord am I asking what I’m really asking?  I ask, “Lord, what if . . . my husband loses his job?  What if my daughter and her boyfriend breakup? What if my father’s test result comes back positive for cancer? What if my son doesn’t pass his end-of-grade level tests?” The Lord doesn’t answer those questions because He knows that I’m really asking, “Father, will you take care of me?” He reminds me that I am his beloved child, chosen for adoption before the world began and He tells me, again, that He will take care of me.  
And that answers my question. My real question. And I am satisfied.

We'd love to see you over on our Facebook Page! 


  1. Beth, I would love the opportunity to connect with Awara, my husband and I have 3 adopted from Peru. So few kids come home from Peru each year and we have organized a group of fellow adoptive families. She can reach me at pnachtigal at cox dot net. Thanks! Paige Nachtigal

    1. Hey Paige! I have forwarded your comment to Awara so the two of you can connect. Thanks for asking. And Grace and Peace be with your family!

  2. Thank you, Beth! Another family adopting from Peru contacted me too! God is so cool like that!